The Retail Industry Has Come To Its Senses On Technology

by MR Magazine Staff

In retailers’ playbook to win your discerning dollars, technology is often billed as that magic bullet merchants hope can help win you as a customer. But is it? Yes, artificial intelligence, augmented reality, data analytics, personalization and robotics still rank among 2018’s big sector tech buzzwords, but the retail industry is also coming to its senses about this: some tech bells and whistles don’t really deliver beyond their initial wow. Just look at the once-hot 3D printing or 3D TV buzz that has fizzled. That reckoning was evident in last week’s “Retail’s Big Show,” hosted by trade group National Retail Federation at New York’s Javits Center. The annual powwow brought together 3,500 retailers and 900 tech and other exhibitors – from Microsoft to even Walmart – that sought to peddle their “retail solutions.” “What I’m not seeing this year is a lot of gimmicks” like virtual fitting rooms, said Stacey Shulman, an industry veteran named last year to Intel retail solutions unit’s newly created chief innovation officer position. “I don’t think there’s a magic bullet in retail….What I’m starting to see is ‘Let’s get back to the basics.’ They may not be fun to talk about, but they solve real problems.” Read more at Forbes.