Our insights from the NRF – Retail’s Big Show 2016

Last month, retail’s worldwide major actors merged to New York City for the 105thedition of the National Retail Federation’s NRF Big Show.

Over 34,000 members attended the exposition together with top influencers from all over the globe. This included some of the largest industry players such as Walgreens, Macy’s, or Tesco as well as the well-known digital giants Salesforce, IBM, Cisco, PayPal and, of course, Google. Precisely 95 countries were represented (UK being part of the top 5).

We have had the chance to attend many compelling conferences, as well as bespoke meetings with disruptive start-ups and retailers. All in all, 580 retail industry solution providers debated, discussed and demonstrated the next big trends in retail. The event was a great opportunity to connect with peers, and to engage and discover the innovations of tomorrow’s connected commerce.

Digital is seen as the connective tissue between online and in-store. If the notion ofomnichannel is the new reality for all retailers and remains inspirational, the focus is more than ever on the client: the client is the channel. We are entering an « ANY-era » in which omnishoppers tend to be very demanding: anything has to be available anytime, through any device, anywhere and any way. Customer centricity is at the heart of omnichannel, and both are inseparable. 

We have identified 4 major trends that you can discover in details below:

Mobile First if not Mobile Only

Data & Retail Analytics: Data is king

Clienteling and enhancement of the POS (Point of Sale)

The rise of Augmented Reality : “Seeing is believing”


Consumers have plenty of ways to shop, and retailers are scrambling to keep up with them. They need to go through constant innovation and to take advantage of cutting-edge technologies. For retailers, there is a real need to use the leverage of collective impact. More than ever, cooperation should be organized at every level: development of products and services, connected objects, data sharing, hardware and software, online and offline… Collaboration is the new competition.

Given the profusion of innovative solutions, it has become difficult to make a choice without a rigorous A / B test to accurately measure the value creation for the customer and the retailer. Therefore, the “learn fail fast & cheap” is in the mouth of all and the topic of governance of Test & Learn is key for retailers who want to stay in the race. The ones who have been able to meet consumers’ changing desires and appetites for online consuming as well as digital interactions – Macy’, Nordstrom and Walmart – are leading the way…

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