There’s no shortage of technology companies at the NRF “Big Show” at the Jacob K. Javits Center.
The chief executive officer of one of them, Intel’s Brian Krzanich led the keynote session “Driving Retail Transformation: How Data and Smart, Connected Technology Can Deliver Amazing Customer Experiences.”
Krzanich introduced new virtual reality, augmented reality and Internet of Things technology solutions to enhance logistics, improve inventory visibility and drive supply chain efficiencies.
If Krzanich sounded like a salesman delivering a pitch, it’s because he was.
There are 512 exhibitors at this year’s Big Show. About 33,000 retailers are attending the conference.
Intel was hardly the only company announcing new technology.
“In addition to reducing time spent communicating between associates, we’re also using the solution to improve the in-store experience for customers by locating desired products quickly and efficiently, said Kristi Allison, vice president of Last Call.
Satisfied Global Solutions revealed that Thomas Pink has deployed the Acuitas Digital Internet of Things platform, which helps retailers to digitize the physical store, at its Wall Street store.
Honeywell revealed that it will collaborate with Intel to develop new solutions for the retail industry to enhance logistics, improve inventory visibility and drive supply chain efficiencies.
“VR is a big focus for us,” Krzanich said. “It’s happening in retail now. Alibaba has used VR to give consumers the experience of being transported to a store.”
Krzanich next demonstrated VR helping a customer choose a new sofa by dropping different styles into his living room.
“What if we used VR to help retailers change the stores themselves,” Krzanich said as an associate was seen on screen standing in the aisle of a virtual store. A planographic appeared. “You can overlay data in the planogram to see if maybe you need to replace or move some of the lower-performing products,” Krzanich said, adding that retailers could realize a $15 savings in operational costs for every dollar they spend using the high-tech solution.
“VR is the tip of the iceberg,” Krzanich added. “I’m here to talk about a whole suite of options. Data can be unleashed. Technology is going to separate out those retailers that make it to the next transformative step.”
Intel’s new robot, Tally, can sweep the floors, check in-stocks, among other things.
“There’s a data gap in retail,” Krzanich said. “It costs retailers billions of dollars. They spend countless hours auditing shelves with minimal results. Tally works during normal store hours alongside staff and shoppers.”
Tally’s battery has a 12-hour life, and the robot will dock by itself when it’s out of juice.
“Advances in technology like AI can do repetitive tasks,” Krzanich introduced technology to streamline and improve accuracy in warehouses. “It allows sales associates to focus on what’s most important — customers, and for retailers to improve every aspect of their stores. You can reimagine your entire store from end-to-end and gather insights and respond to consumers’ needs in real time.”
A pop-up shop with an SAP application “maximizes retailers’ needs, Krzanich said. A pop-up shop or fashion kiosk had overhead cameras to map what customers choose and pick-up and leave behind.
“Responsive sensors enable cross-selling and up-selling,” Krzanich said. “Imagine how that could scale.”
Kraznich said keeping products and sizes in stock is more important than ever for brick-and-mortar retailers. Consumers can find styles and sizes online with ease.
“The consumer has choices,” he said. “She doesn’t have to settle. The stakes are higher now.”