The retail industry is going gangbusters — at least online. Between Nov. 1 and Dec. 31, online retail sales clocked in around $91.7 billion, up 11 percent from $82.5 billion in 2015, according to a report by Adobe Insights. Smartphones and tablets accounted for 50 percent of web visits during the 2016 holiday season, driving 31 percent of purchases and generating $28.43 billion in revenue (up 23 percent from last year).
Yet not all is rosy, as those online sales may have hurt brick-and-mortar retailers. Macy’s plans to cut more than 10,000 jobs and close dozens of stores following weak holiday sales, and Kohl’s also reported weak holiday sales.
The National Retail Federation’s BIG Show 2017 will take place in New York City next week with that landscape as a backdrop, as the retail industry looks to explore how technology can help retailers forge closer connections with their customers.
In addition to a “fireside chat,” with Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, on brand affinity and staying on top of innovative trends, the conference will feature a number of tech-focused keynotes and panels. Intel CEO Brian Krzanich and Carrie Ask, president of global retail at Levi Strauss & Co., will explore the implications “smart” connected retailers. Ethan Steiger, Domino’s vice president of information security will explain how small retailers can protect themselves from cyberattacks. And the show will feature presentations at its “Innovation Lab,” with quick-fire demonstrations of products in categories like augmented reality and virtual reality, robotics and artificial intelligence, and wearables.
BizTech will be covering the BIG Show from the show floor, and interviewing industry executives and experts on the latest retail IT trends and technologies. Keep this page bookmarked for stories and videos from the BizTech team. Follow us on Twitter at @BizTechMagazine or the official conference Twitter account @NRFnews, and join the conversation using hashtag #nrf17.
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