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[Study Trip] The Experts @ Retail’s Big Show #NRF17 in New York

8 minutes

From Vegas to New York…

They just came back from Las Vegas where they explored from head to toes the #CES17, looking for the latest innovations.
They are now coming back from New York for the 2017 edition of the emblematic Retail’s Big Show #NRF17, THE place to visit to discover all the innovations for retail. Echangeur goes there for several year now. This study trip is also the opportunity to visit the latest innovative concept stores big apple has to offer in order to offer you new decodings both detailed and inspiring.

Discover the video summary of this learning expedition :

We invite you to follow their learning expedition here and you can also get a live vision on @echangeur


DAY 1 : First visit to the Retail’s Big Show #NRF17

Day 1 at #NRF17

Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality… are certainly the 2 major trends of this 2017 edition !
In terms of technologies, we spotted again this year connected fitting rooms, blockchain as well as conneted cars. On this topic, General Motors now allows its drivers to shop and drive at the same time …

At conferences, the accent has been placed on client experience / UX  on all forms : from concept stores focusing on offering life experiences and emotions to their visitors to social ecosystems generating loyalty thanks to the analysis of the data collected online and offline.

The Debrief of this first day by Nicolas Diacono, Techno Trends Expert @ Echangeur

“Welcome to this 1st débrief of #NRF17.

A very intense first day at the Retail’s Big Show. It all started on sunday morning with the classic but very inspiring conferences.
From them, we can extract the impact of digital influence on sales in physical stores. Indeed more than 50% of offline sales have been influenced by online activities beforehand. Beside, e-commerce in the USA, remains at approximately 8% or market shares.  

On the show, one of the major trend was AI, as many booths were presenting solutions using Arificial intelligence. We didn’t see Alexa from Amazon (unlike CES) but we saw Watson from IBM, that tries hard to gain market share on Amazon… to be continued…

Also, Blockchain is clearly one of the trend of this edition, especially on topics linked to logistic and authentification of transactions.

Besides, Virtual Reality  becomes more and more concrete with solutions to shop in VR but also to test merchandising or product placement.

Finally the latest trend this year is the growth of the Innovation Lab around themes like robotics and Chatbots dedicated to retail.

In store in NYC, we discovered a few great concept stores. For example, the Nike store in Soho is definitely a must see as it focuses on the product testing in store. The visitor can easily try any of the products of the brand, such as Basketball, before buying them. We noticed that, here, digitalization of the stores is now being replaced by offering experiences and product testing. We want to make the client live unique experiences.”



DAY 2 : After the conferences,  focus on the tradeshow and the exhibitors of the Retail’s Big Show #NRF17

day2 @ #NRF17


The Debrief of this second day by Guillaume Rio, Techno & Partnership Manager @ Echangeur

“Hello and welcome to this 2nd debriefing session of the NRF Retail’s Big Show.
As you can see behind me, today is a very busy day here on the tradeshow. There are more than 500 exhibitors at the Retail’s Big Show.
This year there is a major trend around 
IoT. We observed very interesting solutions of image recognition, of logistic and RFID. This allows the stores to be much more intelligent and to anticipate the needs of its clients.

1st example of a fluid customer experience, seen on the worldline booth :
You enter a store, a chatbot welcomes you. Then you can start a discussion with it. It will suggest products that you might like. If these products interest you then it will launch a map of the store to guide you to the product so that you can find them in the store very easily. If you require more information, you can simply use the image recognition to obtain the price, the type of fabric or to know if the product is in stock.
Then you want to buy the product, but you really don’t want to waste time at the cash register… just go directly to a mini counter and scan the product with your mobile. There you can unlock the security device and pay. This is a great way to simplify the payment and therefore make the customer save time.   

A 2nd example also very interesting are tools for merchandising allowing the store to be much more reactive to the needs of visitors. We saw a lot of robots like Bossanova or Tally which are dedicated to merchandising. Thank to captors, they can help you optimize your merchandising in a few seconds as well as know you stocks in real time. Besides these robots, we observed drones fo merchandising such as Shelfie that tells you if a product is available in store in real time. Through the app of the store, the client will know if the product he is looking for is in stock and it totally avoid the client to be disappointed.  

Yesterday we talked about the fear of retailers towards Amazon and especially Amazon Echo. Today Levi’s announced the opening of a store 100% RFID, that will be in pilot mode in 2017. Also we know that Levi’s partnered last year with Google to create connected clothes. These clothes can communicate with the customers and when they are worn out it can facilitate the renewal by placing the order.  

Finally we notice food players like Target or Natural Food, taht created their own hub, which allow them to know exactly what is in your fridge and which can then place orders directly on their websites. This is a response to Amazon Alexa which is everywhere and of which everyone talks about. 

See you tomorrow for the 3rd debrief.”


DAY 3 : Exploration of the latest concept stores in town !

day3 @ NYC NRF17


Le Débrief de cette 3ème journée par Nicolas Diacono, Techno Trends Expert et Guillaume Rio, Techno & Partnership Manager @ Echangeur

Good morning everyone and welcome to this 3rd debriefing session of the Study Trip of Echangeur in New York City for the #NRF17.
As you can see today we are in the temple of shopping, in the famous Westfield Oculus, World Trade Center. Obviously here, we will talk about stores !

First big observation is that stores are very well connected, such as Aldo, with big screens allowing the customers to scan directly the pairs of shoes, to then try them on, check availability in the store as well as checking stocks in nearby stores. Also there is True Religion Store, where Apple watch is being used by all floor staff as a real selling tool, giving them access to clients’ data (purchase records, etc…). They also have screens to present the various product ranges available in the store.

However, even if these 2 stores are very connected with beacons, it seems to us that there are several limitations to this infrastructure. It indeed requires that the client has turned on his Bluetooth on his mobile and also that he has the application of the store installed on his device… These factors reduce the possible reach of geofencing of these 2 stores.

Besides, we got confirmation of the trend that we talked about on the 1st day : this is clearly the experience in store that matters and is on top of retailers’ mind. We mentioned it with Nike Store, where we could test the product on real play ground in store. We also tested Pirch, where customers can test any of the products, even take a bath or a shower.
Customizing is also still very strong here and it evolves each year offering new dimensions. New Balance or Converse are both very good examples of this trend. At Converse, you can create your own unique pair of sneakers, on which you can customize each of the various parts one by one, then launch production and then you will receive your pair within the next 3 weeks directly at home. This is Big trend that we also observed at the Retail’s Big Show this year.

This customization and adaptation to the clients’ needs is surely going to grow even stronger : Retailers now have access to dedicated platforms where they can integrate all these detection modules (beacons, facial recognition, etc…) This let us think that we are going towards a lively store, which will evolve according to the rhythm of customers : their movements in the store, their interactions with products, the weather…

Yesterday, we talked a lot about Amazon and of the innovations in terms of services. However, it clearly appears that physical stores still hold a lot of positive arguments and keeps reinventing itself. We will follow this trend very carefully and we will share our insights and analyses with you at the next edition of the event #CommerceReloaded on March, 2nd.

See you soon for the complete debrief and for a deep analysis of these 3 major events : Websummit 2016, CES 2017 and NRF 2017 !


To get your tickets for the event #CommerceReloaded 2017 (A complete session that includes : Conference, Report, Best of Techno booklet, Startups Village), book your seats here and benefit of the Early Bird price until 20/01/2017.


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