This year’s NRF Retail’s BIG, held at the Javits Convention Centre in New York, showcased the latest and cutting edge technology and solutions that will power the retail landscape in the year and years to come.
It’s certainly been an eye opening week on what’s possible in the e-commerce and retail space, not because I had no idea of what to expect, but rather seeing things live, in action.
NRF‘s (National Retail Federation) Retail’s BIG Show 2017 included a massive exhibitor showroom, featuring over 500 exhibits, reflecting the solutions to the challenges that retailers are facing everyday, ranging from beacons to big data, from payments to predictive analytics, from RFID (radio frequency identification) to robotics, and much more.
When I was able to tear myself away from the exhibitor floor, I took advantage of the insightful content the show had to offer, including breakout and educational sessions, keynote sessions and a few social activities (what better place than the big apple), involving over 300 speakers and top heads in retail, all designed to find solutions to retail challenges.
This year’s event saw 35,000 attendees representing 95 countries from around the globe, which makes NRF’s BIG Show the largest of its kind in the world.
The star attraction of the show was Virgin’s Sir Richard Branson, who shared his insights from a life full of adventure, entrepreneurship, philanthropy and leadership, around his success building an empire synonymous with disruption. He attracted a fat crowd during his keynote address on Monday.
Australian online fashion retailer Shoes of Prey also proved popular, with co-founder Jodie Fox stealing a bit of limelight on day one of the show, with her address on tailoring the 21st century customer experience. It was great to see an Aussie brand so well received on a global scale, and regarded as a true leader and pioneer in the mass customisation sector.
One key observation that continually popped up throughout the event for me, was the respect our Australian e-commerce brands have garnered, not only in the retail landscape as a whole, but on a global scale as well. It was fantastic to hear the buzz surrounding the success and inspiration around some of our local online retailers from event attendees from around the world, including Woolworths, Nourished Life and Mon Purse were mentioned as well.
The convergence of online and offline retail was a consistent theme at the conference this year, as well as mobile commerce, personalising the customer experience and appealing to the social consumer. Artificial intelligence, virtual reality, big data, evolving consumer behaviour, digital transformation and predictive analytics were other key focus points for e-commerce in 2017, amongst others.
I’ll be rolling out more of the highlights of NRF’s 2017 Retail’s BIG Show over the next couple weeks, so watch this space.