Hello and welcome to day one of
NRF reporting from New York. We want to share with you the latest insights in terms of retail technology, what’s new, what’s at the show and the latest
expert opinion. Now it’s been great at the show, we’ve been catching up with
some familiar faces, but we’ve also seen some familiar technology too, some of which has got a new badge on it, a new name, but it’s stuff that we have seen before. But, also we have seen some new things and these are the things that we want to share with you today. So we’ll be rounding those up and also talking to some industry experts. So here we go… We’ve just been looking at drone
technology by Intel and Penser. This is a self-flying drone which is going along the aisle looking at stock levels across the store and giving information
about any out-of-stock items and also the planogram about how could this be best
placed within the store environment. Now what will be interesting to see is
whether this actually takes off This year at the show we’ve seen the
rise of cryptocurrency. Now you’re quite used to going into the supermarket to pick
up your holiday currency but how would you feel if you popped into your supermarket to
get your groceries and pick up some Bitcoin at the same time? We’ve spoken to
a few providers who are bringing Bitcoin and cryptocurrency to retail. This is a Bitcoin ATM. We’ve been developing this ATM with Kiosk Information Systems and
Posiflex. They’re our manufacturing partner. You can buy Bitcoin in four
easy steps with cash. On screen right here, before you even start you can see
how much Bitcoin you would end up with by using our fee calculator. So if I put
$100 in here you can see the fee is 10% and you’d end up with $90 worth of
Bitcoin and then the purchased amount of BTC which is about 0.2 and
also the exchange rate currently. The exchange rate is always changing in real time, Bitcoin is still volatile. So I’m gonna go ahead and put in a $20
bill and then as I’m inserting the cash you can go ahead and see here that it’s going to count the notes and then show you the breakdown accordingly. So you can see here the 24-hour limit, out of the $3,000, $240 I’ve been buying Bitcoin little by little all day, demonstrating it and then
here’s the breakdown of what I’m buying. Here’s the digital receipt on the screen
you can go ahead and print this out here and then subsequently if I check my
phone I should be also getting a text message with the receipt confirming that
I’ve received the Bitcoin. Here it is right here, this is the amount and it
should show the same stuff on the receipt as well. So that’s pretty much it. Hi my name is Alex I’m the CEO of Lolly and we’ve created a shopping tool
that lets you earn Bitcoin when you shop online. We have just over 500 top
merchants, everyone from Walmart, to Jet, to Overstock, even travel and when you
shop these sites you can earn free Bitcoin up to 30% back when you shop
using Lolly. She’s an author, journalist and Head of Industry Insight at Eagle Eye and what she doesn’t know about retail
isn’t worth knowing. This year we spoke to Maya Knights on her reflections of NRF 2019. My highlights for 2019 have really been hearing how the biggest retailers in the world intend to deal with the continued pace of change and
rate of disruption that’s seen so many retailers struggle over the last couple of years. As a result, I really think the trends that come
through clearly is that it’s going to be a great year to be a consumer, where
retailers are vying much more – putting a lot more effort into vying for your
discretionary spend and therefore improving and updating both their store
experiences as well as their online digital experiences to try and win
over customers. I do think that what I’ve noticed over the past few years of
having attended NRF is that maybe about three or four years ago the focus
shifted from what ecommerce and online retail meant to traditional retail
businesses, back towards what that effect was having or impact was having on the
store and I think that’s a sign of maturity that fast-forward three years
later, what we’re seeing at the show is a real focus on
the digitisation of the store, how the digital transformation that we hear so
many retailers talk about is now starting to impact the front of their
stores and directly their customer experiences. I think that they perhaps
have spent the last few years right-sizing their business operations to
manage the influx of extra requirements from an e-commerce channel that they’ve
added over the last ten years and so they really have been working on doing
omnichannel profitably really, when it comes to things like home delivery for online orders and Click and Collect type fulfillment in
stores. Click and Collect has been a great example of how online is starting to
really not only impact the store, but also drive footfall into the store and
so I think what we’ve seen over the last couple of years has really been an
evolution on the part of the vendors that exhibit here to try and meet that
demand, to show retailers that having a strong digital presence backed up with a
transactional ecommerce channel can actually benefit the store. I mean one of
the real eye-opening moments for me was the presentation yesterday morning by
the CEO of Fresh Hippo which runs the Alibaba Hamas stores in China and three or four years ago if you’d spoken to a C-Level retail executive, particularly from the States, and said Alibaba – mentioned Alibaba –
they would have said ‘Ali who?’ Fast-forward to the presentation
yesterday and that room was packed! It really felt as though that was a
watershed moment where the penny had dropped among American retailers where
they realized that the U.S. is no longer going to be the biggest consumer market
and they will be overtaken by Asia by 2020, next year. I think the
final stat that came out of that, that really underlines what I’ve been seeing from a trends perspective, was the Fresh Hippo CEO saying that over the two or
three years that they’ve been developing these Hema stores in urban areas within
Chinese mega-cities, they’ve actually seen the total percentage of sales
driven through online rise from somewhere between 60%
to 75. Retailers were really thinking that online no need no longer needs to
be a threat, no longer needs to necessarily cannibalise their customer
base but it can actually be a powerful advantage for them in driving customers
into their store and so the store is very far from dead. I think we’re going
to see less stores but more impactful experiences and so that’s why I think
this year is going to be a great year for the consumer. Thanks for watching our first blog from NRF 2019. We hope you’ve enjoyed our content. Don’t forget to come back with day two tomorrow, where we will share with you more technology
insights and an interview with a top retail expert. See you soon. Bye!