BizTech Magazine - Technology Solutions That Drive Business https://biztechmagazine.com/rss.xml en NRF 2020: 4 Trends Will Drive Retail in the 2020s https://biztechmagazine.com/%3Ca%20href%3D%22/article/2020/01/nrf-2020-4-trends-will-drive-retail-2020s%22%20hreflang%3D%22en%22%3Eview%3C/a%3E <p><a href="https://biztechmagazine.com/events/nrf" target="_blank">NRF 2020 Vision: Retail’s Big Show</a> has ended, but retailers will continue to build on the themes discussed at the event for the rest of the year — and for years to come. A few things about the state of the industry and its near-term direction became clear this year during retail’s massive annual gathering.</p> <p>Here are our top takeaways from the event.</p> <h2>1. Building Great Shopping Experiences Is Every Retailer’s Mandate</h2> <p>Retailers have always focused on the shopping experience. But two things are new: First, consumers, especially younger ones, are increasingly demanding that shopping be more than just a way to buy products; they want retail brands to <strong>delight and engage them</strong>, in part because they know from experience that this is possible.</p> <p>Second, businesses have more tools at their disposal — namely, rich data sets and a buffet of technologies — to deliver great experiences.</p> Bob Keaveney https://biztechmagazine.com/%3Ca%20href%3D%22/article/2020/01/nrf-2020-4-trends-will-drive-retail-2020s%22%20hreflang%3D%22en%22%3Eview%3C/a%3E NRF 2020: For Retailers, Voice Recognition Is a Major Untapped Opportunity https://biztechmagazine.com/%3Ca%20href%3D%22/article/2020/01/nrf-2020-retailers-voice-recognition-major-untapped-opportunity%22%20hreflang%3D%22en%22%3Eview%3C/a%3E <p>Modern retailers insist they are obsessed with customer experience, but most haven’t yet solved one of the biggest riddles in the industry: how to help shoppers find and buy merchandise digitally using only their voices.</p> <p>Humans have been interacting with computers using voice commands for a long time now. The first commercial voice recognition product was introduced in the mid 1990s by <a href="https://www.cdw.com/product/Dragon-NaturallySpeaking-Premium-v.-13-box-pack/3435446" target="_blank">Dragon Naturally Speaking</a>, <a href="https://www.cdw.com/product/ibm-watson-analytics-service-level-agreement-1-license/4175119" target="_blank">IBM’s Watson</a> won <em>Jeopardy!</em> In 2011, and Amazon released the Echo in 2014.</p> <p>“Voice isn’t something in the future; it’s happening now,” said Patrick Gauthier, vice president and general manager of Amazon Pay, speaking at <a href="https://biztechmagazine.com/events/nrf">NRF 2020 Vision: Retail’s Big Show</a>, the industry’s annual gathering in New York. “There are <strong>100,000 skills from third-party developers</strong> that run on Alexa, and we get tens of billions of voice interactions every year on Alexa.”</p> <p>Still, most retailers have struggled to harness voice recognition. That needs to change, Gauthier argued. People are increasingly demanding the ability to communicate digitally without using their hands, and retail brands that get in front of the trend will benefit greatly.</p> <p>“We learn to talk before we learn to type,” Gauthier said. “People are aren’t going to be limited to a particular device. Voice untethers people from having to know how to use the device, and that makes commerce human again. With voice, we have the opportunity to make the device adapt to the human, rather than the other way around.” </p> <p><a href="https://biztechmagazine.com/article/2020/01/nrf-2020-retail-enters-second-wave-digital-disruption" target="_blank"><strong><em>MORE FROM BIZTECH AT NRF: </em></strong><em>Read how retail is in a second wave of digital disruption.</em></a></p> <h2>How Consumers Use Voice to Buy Movie Tickets</h2> <p>One company that’s on the voice journey is <a href="https://www.atomtickets.com/" target="_blank">Atom Tickets</a>, an online and app-based seller of movie tickets backed by a constellation of major Hollywood players, including directors Steven Spielberg, J.J. Abrams and Tyler Perry. Almost <strong>1.3 billion movie tickets</strong> were sold last year in the U.S. alone, said Matthew Bakal, Atom Tickets’ co-founder and chairman, and more people are buying tickets using voice commands.</p> <p>“For us, the key is, how do we make it as easy as possible for people to buy tickets?” he said. “The market for voice is here. People have been talking about it and requesting it.”</p> <p>Bakal acknowledged some challenges with voice-based experiences today. For example, he said, moviegoers are increasingly attracted to theaters that allow them to choose their own seats; that’s driving people to purchase digitally in advance, with about <strong>65 percent of tickets</strong> expected to be purchased digitally by next year. </p> <p>But it creates complications for voice purchase. Consumers today can’t simply ask their computer to buy two tickets to a particular movie and a specific theater; they must also go through a series of questions about where they want to sit.</p> <p>Bakal said Atom is working to solve such challenges by reducing the number of questions that Alexa (or other voice assistant) needs to ask to get customers what they’re looking for. Today, the number of questions consumers must answer is about seven; Atom is trying to get it down to three.</p> <p>“So you can see how that could increase purchase conversion significantly,” he said.</p> <p><a href="https://biztechmagazine.com/article/2020/01/nrf-2020-cisos-say-retailers-must-find-safety-numbers" target="_blank"><strong><em>MORE FROM BIZTECH AT NRF: </em></strong><em>Read how CISOs say retailers need to find safety in numbers.</em></a></p> <h2>Retailers Should Start the Voice Journey Now</h2> <p>According to Amazon’s research, <strong>20 percent of U.S. consumers </strong>are expected to make a purchase using voice in the next three years. That may seem like a number small enough to tempt retailers to wait to begin developing their own voice recognition capabilities until the market matures, but that would be a mistake, Gauthier said.</p> <p>“Twenty percent means innovators and early adopters are already there,” he said. “Early adopters will walk with you. They don’t expect everything to be perfect.” </p> <p>Retailers who wait much longer will find that their rivals, including digital-only brands, have beaten them to it, establishing relationships with customers that will be difficult to disrupt. “The time is now because customers are telling us the time is now,” Gauthier said.</p> <p>For retailers, one reason voice represents a crucial opportunity is that it encourages in-the-moment purchases. A consumer who knows they want to buy something can just tell their device to purchase it and have it sent to their house; no fumbling around with complicated web interfaces. That kind of <strong>frictionless buying experience</strong> builds customer loyalty and trust.</p> <p>Gauthier said voice also offers retailers the opportunity to interact with customers efficiently before and after the purchase experience itself, such as with shopping lists and order tracking; and during the shopping experience, such as when consumers are looking for information or advice on what to purchase.</p> <p>Check out<strong> <a href="https://biztechmagazine.com/event/nrf-2020">this page</a> </strong>for more coverage from the NRF Big Show, and follow us on Twitter at <a href="https://twitter.com/BizTechMagazine" target="_blank">@BizTechMagazine</a>, or the official conference Twitter account, <a href="https://twitter.com/NRFBigShow" target="_blank">@NRFBigShow</a>, and join the conversation using the hashtag <a href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%23NRF2020&amp;src=typed_query" target="_blank">#NRF2020</a>.</p> Bob Keaveney https://biztechmagazine.com/%3Ca%20href%3D%22/article/2020/01/nrf-2020-retailers-voice-recognition-major-untapped-opportunity%22%20hreflang%3D%22en%22%3Eview%3C/a%3E NRF 2020: Retail Enters the Second Wave of Digital Disruption https://biztechmagazine.com/%3Ca%20href%3D%22/article/2020/01/nrf-2020-retail-enters-second-wave-digital-disruption%22%20hreflang%3D%22en%22%3Eview%3C/a%3E <p>Retailers can’t wait any longer: Those that haven’t begun to deliver digital transformation within their brands must start now, or face punishing consequences soon. This was the sentiment maintained by David Dobson, director of retail, hospitality and consumer goods for <a href="https://www.cdw.com/content/cdw/en/brand/intel-datacenter.html" target="_blank">Intel</a>, who said the industry is headed toward its “second wave” of digital disruption.</p> <p>“The first wave of disruption was about how to compete with online,” said Dobson, speaking in New York at <a href="https://biztechmagazine.com/events/nrf">NRF 2020 Vision: Retail’s Big Show</a>, the industry’s massive annual gathering. “The next wave is really about the integrated solution,” he said. “It’s not online versus in-store but rather <strong>how to deliver value to the customers wherever they want to be</strong>. It’s clear that you have to have both, and you have to merge those experiences.”</p> <p>Dobson, speaking in a session on digital disruption with Andy Szanger, director of corporate sales for CDW, said that, in addition to the growth of online shopping, industry disruption is being driven by three big trends.</p> <ol><li><strong>Changing shopper expectations</strong><strong>:</strong> Consumers’ demands on retailers continue to evolve. Millennials and Generation Z shoppers, in particular “have whole a different perception of how they want to shop,” said What some may find surprising is that younger shoppers, though comfortable with online and mobile shopping, want to have unique in-store experiences as well. “They still want to go out with their friends and have fun,” he said.</li> <li><strong>The move to “hypersimplicity”:</strong> Even as retailers strive to provide consumers with interesting shopping experiences, consumers continue to demand that retailers make the buying process ever simpler. This has influenced the development of visual search, voice-based purchasing and the move toward convenient payment technologies. Dobson said retailers must ask, “How do you make it just so simple for people to buy from you?”</li> <li><strong>Speed vs. sustainability</strong><strong>:</strong> Retailers are confronted with two opposing demands: the need to get products into stores and consumers’ hands as fast as possible, and the need to do so in a way that is globally sustainable and responsible. They’re achieving that partly with the deployment of smart technologies to optimize their supply chains.</li> </ol><p><a href="https://biztechmagazine.com/article/2020/01/nrf-2020-how-ai-revolutionizing-retail" target="_blank"><strong><em>MORE FROM BIZTECH AT NRF: </em></strong><em>Read how AI is revolutionizing retail.</em></a></p> <h2>Retail Digital Disruption Begins with Data</h2> <p>Dobson noted that artificial intelligence is already embedded in most of the technology that retailers are deploying. The <strong>value of AI is clear</strong>, he said, as retailers are using it to gain a deeper understanding of their customers, optimize pricing and make their supply chains more efficient.</p> <p>But none of it works without good, clean data.</p> <p>“The best retailers are very data rich, but all that data tends to be in silos,” Dobson noted. “So, there’s usually a significant exercise that starts with figuring out which of your data is useful to your AI efforts.”</p> <p>To acquire data on new customers, more retailers are experimenting with in-store digital experiences, especially around digital signage, Dobson said. Once, signs merely delivered; today, they also <strong>take information in</strong>. In some cases, this is accomplished with cameras that observe how people interact with the signage. In others, the signage may have interactive features that can help shoppers find the right product, help them find their way around the store or help them order or pay for products.</p> <p>Fast-food restaurants are adopting digital signage quickly, in part because of regulations that require them to provide a substantial amount of information about menu items, such as calories. Such restaurants also are rapidly expanding their use of <strong>digital ordering kiosks</strong> that allow customer to skip standing in line. </p> <p>Szanger noted that a large fast-casual chain that CDW worked with recently on such a deployment discovered that customers who used the kiosks placed larger orders — perhaps too embarrassed to do so when talking to an employee.</p> <p>“They found that customers upsell themselves,” Szanger said.</p> <p><strong>Keep <a href="https://biztechmagazine.com/event/nrf-2020">this page bookmarked</a> </strong>for more coverage from the NRF Big Show, and follow us on Twitter at <a href="https://twitter.com/BizTechMagazine" target="_blank">@BizTechMagazine</a>, or the official conference Twitter account, <a href="https://twitter.com/NRFBigShow" target="_blank">@NRFBigShow</a>, and join the conversation using the hashtag <a href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%23NRF2020&amp;src=typed_query" target="_blank">#NRF2020</a>.</p> Bob Keaveney https://biztechmagazine.com/%3Ca%20href%3D%22/article/2020/01/nrf-2020-retail-enters-second-wave-digital-disruption%22%20hreflang%3D%22en%22%3Eview%3C/a%3E NRF 2020: 6 Tips for Mobile Point-of-Sale Success https://biztechmagazine.com/%3Ca%20href%3D%22/media/video/nrf-2020-6-tips-mobile-point-sale-success%22%20hreflang%3D%22en%22%3Eview%3C/a%3E <p>Mobile point-of-sale solutions are helping retailers improve the efficiency of sales associates, enhance the customer experience and boost back-end operations. But to take advantage of these solutions, stores must think strategically and establish an infrastructure to support them. At NRF 2020 Vision: Retail’s Big Show in New York, we asked retail experts for their advice on how retailers can achieve mPOS success. To see more articles and videos from NRF 2020, visit <a href="https://biztechmagazine.com/events/nrf" target="_blank">biztechmagazine.com/nrf</a>.</p> <p>To learn more about how stores can improve sales and the customer experience, read <a href="https://cdw-prod.adobecqms.net/content/dam/cdw/on-domain-cdw/industries/retail/solution-spotlight-digital-retail.pdf" target="_blank"><strong>"The Future of Digital Retail" </strong></a>from CDW. </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> https://biztechmagazine.com/%3Ca%20href%3D%22/media/video/nrf-2020-6-tips-mobile-point-sale-success%22%20hreflang%3D%22en%22%3Eview%3C/a%3E NRF 2020: How the Cybersecurity Challenge Is Evolving for Retail https://biztechmagazine.com/%3Ca%20href%3D%22/media/video/nrf-2020-how-cybersecurity-challenge-evolving-retail%22%20hreflang%3D%22en%22%3Eview%3C/a%3E <p>Cybersecurity is a critical consideration for every industry, and the high-profile data breaches in retail in recent years make security an even greater concern. Retailers must protect customers' personal data as well as valuable financial information such as credit card transactions. At NRF 2020 Vision: Retail’s Big Show in New York, we asked experts in retail technology how stores can defend their data against changing threats. To see more articles and videos from NRF 2020, visit <a href="https://biztechmagazine.com/events/nrf" target="_blank">biztechmagazine.com/nrf</a>.</p> <p>To learn more about cybersecurity, read <strong>"<a href="https://www.cdw.com/content/cdw/en/orchestration/cyber-security-report.html" target="_blank">The Cybersecurity Insight Report</a>" from CDW</strong>. </p> https://biztechmagazine.com/%3Ca%20href%3D%22/media/video/nrf-2020-how-cybersecurity-challenge-evolving-retail%22%20hreflang%3D%22en%22%3Eview%3C/a%3E NRF 2020: Innovative Products Offer New Capabilities for Retailers https://biztechmagazine.com/%3Ca%20href%3D%22/media/video/nrf-2020-innovative-products-offer-new-capabilities-retailers%22%20hreflang%3D%22en%22%3Eview%3C/a%3E <p>New technologies have changed the retail industry radically over the past decade, and the pace of change is only getting faster. At NRF 2020 Vision: Retail’s Big Show in New York, we took a tour of the show floor to look at some interesting new products from leading technology vendors. To see more articles and videos from NRF 2020, visit <a href="https://biztechmagazine.com/events/nrf" target="_blank">biztechmagazine.com/nrf</a>.</p> <p>To learn more about how stores can improve sales and the customer experience, read <a href="https://cdw-prod.adobecqms.net/content/dam/cdw/on-domain-cdw/industries/retail/solution-spotlight-digital-retail.pdf" target="_blank"><strong>"The Future of Digital Retail" </strong></a>from CDW. </p> https://biztechmagazine.com/%3Ca%20href%3D%22/media/video/nrf-2020-innovative-products-offer-new-capabilities-retailers%22%20hreflang%3D%22en%22%3Eview%3C/a%3E NRF 2020: CISOs Say Retailers Must Find Safety in Numbers https://biztechmagazine.com/%3Ca%20href%3D%22/article/2020/01/nrf-2020-cisos-say-retailers-must-find-safety-numbers%22%20hreflang%3D%22en%22%3Eview%3C/a%3E <p>The common image of a hacker is that of a shadowy figure in a hooded sweatshirt attacking organizations alone from a dark basement. But that is not the hacker of today, says Rich Agostino, senior vice president and chief information security officer for <a href="https://www.target.com/" target="_blank">Target</a>.</p> <p>Agostino, who joined Target in 2014, not long after the company suffered a large breach, says hackers generally work in teams that look more like an <strong>IT organization than a criminal operation</strong>. They are organized groups whose members have specific jobs. They have deep technical skills, so they can build advanced tools or buy what they can’t build on the dark web. They are persistent, and they evolve every day.</p> <p>“When I came to Target in 2014, I had to think not about how to fix the problem from 2013 and move on, but about how to build a long-term strategy that’s sustainable to continue to evolve, just as today’s hackers do,” says Agostino. “When people talk about the Target breach, I always hear them say that Target was the first data breach. In reality, Target was not the first data breach. There were a lot before and a lot since. But it was significant because it introduced a new threat to our industry.”</p> <p>Target hired hundreds of industry experts from the worlds of retail, financial services and national security, more than doubling the size of its security team. It also brought all critical functions in cybersecurity in-house to reduce its reliance on contractors and managed services. Finally, Target launched its <a href="https://corporate.target.com/article/2015/07/cyber-fusion-center" target="_blank">Cyber Fusion Center</a>, where it monitors and <strong>defends its network 24 hours a day</strong>.</p> <p>Agostino described Target’s approach as part of wide-ranging discussion on retail cybersecurity with the CISOs of Chipotle and Best Buy at <a href="https://biztechmagazine.com/events/nrf">NRF 2020 Vision: Retail’s Big Show</a>, the industry’s massive annual gathering in New York.</p> <p><a href="https://biztechmagazine.com/article/2020/01/nrf2020-retailers-must-know-customers-build-great-shopping-experiences" target="_blank"><strong><em>MORE FROM BIZTECH AT NRF: </em></strong><em>Read how retailers must know their customers to build a better experience.</em></a></p> <h2>Secure Retail Networks Depend on Cooperation</h2> <p>Retail is a highly competitive industry. But when it comes to cybersecurity, retailers are all being targeted by sophisticated threat actors, and brands should work together to help keep each other safe, argued <a href="https://www.chipotle.com/" target="_blank">Chipotle</a> CISO Dave Estlick. “Security is not a competitive advantage,” he stressed.</p> <p>Many companies have general policies restricting the sharing of internal information, especially with competitors. Even those brands that see the value in making an exception for cybersecurity may worry about the <strong>potential legal ramifications of sharing information</strong>. Nevertheless, said Adam Mishler, global CISO for <a href="https://www.bestbuy.com/" target="_blank">Best Buy</a>, brands should strive to work through those concerns.</p> <p>“Organizations need to have this conversation internally and work with your legal, risk and technology teams and find out what’s OK to share and what’s not,” Mishler said. “We should be working together as CISOs and talking to our industry peers about what it is we’re doing and how we are tackling various different threats.”</p> <p>Noting that threat actors tend to replicate their tactics across a broad swath of targets, Agostino says retailers should alert each other when they discover a particular threat. For example, if a company identifies a phishing email, <strong>alerting its peers and even rivals can stop a threat in its tracks</strong>.</p> <p>“Every minute counts,” he says. “All the bad guys are working together to figure out how to attack us. Companies need to do the same to help defend against them.” </p> <p><a href="https://biztechmagazine.com/media/video/nrf-2020-what-do-you-want-know-about-enhanced-video-surveillance-retail" target="_blank"><strong><em>MORE FROM BIZTECH AT NRF: </em></strong><em>Watch how retailers are using enhanced video surveillance.</em></a></p> <h2>A Shortage in Cyber Talent Leaves Retailers Vulnerable</h2> <p>As recently as a decade ago, CISO positions were not regarded as critical, and many companies did not invest heavily in cybersecurity professionals. That’s caused a legacy shortage of well-trained pros that continues today. “There are hundreds of thousands of open cybersecurity positions available today,” Agostino says. “There will be millions available in a few years.”</p> <p>Until that shortage abates, companies will have to <strong>think creatively about how to fill cybersecurity positions</strong>. Mishler says brands should look for people whose skills are such that they can be converted into cybersecurity positions. There are a lot of people with technical skills that are qualified for this work, he added: “We need to build people and help them grow.”</p> <p>Estlick argued that even people with nontechnical backgrounds can be trained to be effective security professionals. “I’m looking for people who are problem-solvers,” he says. “I’m as likely to hire someone with an economics degree as I am someone with a computer science degree. Economics is about finding patterns in the data, and that is exactly what our job is.”</p> <p>Keep <a href="https://biztechmagazine.com/events/nrf">this page bookmarked </a>for articles and videos from the event. Follow us on Twitter at <a href="https://twitter.com/BizTechMagazine" target="_blank">@BizTechMagazine</a>, or the official conference Twitter account, <a href="https://twitter.com/NRFBigShow" target="_blank">@NRFBigShow</a>, and join the conversation using the hashtag <a href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%23NRF2020&amp;src=typed_query" target="_blank">#NRF2020</a>.</p> Brad Sowell https://biztechmagazine.com/%3Ca%20href%3D%22/article/2020/01/nrf-2020-cisos-say-retailers-must-find-safety-numbers%22%20hreflang%3D%22en%22%3Eview%3C/a%3E NRF 2020: Retailers Must Know Customers to Build Great Shopping Experiences https://biztechmagazine.com/%3Ca%20href%3D%22/article/2020/01/nrf-2020-retailers-must-know-customers-build-great-shopping-experiences%22%20hreflang%3D%22en%22%3Eview%3C/a%3E <p>Smart retailers place the customer experience at the center of everything they do. But when the product being sold is something as straightforward as house paint, redefining the customer experience is no small feat.</p> <p>Yet that’s the task that Rich Stefani, CIO and group vice president of technology at <a href="https://www.dunnedwards.com/" target="_blank">Dunn-Edwards Paints</a>, and his colleagues have taken on in recent years. Speaking at <a href="https://biztechmagazine.com/events/nrf" target="_blank">NRF 2020 Vision: Retail’s Big Show</a> in New York about reshaping the retail store experience, Stefani argued that <strong>understanding the customer’s perspective </strong>is the key to building an outstanding buying experience, whatever the product line.</p> <p>Based in Vernon, Calif., Dunn-Edwards is a nearly 100-year-old paint manufacturer with 140 stores in the Southwest and tens of thousands of paint colors to choose from. The selling process has changed over the past 20 years, Stefani said, because <strong>modern consumers are armed with a lot more information</strong> than previous generations, so it’s key to understand how much interaction they want from staff.</p> <p>“The customer knows some things, the store knows some things, and customers are expecting the store to fill the gaps in the customer’s knowledge,” he said.</p> <p><a href="https://biztechmagazine.com/media/video/nrf-2020-how-gnc-brought-its-products-customers-anywhere-anytime" target="_blank"><strong><em>MORE FROM NRF: </em></strong><em>Watch how GNC brought its products to customers anywhere, anytime.</em></a></p> <h2>How to Create Experiences For Diverse Customers</h2> <p>About <strong>90 percent of Dunn-Edwards customers are contractors, and 10 percent are households</strong>. That presents a different kind of challenge, Stefani said: “We have to capture sales from both groups, but it’s a different experience for each group.”</p> <p>For the contractors, speed is key. They want to get in the store, fulfill the order and get out. But many homeowners embarking on a DIY painting project don’t quite know what they need. Dunn-Edwards staffers need to find out what the customer wants to do so they can suggest options for sheen, color and other variables, and guide the customer through all the different types of paint they can buy.</p> <p>But neither type of customer wants to wait needlessly to purchase their product once they’ve selected it, Stefani said. “We put in Toshiba <a href="https://www.cdw.com/content/cdw/en/industries/retail-technology/point-of-sale-solutions.html" target="_blank">point-of-sale</a> devices in every store because of speed. We needed to make sure the process was as quick as possible with the <strong>solid-state drives to limit the customer’s time</strong>.”</p> <p>Also, because customers would be waiting at the checkout line for a bit, Dunn-Edwards wanted to take advantage of that time. They used the point-of-sale devices to display marketing information to engage with the customer and offer them the option to sign up for a credit program while they waited, Stefani said. “We leverage technology to make it efficient, fast, get the customers in there and out, and reduce the lines that makes it so frustrating to them.”</p> <p>Stefani noted that in 2015, Dunn-Edwards started using <a href="https://www.cdw.com/content/cdw/en/brand/apple.html?cm_mmc=Vanity-_-apple-_-NA-_-NA" target="_blank">Apple</a><a href="https://www.cdw.com/content/cdw/en/brand/apple/apple-at-work.html" target="_blank"> iPad</a> devices as payment, systems in addition to cash registers, as a way to help customers who ordered ahead of time to <strong>get in and out quickly</strong>. “If I’m a store manager and I see a long line, and a regular just wants to pick something up or a will-call customer walks in, I can service that customer right away, quickly,” he said. “It’s all about simplifying the customer experience, even in an industry like paint.”</p> <p><a href="https://biztechmagazine.com/article/2020/01/nrf-2020-how-ai-revolutionizing-retail" target="_blank"><strong><em>MORE FROM NRF: </em></strong><em>Read how AI is revolutionizing retail.</em></a></p> <h2>5G, AI and Advanced Video on the Horizon</h2> <p>When it comes to emerging technology to help with the customer experience, Stefani said he’s excited about 5G, which can bring redundancy to store networks that will come in handy during California’s frequent power outages.</p> <p>He also sees artificial intelligence and advanced security cameras as promising tech, but warned that anyone looking to implement new technology must “make sure you have your <strong>infrastructure in place first</strong>, then focus on the software. If you try to jump this step, you will hit massive walls.”</p> <p>Keep <a href="https://biztechmagazine.com/events/nrf">this page bookmarked </a>for articles and videos from the event. Follow us on Twitter at <a href="https://twitter.com/BizTechMagazine" target="_blank">@BizTechMagazine</a>, or the official conference Twitter account, <a href="https://twitter.com/NRFBigShow" target="_blank">@NRFBigShow</a>, and join the conversation using the hashtag <a href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%23NRF2020&amp;src=typed_query" target="_blank">#NRF2020</a>.</p> Brad Sowell https://biztechmagazine.com/%3Ca%20href%3D%22/article/2020/01/nrf-2020-retailers-must-know-customers-build-great-shopping-experiences%22%20hreflang%3D%22en%22%3Eview%3C/a%3E Windows 7’s End of Life Is Here. What Businesses Need to Know https://biztechmagazine.com/%3Ca%20href%3D%22/article/2020/01/windows-7s-end-life-here-what-businesses-need-know%22%20hreflang%3D%22en%22%3Eview%3C/a%3E <p>Today is the day many have spent months preparing for: Microsoft is officially ending extended support for its popular Windows 7 operating system on January 14. The decision has pushed many to upgrade to Windows 10 in anticipation, but <strong>about 30 percent</strong> of all Windows PCs <a href="https://www.computerworld.com/article/3199373/windows-by-the-numbers-windows-10-resumes-march-towards-endless-dominance.html" target="_blank">haven’t yet made the switch.</a></p> <p>From migration to security, there’s a lot for businesses to consider as they make their upgrading plans. <em>BizTech </em>has been reporting on the transition for months; here are the most important things for organizations to know about the migration.</p> <p><a href="https://biztechmagazine.com/article/2019/10/complete-business-guide-windows-10-perfcon" target="_blank"><strong><em>MORE ON WINDOWS 10:</em></strong><em> Check out our comprehensive business guide to Windows 10.</em></a></p> <h2>What You Need to Know Before Upgrading to Windows 10</h2> <p>It’s not catastrophic for an organization to still be using Windows 7, but it is risky. Without support, there won’t be the same kinds of automatic security upgrades available, which <strong>can leave networks vulnerable</strong>. Here’s a <a href="https://biztechmagazine.com/article/2019/05/fact-or-fallacy-windows-10-worth-upgrade">breakdown of what’s true (and what’s not)</a> about delaying the switch to Windows 10.</p> <p>One reason some businesses are reluctant to update is because of familiarity with their current operating systems. It can seem daunting to adapt a new system to organizational needs, but Microsoft has an option for those who don’t want their OS to be upgraded over time: <a href="https://biztechmagazine.com/article/2019/12/what-windows-10-ltsc-and-which-businesses-should-choose-it">the Windows 10 Long-Term Servicing Channel</a>.</p> <h2>How to Simplify a Windows 10 Migration</h2> <p>Once the decision has been made to make the transition, there are a number of things that the IT department needs to have in place. To make the technical transition a smooth one, it’s important to make sure that <strong>applications and systems are all compatible</strong>. Here’s a complete <a href="https://biztechmagazine.com/article/2019/04/your-windows-7-windows-10-migration-checklist">Windows 7 to Windows 10 migration checklist</a> to serve as a guide.But a migration doesn’t only involve technology; it’s about the people using it too. Any kind of change within an organization brings with it some level of culture change, and when what’s being changed is something that is used by everyone, every day, there’s bound to be some pushback. Here are tips on how to <a href="https://biztechmagazine.com/article/2019/04/how-ease-windows-10-migration">ease the Windows 10 migration process</a>. </p> Keara Dowd https://biztechmagazine.com/%3Ca%20href%3D%22/article/2020/01/windows-7s-end-life-here-what-businesses-need-know%22%20hreflang%3D%22en%22%3Eview%3C/a%3E NRF 2020: How GNC Brought Its Products to Customers Anywhere, Anytime https://biztechmagazine.com/%3Ca%20href%3D%22/media/video/nrf-2020-how-gnc-brought-its-products-customers-anywhere-anytime%22%20hreflang%3D%22en%22%3Eview%3C/a%3E <p>When GNC stores wanted to reach customers at fitness events such as marathons and obstacle races, the company looked to deploy mobile point-of-sale solutions (mPOS) across the country. Rolling out devices to more than 4,000 stores was a challenge, but the effort enables GNC to reach customers where they are with products they need. At NRF 2020 Vision: Retail’s Big Show in New York, we asked Scott Saeger and Paul Wulff of GNC about how the company is making mPOS work. To see more articles and videos from NRF 2020, visit <a href="https://biztechmagazine.com/events/nrf" target="_blank">biztechmagazine.com/nrf</a>.</p> <p>To learn more about how stores can improve sales and the customer experience, read <a href="https://cdw-prod.adobecqms.net/content/dam/cdw/on-domain-cdw/industries/retail/solution-spotlight-digital-retail.pdf" target="_blank"><strong>"The Future of Digital Retail" </strong></a>from CDW. </p> https://biztechmagazine.com/%3Ca%20href%3D%22/media/video/nrf-2020-how-gnc-brought-its-products-customers-anywhere-anytime%22%20hreflang%3D%22en%22%3Eview%3C/a%3E