Retail Tech: What to Expect at NRF Big Show 2016

At last year’s NRF Big Show, the upcoming EMV mandate was top of mind for retailers. There is no doubt that customer data security will remain a huge focus for retailers this year. We also expect mobility to be a big focus as retailers look for tools to boost efficiencies and customer engagement. Check out our predictions for NRF 2016 below:

Mobility and Big Data Driving Operational Profits in 2016

According to Forrester, tools such as in-store analytics and associate task management are ushering in a new era of store efficiency, using real-time insights to help associates understand what needs to get done and when. Research already supports the revenue opportunities available to retailers with the use of big data. According to McKinsey, big data provides retailers with a potential operating margin increase of more than 60 percent. Be on the lookout for the next generation mobility tools that harness this data to increase sales and improve the customer experience.

Customer Personalization

Accenture recently published a report that found nearly 60 percent of consumers want real-time promotions, showing the level of personalization they have come to expect. However, a balance must be struck as the data privacy and security customers expect comes into question when the information needed to deliver those promotions requires their shopping habits and location within the store. Only 14 percent want to share their browsing history according to the same Accenture report, with just 20 percent wanting retailers to know their current location. Retailers at NRF 2016 will be looking for new tools to drive the level of engagement customers desire while protecting customer privacy.

Widespread Mobile Payment Acceptance

With the introduction of NFC (near-field communication) payments into the retail environment, they will slowly become a standard feature of any retail outlet in the near future. NFC-enabled phones surpassed 1 billion at the end of this past year and are anticipated to reach 1.9 billion by 2018, putting more pressure on retailers to provide the experience they want. With EMV payments now in the fold in the U.S. and MSR (magnetic stripe reader) technology still a part of the payment landscape, be on the lookout for mobility solutions that accept all three forms of payments. By accepting a wide variety of payment options, retailers won’t miss out on potential income by not permitting use of a given customer’s payment method preference.

Panasonic will be highlighting a number of new technologies at the 105th annual NRF Big Show booth #2753, including new mPOS, rugged tablet devices and Clearview by Panasonic, a highly flexible and scalable web-based back office software. These new solutions will target retailers of various sizes as well as supermarkets, table service restaurants, quick serve restaurants (QSR) and more, providing them with mobility tools that can drive profits and tailor customer experiences in 2016.