In retail, great things happen when great minds come together. But what about more than 30,000 of them? That’s exactly what happened at the 104th Annual National Retail Federation Annual Convention and EXPO.
“Retail’s Big Show” took place from January 11-14 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in Manhattan this year. flexReceipts joined other retail technology innovators at the show in the ARTS Pavillion for what turned out to be the best Big Show in at least 5 years.
If this year’s show is any indication, the future is bright for retail this year. After years of shaky ground following the Great Recession, the economy appears to be on a true upward swing, and people are ready to spend. As a result, IT and marketing departments are receiving much more freedom in their budgets, opening the door for leaps in retail technology and engagement innovation.
Digital receipts proved to be one of the hot topics of this year’s Big Show, transitioning from a nice-to-have to a must-have in 2015. Several major grocery store chains, where receipts tend to run long, are exploring digital solutions, signaling a shift to the mainstream. Many retailers listed electronic receipts as a priority on their project lists. There was also a clear increase in desire for education about enhanced receipts, such as our own smart receipts, versus static PDFs.
The invigorated interest toward digital receipts was reflected at the flexReceipts booth, where we had 50 appointments and a steady stream of walk-up traffic throughout the show. Many of the attendees we spoke to already had an e-mail receipt solution in place, but approached us looking to upgrade. We had a great time showing retailers how smart receipts can integrate seamlessly into any omnichannel strategy to drive sales and increase overall engagement.
We also saw a general increase in retailers turning to third-party developers for apps and retail technology solutions. These retailers are realizing that, for a truly great and cost-effective approach to engagement, an in-house solution often just doesn’t cut it. It takes companies with expertise and technical mastery, many of whom were present at the ARTS Pavilion.
Even though this year’s NRF Big Show is behind us, the exciting trends we saw there are only just beginning. As we continue to provide the best in smart receipts for 2015, we’re already looking forward to next year’s show. We hope to see you there!