NRF 2015: Technology focused on digitising the store

It was the theme of last year's National Retail Federation (NRF) Big Show and it is once again in 2015: the concept of the traditional retail store establishing its position at the heart of the new tech-driven industry.

We've put together a quick summary of some of the new technology products that have been launched at the NRF event in New York, which reportedly attracted 33,000 pre-registrations from around the world – up 6.5% on the 2014 show. More analysis of the technology and conversations had at the three-day conference and exhibition will appear on these pages later this week.

OneView Commerce's Digital Store Platform comprises out-of-the box templates for point of sale (PoS), cross-channel, customer engagement, location services and content delivery, as well as plug-ins to third-party solutions for the likes of analytics, loyalty, workforce optimisation and device control.

According to the vendor, when the new tools are integrated into a store's wider infrastructure they can aid shop staff in a number of ways, including providing alerts to manage busy periods in-store and clientelling functions to help sales assistants enhance the customer experience.

Star Micronics has announced a new digital receipting service for retailers, which sends copies of printed receipts direct to the Cloud via secure Microsoft Azure.

The PoS printer manufacturer's new service also gives businesses access to analytics, an in-store customer survey and device management tools. The facility provides a secure driver-based cloud solution, allowing a digital copy of the receipt to be claimed and saved on a customer's mobile device of choice.

Available on all models of Star's TSP100 futurePRNT series from April 2015, the digital receipting service will then be added to other ranges of its receipt printers in due course.

Lexmark International has unveiled its Digital Endcap solution, which it says can help retailers maximise promotional sales, as well as eliminate the need for large format paper signage. Using the system, store-level data can also be fed back to head office to keep executives informed about the success of individual promotions.

IT services and consulting business PMC has rolled out the extension of its Store Enabler App, which it says allows the management of cash in a mobile environment. The tool gives retailers an opportunity to leverage their existing web systems and deliver them in-store on any Android or iOS mobile device, with full capabilities to scan products, print receipts and take secure payments.

PMC said that the addition of cash management capabilities will allow businesses to remove traditional tills altogether and still have cash office facilities, such as safe reconciliation and banking.

Customer experience management solutions provider Sitecore, meanwhile, has launched Sitecore Commerce 8 powered by Microsoft Dynamics. 

A year since the partnership between the two companies was formed, a tool has now been developed that helps retailers match up sales patterns between their online and store channels. Ashley Furniture is one retailer looking to integrate the system into its operations to help capture customer order information in the same way, regardless of whether a product was bought online or in-store.

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NRF's Big Show