NRF LP 2012 – Recap
From what we saw in the sessions and on the show floor, we believe that brick and mortar stores are not going away (to the relief of many). They are merely geared towards the future, evolving through technological improvements. One of the main advances buzzing around the show floor was the shift towards mobile POS, which allows cashiers to be flexible and serve the consumer better. There are also new point solutions that are starting to gain some traction. One of those is the new smart shelving technology that uses RFID tags in an innovative way to identify stock outs and potential shelf sweeps.
You may have seen, as we did that retail LP professionals are starting to have a positive outlook on the economy, but with cautious optimism. As with most industries in this economy, they are careful about investing strictly when appropriate. Most of the people we had a chance to speak to with were starting new projects and looking for solutions that deliver a quick ROI.
If you had the chance to attend the expo, you might have noticed that many of the product vendors, such as the camera folks looked a little bored. The focus has started to shift from commodity items such as IP cameras to solutions that combine technologies to deliver ROI across the organization.
Everyone is trying to find ways to use all this excess data they have gathered. There has become an overload of data, video, and multiple other sources. The raw data is pouring in from everywhere and the decision makers are trying to build analytic systems to stay afloat. Many have started wading through the information head on, while others have yet to unlock the full potential.
The data is not valuable until it is translated into intelligence. Taking the data and video from all sources and combining it into something reportable, that you can use to make actions is key to solving the data influx problem that exists in retail today. Executives across all departments are in need of solutions that are fast, adaptable and in real-time. For example: finding out your coupon promotion failed due to a supply issue a month after the promotion is not as useful as determining and solving the issue halfway through the week of the promotion. That way you are able to at least recover for the rest of the promotion.
All of this data creates a need and opportunity for visibility throughout the enterprise. Business Intelligence for retail is a great way to see through the haze of data. This is the exact concept we have been working on and have delivered with the launch of Hawkeye 20/20. We would like for you to be able to create reports and visualize what the store performance is like throughout the storefronts in your company in real-time.