Smart retailers adopt new technologies

Major players in retail are rapidly adopting modern technology that enhances relationships with consumers, improves their products, and of course increases revenue.


At this year’s NRF conference, a number of topics came up that further supported Finger Food’s vision that the retail industry can continue to thrive if brands use technology to provide unique and meaningful experiences to their customers. I wanted to share some of the key observations from the show.

Online and Offline Convergence

It’s now NOT a choice between physical or digital retail, but it’s about how retailers can effectively combine the strengths of each – people are calling it Phygital! Applying polished digital experiences to the offline world is likely to shape how stores will begin to better adapt to a consumers’ needs.

This also includes in-store product navigation, live contextual product offers on handheld devices and using physical stores to improve e-commerce services. This might also include online order fulfilment; the processing of product returns and the more common-place online order pickup in store. 

Retailers are also looking to create unique customer experiences to build and sustain brand loyalty with their clients. Whether they are looking to grab and go, test a product or learn a new recipe, retailers are adapting to ensure they engage with and meet the specific needs of their customers.

Out in the Wild

Outside of the conference itself, anyone who took the time to head down to SOHO, Times Square or 5th Avenue would have seen further evidence of this mission, with retailers clearly upping their game on the high street.

Nike’s House of Innovation is a great example, where they are leveraging digital to redefine the sneaker shopping experience, enabling customers to customize shoes, request sizes, learn about shoes and pay for their purchase all through the Nike mobile app. 

Even grocers like Fairway Markets have adopted mobile scan & go technology to create a frictionless shopping experience. 

Amazon 4-star uses online ratings to shape the inventory of their stores while bridging the digital and physical gap. Emerging technology is changing the traditional retail-customer relationship.

A lot of these examples mesh nicely with a few of the recent projects we’ve undertaken in the retail space, that focus on using innovative technologies such as VR, AR and AI, further affirming that companies are embracing new technology, and jumping into it, right now!

It’s clear to see that things are moving in retail. It’ll be interesting to see who capitalizes on a new way of doing business, and who ultimately, gets left behind…

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