As the NRF (US National Retail Federation) Retail’s Big Show 2017 in NYC just closed its doors. Here is an overview of what we learned during these 3 days of convention and exposition. More than 510 exhibitors were present to highlight their products and services to 35,000 attendees who came to the biggest event of its kind. The show has been presenting the best trends and innovations of the retail world for decades, but this year’s edition was broadly led by digital innovations.

Retail’s BIG Show 2017 Recap

Show Overview

Last year‘s show was mostly oriented toward data management, 2017 edition clearly showcased in-store innovations and new services, like e-learning solutions for salespeople, timetable management software, NFC gears and other devices specially adapted to in-store needs.

Stock management was also a big topic. We saw new solutions like Devatic’s OneStock, which determines whether it is better for the stores to deliver an item directly from the main warehouse or from the closest store. In-store demand forecast appeared to be a growing trend in NRF show this year, like in the Microsoft village, where you could find Powershelf’s out-of-stock sensors, tailored to indicate empty displays and calculate induced loss.

With more than 300 carefully handpicked speakers, Ellen Davis, the NRF Senior Vice President for Research and Strategic Initiatives, predicted this year’s edition would be the ‘the most impactful in the show’s history’. These visionaries and pioneers shared their outstanding business experience in order to inspire and encourage attendees to improve customer experience both in-store and online, to explore opportunities, and to accept challenges.

11 keynotes speakers were invited to share their visions for retail. In one of the more expected intervention: “Undying Brand Engagement in an Age of Continuous Disruption and Reinvention – A Fireside Chat With Sir Richard Branson”, the iconic Virgin Group founder Richard Branson’s casually talked to Kip Tindell, chairman NRF. He emphasized on what it takes, for him, to be a great leader in the retail world. Talking about subject such as the power of a good delegation, taking care of your staff and most of all, not forgetting to have fun.

NRF Retail's Big Show: Richard Branson

What’s New for your E-Commerce?

From e-commerce perspectives, if you stopped by NRF Retail’s Big Show 2017 you would have encounter new clever solutions like :NRF Retail's Big Show: Augment

  • Alkemics that enriches products pages for distributors and industrials in order to get better searching process while shopping online.
  • Mirakl‘s solution which simplifies the marketplace creation process to enable e-commerce websites to increase their offer by selling third party products.
  • Storetail who managed to recreate the classic process implemented in brick-and-mortar stores to promote impulse purchases (head of displays, stops and checkout displays)
  • Sentient Technologies changing the game of A/B testing with a solution driven by machine learning. It tests simultaneously about 40 parameters (text, colors, orders,…) and the determines the most successful combinaisons to implement the next level of testing until you find the very best combination for your website.
  • The startup Augment that implements augmented reality for your product to be visualized in customer’s environment to increase conversion rate by making the purchase more tangible.

To conclude, even if this year NRF’s Retail Big Show was mainly focused on how to connect customers to physical retail through technological new features (see video below), e-commerce still have a special place in retailers world, featuring promising innovations.

This year Retail Big Show was really about improving and personalizing customer experience demonstrating that technologies should help connecting retailers with customers and what the model could gain from implementing new digital tools.