Retailers Are Wasting Their Time On Tech That Looks Exciting But Isn’t Useful

by MR Magazine Staff

Tens of thousands of retail and tech professionals descended on New York last week for the National Retail Federation’s Big Show, an annual industry confab where exhibitors show off new innovations and the crowd collectively scoffs at the idea of any kind of looming retail apocalypse. The great sport of the event is wandering the rows of booths and trying to separate the fanciful from the legitimately useful. As always, there were some displays that were eye-catching but left me underwhelmed. I’m thinking, for example, of an Intel Corp. and Asics interactive shoe display that incorporated a touchscreen on a pedestal to enable a shopper to get more information about the features of a certain sneaker. It reminded me a bit of a technology experiment I saw out in the shopping wilds on Black Friday at a Macy’s store. A touchscreen showed a video that helps you “discover your fit” among various dress shirts. But the analog sign right next to it explained the shirts and their different fits capably. The screen wasn’t adding enough value to the customer to make it worthwhile. Read more at Los Angeles Times.