The store of the future: top trends and technologies from NRF 2015

At the start of the year, most industries wonder what their sector will look like in 12 months’ time. Luckily, retail doesn’t have long to wait – we were treated to an insight at NRF’s Big Show, which took place in New York City this month.

The store took centre stage at this year’s event, as retailers pondered how the world’s online obsession will continue to shape bricks-and-mortar shopping. It also provided an opportunity to see how technology vendors are pushing the boundaries, and blending the advantages of digital and physical shopping in a reconfigured retail experience.

There were hundreds of ideas and solutions to choose from, but here are our top NRF technology takeaways that are set to shape shopping in 2015:

Interactive displays

This cutting-edge solution reacts to consumers selecting goods from the shelf, changing the graphics on display to provide further product information. All activity is fed back to the retailer, providing comprehensive analysis of how shoppers interact with items around their store.

Connected glass

Building on the capabilities of interactive displays, connective glass enables consumers to select products to view and research virtually, and even send an item to the fitting room or checkout. It’s worth checking out Kate Spade’s pop-up pilot to see how ecommerce retailers are using this technology to venture offline.

MerryMirror

Gone are the days of looking over your shoulder to view the back of an outfit with Neiman Marcus and MemoMi Labs’ innovation. This smart mirror enables shoppers to view their outfits through 360 degrees, and save those images to compare with other items, send clips to their phone or share with friends for feedback.

Alternative ways to pay

The final point in the store purchasing journey is a hot topic in 2015. From biometrics to wearables and mobile wallets, technology vendors are looking to find the next development in consumer payments. One solution worth mentioning from NRF – even though it’s still in its infancy – is Touchless Commerce by Toshiba. This uses facial recognition technology to scan the items in a shopper’s basket and the customer’s face, before charging goods to the credit card linked to the facial profile.

For more insights into the future of bricks and mortar retail, read our blog: The store isn’t just a shop anymore – it’s a theatre of dreams.