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NRF 2020 paints an exciting future for retail technology

These 5 retail technology trends from NRF 2020 could impact your customers this year.

February 10, 2020

NRF 2020 paints an exciting future for retail technology
NRF 2020 took place last month in New York City. As the biggest show of the year for retail technology, it’s a great chance to see what’s new from more than 800 exhibitors. Ingram Micro’s team was at the event walking the floor and talking to vendors and solution providers. Here are some key trends we noticed:

Business Intelligence (BI)—Retail technology has experienced a lot of change and innovation in recent years. One result is that retailers have increased accessibility to customer data (shopping histories across multiple channels, loyalty data and more). However, data is only valuable if you can make good use of it. There were many companies at NRF 2020 showing off BI solutions to help retailers analyze and create value from the mountain of data now readily available.

Automation—Using automation within supply chain warehouses is nothing new, but bringing it to the store floor is. For example, Zebra’s new EMA50 is an automated robot that walks store aisles, taking inventory and identifying pricing inconsistencies. Other exhibitors were showing off drones that can be used in warehouses to scan pallets, boxes and items that are out of reach. This is one trend that could significantly impact labor in the future and change the way your customers work.

IoT—The concept of “connecting things” is broad, so it’s no surprise that many NRF 2020 exhibitors were showcasing a variety of IoT solutions that push computing to the edge. IoT enablement makes traditional devices such as printers and displays smarter, facilitating remote management as well as delivering valuable data to drive BI.

BOPIS (buy online, pickup in store)—There were several BOPIS click-and-collect storage solutions at NRF 2020, underscoring the rising interest in these solutions. StrongPoint was in Zebra’s booth showcasing its refrigerated click-and-collect lockers for groceries. Shoppers are sent a PIN code which, when entered on the locker’s touch screen, unlocks whichever doors contain their goods. It’s simple to use and can be placed outside the store to make it more convenient for shoppers while saving valuable floor space within the store.

Customer experience—Retailers have been focused on delivering positive customer experiences for some time now, and NRF 2020 showed that the trend will continue. In addition to BOPIS , there were many self-service checkout solutions and even a self-return solution designed to make returns as easy as placing the item into a special drop box. Additionally, at least one company was showing how facial ID capabilities can be tied to a self-service kiosk to make repeat orders fast and easy.

Of course, the above is just a small sampling of the retail technology showcased at NRF 2020. For more information on next-generation technologies coming to your customers, contact Daryl Schuster, Ingram Micro’s DCPOS expert.