Every year, over 30,000 retail professionals — including CrownTV — gather in New York City to attend the National Retail Federation’s annual trade show, also known as Retail’s BIG Show. In 2017, 3,488 retail companies were represented, and 84 of the top 100 retail companies attended. It’s where the retail industry goes to see and be seen, network, learn and do some serious business.
The event attracts the movers and shakers of the industry, bringing new and emerging retail technologies to the forefront. This year was no different. Here are the five most innovative companies we encountered at NRF 2018.
There are many things consumers love about online shopping, but there are also things they love about shopping in a physical store. How can retailers give shoppers the best of both worlds? SES-imagotag strives to do so through its electronic shelf labels. Think of them like digital price tags, but with the power to do much than just telling shoppers how much something costs.
Each tag is connected via radio frequency to a price management software, allowing retailers to remotely adjust prices from the cloud. The tags can also display a QR code, allowing shoppers to scan the code from their phone and see product information, reviews, competitor prices and more. Consumers get to combine their favorite aspects of online shopping with the in-person, brick-and-mortar experience.
2. TLS International
Think of TLS International’s Power LED System product like a life-sized Lite-Brite. Considering how eye-catching the lighting fixtures are, the system is incredibly energy-efficient, lightweight, budget-friendly, long-lasting and easy to assemble. Their principle that “innovation is the key driver to continuous growth” keeps them creating the most cutting-edge LED technology. The lights are also dimmable and can be controlled via a variety of Bluetooth smartphone apps.
3. Google Cloud Platform
We all know Google, but what about their products beyond the world’s most widely used search engine? Google Cloud Platform enables retail and e-commerce businesses to move nearly their entire operation to the cloud. Its efficiency scales up to meet higher demand, then scales down automatically when it’s less needed – perfect for the seasonal nature of the retail industry. Personalization is also a key feature, employing Google’s powerful user analytics – the same big data and machine learning technology used by Google, in fact.
Utah-based business intelligence software Domo is an analytics “unicorn,” meaning one of the few Silicon Valley companies with a billion-dollar valuation. Founder and CEO Josh James spoke at NRF 2018 on how to run your entire business from your smartphone, inspired by the power of his company’s software. Domo allows you to access all of your business’ data on any device, but where the platform really shines is in its data visualization tools. Hundreds of apps are available for use within the platform, and businesses can create their own custom apps.
5. Apex Supply Chain Technologies
Do you hate waiting in line to buy something? Do you also like being able to order and purchase things from your smartphone? It’s safe to say we all do. Apex Supply Chain Technologies allows you to place an order on your phone, walk up to one of their AnyWhere™ Flow-Thru™ Lockers, scan your code and then grab your order. That’s it! The ideal application of the technology is at sports stadiums, allowing you to quickly order and grab refreshments without waiting in pesky long lines. Apex’s technologies are safe, self-serviced and fast, even in the age of Amazon Prime and instant gratification.
Interested in adding digital signage to your retail technology repertoire? Request a demo of CrownTV’s solutions today.