Technology Insights from Day 2 NRF Expo 2019 | #NRF2019 | Retail Assist Vlog

Hello and welcome to day two of our
coverage from the NRF Big Show here in New York. Today we’ve got more highlights
from the show and expert opinion from Andrew Busby. Here we go… We’ve just seen a different take on a
digital display with a holographic LED system in the Innovation Lab here at
NRF. Go and take a look… We’ve seen a couple of robotics examples
at the show. One of these is with Fresh Hippo and Alibaba, where consumers go into a restaurant, order their food via QR device on their phone and then it
gets delivered to their table by these guys. We spoke to HERO about how their mobile
application is allowing shoppers through their website to talk directly to store
associates to show them product, get more information and ultimately help to
increase conversions. HERO is a way for online customers to be able to chat to
associates on the shop floor. So there’s two main parts to HERO, there’s the
application which associates on the shop floor download and then there’s the part
which sits on the website that the customer interacts with. So I’ll give you
a quick demo – you can see in the associate view I’m now available – it’s
really easy to go unavailable so it means that associates, it’s all within
their control when they want to go available, when it’s quiet on the shop
floor, there’s no physical customers around and it means that a customer can
then – who’s browsing on the retailer’s website – can then start to chat and
interact with whoever is available. So I’ll start a quick chat. They will then get routed to their
closest available associates so we always want to make sure you’re routed
geographically to whichever stores you’re going to be able to visit
afterwards. So you can see associates then get a countdown and they’re
connected with that customer. So straightaway I can see what my customer
has been viewing on the website so I can use that to really tailor-make my
recommendations and make sure that I’m recommending, you know, the right style,
the right price points and then I can simply just start typing. We’ve designed
it to be incredibly intuitive and there’s a whole host of features here
that I’m able to use to be able to help me sell more and give a better customer
experience. So one of those is live video streaming which I can do direct from the
shop floor so you can see here the customer gets a notification they can
choose to accept. I then get countdown and so I know I’m live with that
customer and then I’m then able to give a demonstration of a product. So we work
with lots of beauty companies so demoing beauty items here or makeup would be
great. Otherwise we work with lots of furniture brands, apparel and I’m able to
give that experience to online customers. You’re also able to send product
recommendations as well, so we upload a retailer’s product feed into the app and
they’re able to send product recommendations that are tappable for
customers to go and obviously add to their baskets. Andrew Busby is the writer and founder
of Retail Reflections, with a finger firmly on the pulse of retail. He gives
us the buzz on NRF 2019. Whenever I come to NRF I never expect anything that’s
going to be brand new, but what you do see is a different emphasis. So for example,
apart from there being a lot more people here – or so it seems – which is great because there’s a lot of interest in it. One thing I’ve noticed is that
artificial intelligence two years ago for example, that was being talked about
in isolation. The technology for the sake of technology. What I’ve noticed going
around the expo and some of the sessions in particular is it’s now embedded
in solutions. So you see and you hear phrases like ‘driven by AI’, or
somebody else that I was talking to, was talking about – actually in the Innovation Lab – they were talking
about ‘deep learning.’ I said ‘what do you mean by that?’ and it was basically AI At the more sort of macro level about retail, one thing that I’ve kind of realised is
that retail in general as we know is at a little bit of a fork in the road, so
people talk about the ‘retail apocalypse’ and all that sort of thing which I don’t
believe in that narrative, but it is at a fork in the road and it needs to take
the right direction. Shows like this I think help to do that and it’ll be a
very exciting time. There will be casualties – we know that – that’s sad, it’s
unfortunate particularly for the jobs, but it’s a far more exciting time
because retail is going to – as I put it – it’s going to go ‘back to the
future’, so what I mean by that is that if you go back to dear old Harry Selfridge
over hundred years ago, what he said then about his store was he wanted it to be a
place for people to socialise, to gather, to share experiences. If they bought
something, great, but on that particular occasion they didn’t have to, maybe they’ll come back again and they’ll buy something and guess what? That’s what
we’re all talking about now in 2019, so it’s quite interesting that he was so
right all those years ago because now what we’re hearing at the show is all about the store experience and the fact that we need to create great spaces for
people to enjoy. So takeaways from from the show, I think
far from being dead or dying retail is in great shape. We know that consumer confidence over here in the U.S. is very high, obviously
in the UK we have a slightly different scenario and different pressures, but
retail is in rude health and it will be heading into a much better place and
I think that’s exciting for retailers and it’s exciting for us as consumers. So that brings us to the end of NRF 2019 coverage. Thank you so much for watching and we’ll see you next time. Bye!

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