NRF 2017: applying innovation and virtual reality to retail

  • Posted on January 10, 2017


With the holiday season over the retail world now enters its prediction season; everywhere you turn you can see lists of the top retail trends of 2017. While some of those predictions are less likely to happen than my resolution to give up wine for the month of January others are already happening. Rather than release a stale list of predictions, Avanade is going to show where the industry is heading in 2017 by demonstrating several innovative solutions at the National Retail Federation’s Big Show (known as NRF) next week in New York Twitter [CLICK TO TWEET].

As in years past, Accenture and Avanade will be hosting our Digital Retail Innovation Lab at the Javits Center in New York City during NRF. The invite-only event will highlight several areas where we see retailers investing to improve digital customer and employee experiences. Those trends generally fall into three areas: Lifestyle Shopping, Virtual Reality, and Workforce Management. The interactive lab will feature multiple examples of technologies within each area.

The Lifestyle trends include technologies that enable immersive in-store experiences which enable retailers to create unique environments that reflect the goals and philosophical preferences of their customers. While nascent in 2016, virtual reality technologies such as Hololens are ready to go big in 2017, we’ll be showing how wearables and digital assistants – technologies ready for deployment now – can be used to enhance in-store and online shopping.

Recent Avanade research reveals the business impact of customer experiences on your bottom line. The greatest retail experiences have great people behind them; improving the training, scheduling and staffing of sales associates is something we see as a major trend area in 2017 and we’ll be showing how Accenture’s concept of liquid labor can keep staff engaged and improve sales as a result.

If you aren’t attending NRF this year or weren’t able to schedule a time in the Innovation Lab there’s no worry: Avanade will be bringing our retail solutions to Microsoft’s Technology Centers across North America early in the year and we’ll be showcasing our retail innovation at a number of retail roundtables we have planned in Europe. You can also visit our NRF 2017 Avanade site where we will be posting videos from NRF Retail’s Big Show 2017.

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