Article | January 26, 2016

5 Words Most Heard At NRF 2016

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Jim Roddy

By Jim Roddy, president, Business Solutions magazine and Innovative Retail Technologies magazine

NRF 2016

NRF 2016 was in my rear view mirror when I caught a late shuttle bus Jan. 19, but it’s taken me a full week to assemble and analyze my copious notes from the event. I just quickly searched what I jotted down, and these five words appeared the most often:

Customer: I saw several solutions aimed at improving the customer experience, specifically mobile engagement and associate assistance. Another hot topic was customer loyalty solutions.

Mobile: Mobile-centric, mobile engagement, mobile-first, mobile device management, mobile shopping, and mobile security all show up in my notes.

Innovation: I brought this word with me to all my meetings as the President of Innovative Retail Technologies magazine (and Business Solutions magazine). But I heard it right back quite often. The loudest was Glory Global Solutions with the word “innovation” three times in the first three lines of its company description.

Data: Now that every retailer is able to gather Big Data, the question this year was what to do with it. I saw more new data analytics companies at NRF 2016 compared with past years.

Personalization: Tying in with my prior point, those analytics companies are driving personalized marketing for retailers. And tying in with my second point, I heard frequently “mobile must be personalized.”