Once the dust settles from Black Friday doorbusters and end-of-year clearance sales, retailers — and the tech vendors that work with them — gather in New York City for the BIG Show, the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) Annual Convention and EXPO.
Every year, the NRF EXPO offers intriguing glimpses into where the future of retail technology is heading, and this year was no exception. For 2015, I noted several big trends with the potential to revolutionize how retailers engage with and delight their customers. They included the following:
Consumer research reveals that even though tech-savvy shoppers do a significant amount of their buying online, they still love the in-store shopping experience. Intelligent endless aisle solutions enable retailers to offer the best of both worlds with self-service kiosks that expand inventory selection to include not only product in store, but also product in other retail locations. Advances in design for the classic PC have ignited innovation within retail solutions. In addition to the traditional tower design, new PC categories including All-in-One and Mini PC are enabling manageable and engaging virtual merchandizing solutions that easily tap into a store’s ecommerce systems to give customers a convenient way to explore an infinite array of additional products, sizes, colors, and options and arrange for fast home delivery.
Store signage has taken a huge leap forward with 4K ultra-high-definition (UHD) displays. With four times higher resolution than 1080p HD, 4K displays are not only capable of blowing customers’ minds with stunning detail and color, but, as part of a digital signage solution, they also allow retailers to offer customers richer shopping experiences with dynamic, personalized promotions and immersive, interactive displays throughout their stores.
3D Meets VR
Another recent breakthrough pushing retail solutions into the next dimension is the ability to capture 3D images. Intel RealSense 3D cameras make it increasingly easy to scan anything from auto parts to xylophones in highly detailed 3D, and give customers a more complete and appealing view of products.
Meanwhile, augmented reality solutions such as MemoryMirror enable Neiman Marcus and other clothing retailers to offer large screen digital fitting rooms that delight their customers with virtual try-ons, 360-degree views, and the ability to remember and share outfits.
A common thread linking all of these emerging retail solutions is how they utilize the performance and versatility of today’s Tower, Mini, and All-in-One PCs to blur the lines between online and in-store to offer customers consistently outstanding experiences everywhere.
Want more trends and highlights from retail’s BIG Show? Visit Intel’s NRF 2015 page.
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