NRF Retail's BIG SHOW 2016 Wrap Up


NRF 2016Lightwell team members were among the more than 33,000 attendees at the National Retail Foundation (NRF) Retail’s BIG SHOW 2016 in New York City. The Javits Center exhibit halls, ballrooms, and smaller session rooms were swelled to capacity with retailers, technology vendors, and other industry thought leaders and innovators.

Large conferences can be overwhelming, to say the least, so it’s important to focus on networking and coming away with a few great kernels of knowledge, a connection, or a new way of better meeting the needs of your customers.

One resource we really appreciated this year was the just-released NRF—Fit for Commerce Omnichannel Retail Index. This report provides insight into a recent study of 120 retailers across the web, mobile, and in-store. It provides a benchmark to help retailers evaluate their omnichannel initiatives. The Lightwell Blog will be diving deeper into particular parts of this report in the coming weeks.  Many attending organizations reviewed Retail's Big Show 2016. Here's a review of their reviews, if you will:

The NRF event organizers just posted a new video, Retail's BIG Show 2016 Recap. Check it out for highlights of the innovative technology, sessions, and speakers presented at what has become the must-attend event for the retail industry.

CGT (Consumer Goods Technology) published an article, “What Suppliers Need to Know about NRF 2016” that laid out all the meaty takeaways for those in the consumer goods industry, including:

  • The integration of point solutions

  • The potential of RFID

  • Technology companies forming powerful partnerships

  • Omnichannel, omnichannel, omnichannel

  • The growth of mobile payment technology

  • Shopping in virtual reality

IBM Insights on Business published a pre-show article, “1001 Things to Love about #NRF16” that previewed happenings like the Big Idea sessions and the 6:30am yoga class. (Was that you in the front row, texting while doing the warrior pose?) One Big Idea session, “What’s next? Retail 2025,” included important research from IBM about how retail best practices inform your retail decisions moving forward.

IBM’s post-show SlideShare deck, NRF 2016: Top 5 Trends from Retail’s Big Show, delivered as promised. Our favorite key takeaway for technology vendors: “Innovation must be driven by customers’ needs and wants.” As a provider of IBM Commerce solutions, we at Lightwell couldn’t agree more. Every retailer’s circumstances and challenges are different and selecting the right ecommerce solutions is one way to recognize and celebrate those differences.

Tamara McCleary's blog provides an interesting overview of robotic attendants, at-home wardrobe production, and other future retail trends previewed at NRF.

And, finally, Supply Chain Digest had a reporter on the scene for the Retail’s Big Show. The Day 1 report gave an overview of technology displayed at the exhibit hall, including the across-the-board focus on the cloud and mobile solutions. According to Dan Gilmore, it’s all about multi-channel commerce. Day 2 introduced other new technology solutions and summarized some of the newsworthy sessions from the previous day, including one where a Walmart executive estimated that the company would increase its sourcing from US manufacturers by $50B over the next 10 years. And finally, the online pub posted a wrap up of key themes and trends from NRF16, including the importance of weeding through the clutter of available ecommerce solutions

Did you go to Retail’s Big Show? What were your key takeaways?

If you attended NRF, you may be interested in the following report. Click to get more information and to download. 

Fit For Commerce and Lightwell - Surviving Omnichannel Order Compleixities