My second day at NRF’s BIG Show started with a journey around the Expo Hall. This was something I had looked forward to, being interested in technology and new product solutions for retail. As I walked the floor however, I realized that I didn’t know that much about the kind of stuff they were selling. As a student studying retail, I hadn’t come across this side of the business or thought about applications of classroom strategy in this regard.
A lot of these companies were based around solutions that improved the quality of data you could see about a retail organization. Whether it was something to help quantify demographic data about the people in your store through facial recognition or providing a dashboard page of insights from your chain, this was the first big trend I noticed.
The other really significant things that I noticed revolved around mobile and local. A surprising number of companies demoed mobile versions of their software solutions or hardware point of sale accessories to meet the growing demands of the customer and take advantage of the latest in mobile technology. I was able to try Google Wallet for the first time after doing a project on it in school and got a chance to win some swag. This platform allows retailers to let customers easily pay for payments through NFC-enabled smartphones, but also sets up a system to allow local offers from participating retailers.
After some time on the floor, I went with the rest of my group to see the keynote speech from former President Bill Clinton. We went to a few other sessions before heading to tour Hugo Boss, arranged through an alumni at our school. My second day finished with a group dinner and the last day of exploring NYC on our own before heading home tomorrow.