The annual NRF Big Show is taking place this week in New York City, attracting thousands of retail leaders and innvoators from around the world. We've toured the exhibit hall and sessions to bring you the top items we think are changing the retail game in 2016.
Digital Cooler Displays
Ok, this company is cool. Emotive Digital is headquartered out of Seoul, Korea and may change the future of grocery and convenience shopping. This company creates digital displays on coolers and can show different messages based on a person's proximity, interests and mood. The display is interactive, so shoppers can look up a suggested product's nutritional information, recipe ideas and more. What's really unique is that it also includes full metrics analysis tracking everything from your facial expressions to what products are selected out of the display (shown below).
If what they're showing you is displeasing, they can switch up the product or messaging. The smart combination of proximity marketing, interactive features and ability to read facial expressions could really be a game changer.
Robot Sales Associates
Businesses like RobotLab have been testing how consumers will react to robot's in-store. They've created a robot sales associate that listens and reacts to the consumer while they are speaking, such as turning their face toward you and responding in a friendly way to engage shoppers and provide assistance. It's fun to think of what this may mean for the future and how consumers can be helped in-store if they don't necessarily want to interact with people.
Apple Watch Clienteling Applications
True Religion has put clienteling applications by Aptos on the Apple Watch so store associates can engage with customers conveniently and subtly from their wrist. This removes the need to carry and store an iPad to access the same applications and allows the associate to pull up relevant customer data and preferences immediately. The application is able to interact with in-store displays and associates are able to scan barcodes to get in-store credit for the sale. This level use of clienteling helps associates to engage with customers that are bringing digital devices in-store and solves the attribution cross channel problem retailers are facing today. Keep a look out, we expect to see more of this in the future!
3-D Technology is here to stay and we expect the innovations to go leaps and bounds in the coming years. Designers like Iris van Herpen are already testing the waters by printing 3-D textiles. The possibility of customizing fashion and manufacturing on the fly with 3-D printing is huge. While 3-D printing is currently in its infancy, in the future it could mean mass customization at a retail store, drawing people in-store for an experiential element not available anywhere else. This could be wildly successful for fast fashion and mass merchant retailers. In an age where retailers are trying to brainstorm new ways to bring people into the physical store, experience is key. In-store customization has been a successful strategy for retailers like Converse and we expect the same with fashion retailers. Using 3-D printing in-store is something your customers could do to make each product their own, each shopping experience unique and have a lot of fun with it.