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Showcasing retail technologies at the NRF 2018 Big Show

  • Posted on December 1, 2017
  • Estimated reading time 3 minutes
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The National Retail Federation (NRF) calls its annual January conference and expo “The Big Show” for a reason. The scale is enormous! Over 35,000 attendees from 3,500 companies in 95 countries spending three days in New York City finding out everything there is to know about retail. And it’s not just retailers anymore. Consumer goods and services companies are well-represented, too. 

Over the last few years, Avanade has developed its own unique approach to making our presence known at NRF. We have our own setup off the main expo floor, where we take invited guests on a tour through a series of demonstrations showing how the cutting edge in retail technology is already here (or just around the corner). We also have a lounge area that can provide a much-needed respite from the hustle and bustle of the Expo floor. Why not stop by, relax and exchange some ideas with me, our retail experts from around the globe and colleagues from our parent organizations, Accenture and Microsoft.  And this year we’ve added a meeting space as well, for private one on one and small group conversations. 

The preparation for our Lab experience starts months in advance of the January event. It is almost a year-round process, as we learn about and refine the latest information related to retail and turn it into informative and provocative scenarios that not only enlighten our invitees but also drive some lively conversation. This year, we’re building on and digging further into some ideas we first introduced last year about how the retail industry can better operationalize their use of data across the board, from customer interactions to employee engagement to back office efficiencies. The result is a series of demonstrations in our Lab that show how technologies such as machine learning, artificial intelligence, augmented and virtual reality are readily available and usable for retailers to enhance both customer and employee in-store experiences. We’ve learn that the way to do this is through a platform approach that incorporates the best of our partnerships (see Avanade’s Tech Vision for Retail report as a primer on this topic) with companies such as Akumina, K3, DemandJump, Sitecore, Swirl and, of course, Microsoft as the foundational technology for all of it. 

Come see us at our Digital Retail Lab on the fourth floor of the Javits Center. If you are interested in signing up for a tour, contact Lis Cannon, our events manager for The Big Show! I hope to see and talk to you there. And if you’re not attending NRF this year or aren’t able to schedule a time to tour our Digital Retail Lab, we will be posting video versions of all the demonstrations on our NRF 2018 Avanade site during the event.

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