Event Recap: Retail News From NRF’s BIG Day 2015

The NRF’s BIG Day is a little like CES for retail: there are big tech announcements, thought-leading keynotes, and large showcases at New York’s Jacob Javits Center. Here’s a recap of a few of the larger news reveals:

  • NCR is releasing a new touchscreen pay kiosk, called SelfServ 90. With a small and nimble form, it’s meant to upgrade the self-service checkout experience. Wincor Nixdorf also premiered its new moPOS system, as did Panasonic.

  • Panasonic also premiered PowerShelf, an electronic shelving unit equipped with beacons that can be enabled for both advertising and inventory management.

  • Lots of partnerships this week: Samsung is integrating with tagging/payment system PowaTag. Gimbal, which is also premiering its new Series 21 Beacon, is partnering with audio recognition giant Shazam and mobile offers solution Koupon Media.

  • Spearheading the intersection between retail and tech, Intel has a big booth this year. It is showcasing beacon solutions, mobile payments, a Beef-o-Brady tabletop tablet payment implementation for Beef-o-Bready, its SteadyServ iKeg system for intelligent bar inventory, and its Memory Mirror apparel virtualization tech (on display at Neiman Marcus).

  • IBM released a suite of sales apps, called MobileFirst. Developed by Cognitive Scale, the apps will be Sales Assist (for customer acquisition + management), and Pick & Pack (smart inventory via beacon integration).

Stay tuned for more product news—this is only the beginning of retail innovation in 2015.

iOS 8 Credit Card Scanner To Boost Mcommerce

iOS 8 has a new feature which will use your iPhone camera to scan credit card information for more seamless purchasing online. What’s more is that website developers do not need to enable the feature as Safari will activate it whenever a credit card is requested and prompt users to scan within the keypad. According to eMarketer, more than 19% of US retail ecommerce will be on mobile devices in 2014. Expect this development to boost purchases from the mobile web in the future.

Gen Z Week: Vogue Tests Instagram Commerce

We have continued to see the purchase funnel being squeezed at both ends as companies strive to satisfy consumers’ need for instant gratification. Content and commerce used to be different, but now we are starting to see the two come together as is the case with Vogue’s recent entry into Instagram commerce.

Utilizing rewardStyle’s adtech tools, Vogue users can effectively “add to cart” by liking product photos on the Vogue’s account. It’s a great affiliate marketing program as Vogue can leverage their influence to drive purchases on behalf of their retail partners, receiving as much as 20% commission rate on sales.  According to rewardStyle, the new offering has generated 1.5 million emails per day across it’s 100,000 account which include Vogue.

Why It Matters For Gen Z

Only 23% of teens now see Facebook as the most important social network, down from 33% six months ago, and 42% from last year. And though status updates are on the wane, teens are gravitating to a more visual web, sharing photos and images to Instagram and Pinterest. To Gen Z, photos represent an authentic visual cue to illustrate a more real version of life. More importantly, they don’t like to be sold to directly so leveraging an affiliate like Vogue lends credibility to retailers. While Instagram has yet to prove its value for brands, testing the waters is critical to engage a generation that is not married to any one platform or service.


Nordstrom Highlights Product Popularity With Pinterest

Many restaurants use Yelp or Zagat stickers as validations of their quality – displaying reviews on their windows functions as social evidence for customers looking for a dinner. Nordstrom is hoping that they can create an equivalent system for retail commerce via Pinterest. The store is tagging some of its most pinned items with the Pinterest logo in-store. It’s a way of telling customers that people want the product, as well as a way of indexing its digital popularity. The company has posted photos and instagrams of the experiment; so far its only in select stores, but it will be interesting to hear from customers in the near future whether or not they are more likely to purchase a Pinterest-tagged item. 

Ordering Pizza On Xbox? Why Not!

The day you have been waiting for is here. You can now order pizza through Xbox Live alleviating your need to ever leave the couch. The new partnership between Pizza Hut and Xbox brings a dedicated app that lets users build, purchase and share your pizza order using voice commands, gesture control or the controller. While the app may sounds a little odd, it is the first of its kind to enable physical purchases within the platform. Time will tell if Xbox commerce will gain some traction or if people will simply rely on mobile devices.

Square Releases Virtual Gift Cards

Just in time for the Holidays, Square is introducing a virtual gift card that integrates seamlessly with its wallet app.  You can search by category to find a local business and then send the gift along with a personal message that’s delivered via email.  The receiver then has the gift saved in their mobile wallet.  It’s a pretty great user experience and another impressive move in a banner year for Square.