While NRF 2022: Retail’s Big Show was very different this year due to COVID, it was still a show filled with meaningful conversations and strong display of innovation across the exhibit hall.
One thing that always excites me about NRF is that there are Ingenico solutions across the area. Whether in the dining and check-in facilities of the venue, my hotel or even on the train from Boston to NYC, it was great to see our solutions being used across a variety of use cases.
One constant I heard as I met with our customers, partners and the media at NRF was the increasing role technology is having on the customer experience. This is especially true for mid-tier and SMB merchants as technology moves down stream, making it easier to gain efficiencies for their business. This means that now retailers of any size have the ability to adjust and meet the evolving expectations of the consumer, and I find this as one of the more exciting takeaways from the show.
Here are three of the more interesting technology trends impacting retail that I observed during NRF this year:
1. Data Leads the Way to Innovation
Data and analytics continue to play in increasing role in how retailers manage their business. More companies than ever are realizing the power of the data they have available to them and the benefits this can provide to their merchant customers. For example, comparing historical inventory churn with other environmental factors, such as weather or economic data, and using this to provide context for real-time scenarios. When combined with other platforms, retailers will get a better and faster view of what’s happening. Seamlessly connecting these systems and platforms is the next big step for the ecosystem.
2. Self-Service Continues to Grow
During the pandemic, self-service was finally recognized as a safe and convenient way for consumers to continue to shop in stores without the need to interact directly with store associates. As self-service continues to evolve, we’ll begin to see it become more natural with how consumers will shop. This can be seen with the Amazon Go store, like we saw at the Javits Center, This is also seen in vending, another form of self-service, where retailers are realizing the value of enabling new purchasing experiences where they traditionally wouldn’t have a footprint.
3. Rethinking the Checkout Lane
Retailers are now more than ever rethinking how they leverage their floor space, including checkout lanes, to deliver on customer expectations more efficiently. While the traditional checkout counter won’t be disappearing any time soon, more retailers are leveraging mobility and self-service solutions to enable checkout at other checkpoints around the store to enable customers to check out when they’re ready, where they’re ready. As a consumer, this is one area that I always take advantage of.
Consumer Technology Leads the Way
Consumer technology continues to evolve at a rapid pace, shaping their expectations for all of their interactions, whether personal, at work or shopping. To keep pace with these evolving expectations, retailers need to keep pace with these changes. Consumers no longer see channels when they interact with a merchant – they just see one experience. The retailers that recognize this shift, and leverage the technology to solve for it, will be the ones securing customer loyalty and higher basket sizes.
If you attended NRF and saw other trends you’d like to discuss, feel free to share them in the comments. IF you’d like to learn more about how Ingenico is helping enable the payments ecosystem for a more agile retail experience, drop us a line.
Bradford Giles is the Senior Vice President of Marketing and Sales Enablement, North America at Ingenico, a Worldline brand