IT services and solutions for retail and hospitality

  • 11 Jan 2016

NRF Expo 2016

The Retail Assist team is gearing up for Retail’s biggest show in New York – NRF Expo is now less than a week away.

If you’re also heading out to New York and would like to meet up with our team members whilst there – Alan Morris, Borys Krywyj, Roger Bannister, Renato Pastorino and Alex Broxson – please get in touch. Just email to schedule a time to meet, or fill out our contact form here, and we will be in touch to arrange a meet up. We’ll be there surrounding all events beginning on Sunday 17th – Tuesday 19th January 2016.

It’s always great to see faces old and new at NRF Expo, so don’t be a stranger! And of course, if you’re a NY-first-timer, here’s a handy set of GIFs to make sure your city etiquette isn’t lost in translation!

Don’t confuse your East Side with your West Side…

Retail Assist NRF

In today’s blog we also wanted to bring you our predictions and expectations for some of the retail technology that might be on offer.


Last year, we were very impressed by the introduction of virtual reality to retail trade shows, in the form of Oculus Rift.

Retail Assist RBTE

With pre-sales of Oculus Rift headsets to the general public launching just last week, experts are predicting that the VR market sales could break the $1bn barrier in 2016.

The VR experience could bring a new angle to online shopping, by connecting it with the physical store in a virtual way. If VR develops a 4D sensory experience, or transactional functionality, the “you don’t have to be there to go there” concept changes the reality of the store completely.

With the age of Internet, online shopping revolutionised the retail world by providing customers with the convenient option to shop from the comfort of their own homes, removing the need to visit traditional brick and mortar shops via home delivery. However, taking this concept and adding VR technology could provide an immersive and sensory experience, replicating the feelings of walking down the high street on a Christmas shopping trip, from the cold breeze on your face, to the “theatre” of the busy store itself. With an interactive option to simply reach out and put the desired items into your virtual shopping basket, VR could in this way be set to replace the web/mobile/tablet site. If this is then available to the mass market, imagine the impact on omnichannel retailing.


Becoming a bit of a buzzword in 2015, the customer experience, or CX, is retailers’ top focus area in 2016, along with investing in retail tech infrastructure.

However, we don’t expect to see any fancy “tech for tech’s sake” gadgets that don’t really enhance CX in a meaningful way, such as magic mirrors. We’d love to see advances in personalisation, which truly differentiate the customer experience in a credible manner. Using data captured from purchase history, social media, and buying behaviour, retailers can use a consumer’s likes, dislikes and demographic information, to tailor targeted marketing campaign material in order to encourage more purchases.

Primarily, this is data analysis at its most sophisticated, but it’ll be interesting to see how it’s packaged up. Buzzwords come and go, but the concept remains the same.

What do you hope to see at NRF Expo this year? Or would you like to discuss some of our retail industry insights whilst in New York?

Just drop a comment in the box below to share your thoughts.


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