NRF 2020: 4 Technology Trends Driving Successful Retail

NRF 2020

The NRF 2020, with over 800 exhibitors and 40 000 attendees, was a an expo showcasing a marketplace of Retail Innovation. Exhibitors included giants such as Microsoft, Starbucks, Samsung, Amazon, Walmart and FedEx, as well as exciting start-ups looking to present their technology to the marketplace.

Some of the TOP 4 RETAIL TRENDS presented at the NRF 2020 are as follows:

1. Image search and personal assistant

Image search was a big trend in 2019 and should only pick up steam in 2020. Computer vision paired with sophisticated image recognition programs often assist shoppers in finding a store that offers the product they have seen on a website or specifically on social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Pintrest etc. Online personal assistants have picked up in popularity – this gives shoppers recommendations based on previous purchases, searches or user categories.

NRF 2020 Image search in retail

Image Search Recognition in Retail

2. AR and VR

AR was a popular retail topic at the NRF e.g. Scandit’s enablement to scan a wall of wine bottles with your smartphone camera allowing you can instantly see ratings, compare bottles and even add items to your cart. One of the VR booths, 3D Retail, showed off their technology which provides a 3D scanning of your store and can offer a 3D virtual tour of your store with the ability for you to walkthrough as if you are physically there. It can be used as a platform to plan, review and archive your stores digitally.

Scandit Wine Scanning

Scandit’s AR App

3. Omnichannel

There is a need for various platforms to be more deeply intertwined as 75% of shoppers look at more than 1 platform before making a purchase. Combining brick and mortar with online stores and social media helps to widen communication and complete the customer experience. Top trends within omnichannel experiences include click and collect (BOPIS) and order in store (Endless aisle).

NRF 2020 Omnichannel Retailing

Omnichannel Retailing

4. Headless commerce

Headless commerce is where the front-end and back-end of a commerce platform are de-coupled and stand independently of one another, for example voice-driven commerce via an IoT-powered device like Alexa. 

Amazon Alexa

Amazon Alexa