From The Editor | December 8, 2016

2017 NRF BIG Show Predictions


By Erin Harris, editor-in-chief

NRF 2017

The New Year is almost here, which means the 2017 NRF BIG Show is almost here. The convention and expo, which will be held from January 15-17 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York, promises to deliver “Innovations, Connections, Solutions.” I’ll skip the noise of the who, what, and when — you know you’re in for insightful sessions and game-changing technologies as well as we do. From a prediction standpoint, however, here’s what I think we’ll see at the 2017 BIG Show.

In-Store Reboot

While we’re all in agreement that the store isn’t going away, its role in omni-channel and the customer journey is evolving — rapidly. Expect to learn about the ways savvy retailers are using innovative retail technologies and impactful customer analytics to revitalize the store and transform it into a hub that inspires deep brand affinity and fosters business agility. Keep your eyes and ears open for ways to boost in-store traffic, which goes hand-in-hand with improvements around labor allocation, schedule integration, incentives, and store performance benchmarking.

Predictive Artificial Intelligence

I dedicated plenty of ink to artificial intelligence (AI) in the November/December issue of Innovative Retail Technologies for a reason. Many retailers leverage AI to better understand, connect with, and create superior experiences for consumers. I anticipate more than a few conversations, sessions, and technologies dedicated to AI.