Last week, my colleague, Matt, wrote about his take on virtual reality’s (VR) presence at the recent NRF BIG Show. Just as we predicted, VR, augmented reality (AR), AI, and more were top technologies showcased on the Expo floor. We spent plenty of time scoping out these and other technologies developed to help retailers improve store performance, personalize the shopping experience, streamline the supply chain, etc. We also spent quite a bit of time talking one-on-one with retail executives about their biggest opportunities and strategies for achievement in the weeks and months ahead.
Indeed, two of our industry’s most forward-thinking executives, Dave Finnegan, chief customer officer at Orvis, and Scott Emmons, head of Neiman Marcus’ innovation lab, talked to me about their vision for their businesses. Finnegan explained that one of this year’s focal points is determining with nearly 100% accuracy how a product will perform. Emmons explained that he remains interested in incorporating the technologies that deliver a better customer experience inside the store. More than one SMR shared with me that they intend to update operational processes that will help them compete on a broader scale.