The future is here.
Todd Leggett, CEO, 3SI Security Systems
As a sponsor of the 2019 D&D Daily “Live in NYC” conference series, I had the opportunity to walk the show and experience first-hand the technologies I believe are transforming the breadth and scope of the retail industry.
With over 38,000 attendees and nearly one thousand exhibitors from close to 100 countries, this year’s show made it abundantly clear that retail isn’t just alive, it’s thriving.
The lean years that led to the demise of Sears, Radio Shack and Toys R Us in a haze of bankruptcies and liquidations have subsided. Smart retailers have re-imagined the retail experience, striking a balance between physical and digital to create newly immersive customer experiences…they understand the need to give people a reason to come to a store versus shopping online.
AI Is Still the New Sexy
Artificial Intelligence is no longer an emerging technology: it’s here. While many retailers struggle with how to practically implement machine learning to scale, companies like Alibaba with its Freshippo display demonstrated just how AI can be used to deliver a highly personalized customer experience. Powered by mobile, the membership-based market uses in-store automation to make recommendations to members based on previous buying patterns, what’s in season and on sale. While the application of AI will likely vary by retailer, one thing’s for certain: its use will only continue to increase.
The Internet of Retail Things
Retailers are using IoT to help optimize business on the front end and back dock. From automated checkouts that streamline point-of-sale transactions, to RFID and GPS sensors that use IOT to obtain more precise data like temperature and time-in-transit, the number of retail devices that connect to the internet is on the uptick. In fact, it’s been stated that by the year 2025 the potential economic impact of OIT in retail environments will range from $410 billion to $1.2 trillion per year.
E-commerce is Dying…Somewhat
When experts predicted the death of brick-and-mortar, I doubt they foresaw the synergy of online and in-store joining forces to create a seamless retail experience, all driven by data. Supermarkets like Kroegers share recipes with customers via a mobile app. Online giants like Amazon & Missguided have retail locations that defy typical retail setups and encourage social engagement by sharing customer-generated content. The mall hasn’t died, in fact it now has a web address and social media accounts. Online shops are no longer a shot into the ether — many of these stores have become bonafide household names with legitimate return policies and physical retail locations.
If I learned anything at this year’s show, it’s that technology has allowed today’s retailer to breakdown walls and create a seamless, more customer-driven shopping experience across multiple channels.
As a sponsor of the LP reception @ NRF Big Show, I had the opportunity to hear Fausto Pichardo, NYPD Assistant Chief, Patrol Services Bureau discuss the city’s war on retail crime. He went on to mention how law enforcement had integrated the GPS devices of a well-known tracking and tracing company into their Retail Crimes Unit, and the success that they’ve experienced in apprehending numerous criminals and recovering a substantial amount of stolen inventory. It wasn’t until he mentioned the well-known heists that I realized…he’s talking about 3SI! I wanted to raise my hand and ask, “What’s the name of that company again?” but instead I whispered to anyone within earshot, “He’s talking about us!” “ I am the CEO of the Company!”