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Technology

Upcoming trends in the future of retail that you can’t afford to miss: NRF 2023

Team Avataar
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December 23, 2022
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minutes read
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The retail industry is changing so fast that if you blink, you just might miss out on the next big advancement. 

It’s vitally important to stay up to date because if you lag behind you could miss out on things like record-breaking Black Friday online sales, or you could lose up to 50% of your revenue by ignoring Social Media

With NRF 2023 just around the corner, this is the perfect opportunity for retailers to get ahead of the curve and take advantage of the newest retail future trends and themes.

If you've been involved in retail for any amount of time, there's no doubt you've heard whispers about the NRF event. 

The National Retail Federation is the biggest and most extravagant retail future-focused event in the US. NRF 2023 boasts over 50 industry experts, over 100 big idea sessions, and over 800 exhibits holding the best solutions for achieving your retail goals for 2023 and beyond.

Breakthrough Technology

At NRF 2023, retailers will be able to learn from industry experts about the newest technologies and strategies to help them stay ahead of the competition. Some of the biggest breakthroughs in technology that will be discussed this year include:

  • AI-Driven Customer Experience: As digital touch points become more and more common, AI is the key to creating a personalized customer experience. AI-driven chatbots, voice recognition, and digital marketing strategies have become commonplace in the retail industry and will continue to grow in the retail future.
  • Augmented Reality (AR) and 3D: A step up from digital touchpoints, AR and VR can create fully immersive customer experiences. From trying on clothes to allowing customers to place products in their space using their phone camera, AR and VR can take your customer experience to the next level.
  • Automation and Robotics: Automation and robotics are becoming more and more popular. Automation and robotics can help increase efficiency and reduce costs, as well as create a more seamless experience for your customer. 
  • Internet of Things (IoT): The Internet of Things (IoT) is a vast network of interconnected devices that can communicate with each other. 

For retailers, this means that you can track customers and products in real-time, as well as create automated processes for customer service and delivery. 

  • Blockchain Technology: This technology is revolutionizing the way retailers do business and can drastically improve efficiency. It can help to track inventory, manage your supply chain, and handle your transactions. 

Retail Trends for 2023 

There are so many important trends that are on the horizon for 2023. A lot of these are going to be discussed at NRF 2023, and it's hard to weed through all of the information to pick out what's most important. Here are a few of the trends that we think will have the biggest impact on the future of retail: 

  • Digital Transformation: With the rise of E-commerce, and as online sales continue to soar, it is essential to have a digital-first approach to your business. This includes everything from investing in website design, to utilizing the latest in tech to understanding the importance of customer data. These ideas are the cornerstone of the NRF 2023 event! 
  • AR and 3D Creation: Augmented and 3D creation technology is becoming more and more prevalent in the retail industry. Brands are looking for new ways to create immersive experiences for their customers. With Avataar, 3D creation is now becoming easy and cost-effective.
  • Voice shopping: Voice shopping is one of the hottest new retail future trends that is taking off mainly due to the rise of smart technologies like Amazon Alexa and Google Home. Online shopping in the future will utilize much more voice integration to create a seamless experience for consumers.
  • Omni-Channel Retail: It's no longer enough to have a website and a retail location. You must embrace omni-channel retail if you want to be successful in the future. 

This is about creating an engaging and consistent experience for the customer, no matter what platform they are shopping on. 

Consumer shopping experience

The consumer shopping experience is becoming more and more important, as consumers demand higher quality shopping experiences. The latest trends in this field will be on full display at NRF 2023, these include: 

  • AI-based Customer Service: AI-driven customer service is changing the landscape of retail for several reasons including; automation of customer service tasks and processes, faster responses to inquiries, and more personalized messages to customers.
  • Personalization: These days, customers expect an experience tailored to them. It is important to understand the customer journey and how to use customer data to create a personalized experience that they will keep coming back for. This could be through customized product recommendations, tailored offers, or a personalized and immersive AR customer journey. By understanding the customer’s needs and preferences, retailers can create an experience that is truly unique and memorable. 

E-commerce Must Haves for 2023

NRF 2023 will host a ton of valuable information to help you achieve your retail future goals, among which are some things that you absolutely must have to maximize your business. Some e-commerce must-haves being discussed at NRF 2023 include: 

  • A Great Website: A good website is the backbone of any e-commerce business. It must be user-friendly, intuitive, and aesthetically pleasing. 
  • Social Media Platforms: Social media is no longer a trend but a necessity for any e-commerce business. It’s a great way to stay connected with your customers, build relationships and increase your reach. 
  • Mobile Focused: Mobile shopping is the future. It’s estimated that more than 60% of all online purchases are made from a mobile device, and online shopping in the future will continue to grow more mobile-based. 
  • Data Analytics: Data analytics is a must for any e-commerce business. You need to know what’s working, what’s not, and how to optimize your business. 
  • Augmented Reality: Imagine having the ability to show customers exactly what they are buying, an accurate 3D model of the item, and an immersive AR experience showing what the item will look like in their space, all before they place their order. 

This is now possible with new innovative technology. Not only does this set you apart from your competitors, but it also leads to higher sales conversions and lower returns.

Breakthrough Ideas

Imagine having access to dozens of the greatest business minds of the century, all in one room, all sharing their insights and secrets. 

NRF 2023 will provide decades of information, from a pure retail future-focused lens, all over the course of a few days. You will learn some of the biggest breakthrough ideas for how to prepare yourself for the future of retail. Some of the biggest ideas that will be discussed are: 

  • Utilizing AI and Machine Learning to optimize retail operations 
  • Exploring omni-channel strategies to increase customer loyalty
  • Developing immersive and engaging customer-centric experiences 
  • Utilizing data-driven marketing strategies to target customers 
  • Creating integrated digital solutions for retail 

The Booths

With so much excitement about all the great events at NRF 2023, it's easy to overlook what we consider the best part: the exhibitions. There will be over 800 exhibits boasting the best solutions for achieving your retail future goals. We will be there and we encourage you to come and check us out.

  • We are Avataar! And we are shaping consumers’ online buying/ browsing behavior by creating immersive, interactive shopping experiences and reimagining the visual discovery journey. 

We are a 3D and AR platform that utilises AI and deep tech to make 3D creation process easy and affordable for retailers, irrespective of the store and catalog size. Our state of the art, AR platform is built for scale and caters to all retailer needs.

If you are attending NRF 2023, we would love to see you stop by booth number 369,  or you can book a time with us here. Talk to us about your biggest takeaways from the event, the things you’re most excited about in the future of retail, or anything else on your mind! 

Frequently asked questions

How is augmented reality used in retail?

Customers can use augmented reality to see how products would look and fit in their own homes before making a purchase. Retail has numerous applications for augmented reality: 1. Create infinite product aisles for retail businesses, with no limitation of physical space. 2. Hologram-based sales assistants is another effective AR application for retail businesses. 3. Using AR, retail stores can be transformed into experience zones. 4. AR is extremely useful when planning home renovations or improvements. Using AR in retail stores will help shoppers experience the touch and feel of the product, along with how it may look in their personal space.

What are examples of augmented reality in retail?

Examples of AR in retail stores will primarily include smartphones, tablets, or iPads on which shoppers can recreate their personal spaces, and superimpose the product(s) they are planning to buy. This allows them to view and evaluate how the product will look when they use it. IKEA has been using this technology to offer customers a contextually immersive shopping experience, with least doubts and most value. The “IKEA Place” app allows shoppers to view IKEA products in their environment. Through this app, shoppers could view different furniture items (from online and offline stores) against their personal backgrounds, whether home or office.

How does augmented reality benefit retailers?

Oftentimes, customers visiting a retail store may like a product but may also be doubtful whether or not it will suit their personal space. Whether it’s an electronic appliance, a home decor item, or a piece of furniture, making a purchase decision without understanding how it may look and feel in their spaces may not always be feasible. AR-powered retail stores can help eliminate this flare of doubt. Through AR technology, retailers can help customers add life-size 3D visuals of any product in their personal spaces. So, whether they are shopping for their home or office, AR will help them decide, making business easier and more beneficial for retailers.

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