Virtual & augmented reality

Grocery is Going Digital. The Time is Now.

CART

Online grocery sales are growing fast. A recent report released by FMI and The Nielsen Company states that 23% of U.S. households purchased groceries online in 2016, up from 19% in 2014, and representing an estimated 4.3% of U.S. consumer retail food and beverage spending. The report goes on to state that as many as 70% of U.S. consumers will be buying groceries online by 2025, spending more than $100 billion, an estimated 20% of consumer food and beverage spending.1 Grocery is going digital far faster than many predicted and the time is now for traditional retailers to stake their claim. +MORE

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CART Weekly Report 4/11/19

CART, Advancing Retail

SURVEY: GROCERY STORES NEED TO ‘ENTER THE MODERN AGE’ | Supermarket News Gary’s Take: Fascinating survey that finds 51% of shoppers believe if supermarkets don’t ‘enter the modern age’ people will find other ways to buy food. Consumers read about new innovation in shopping nearly every day in the news - from the Amazon Go store to automated delivery vehicles. It is no wonder that shoppers experience a disconnect between what they read about and experience with Amazon and their local grocery store. Many supermarket companies are trying to innovate but simply are challenged to move fast enough. As the pace of innovation grows exponentially, change is occurring at an increasing rate, and traditional retailers are having a tougher time keeping up. And yet, as the survey calls out, they must. WALMART AND GOOGLE FORGE VOICE ORDER ALLIANCE TO BATTLE AMAZON | ZDNet Gary’s Take: Voice based commerce is poised to grow fast with millions of Amazon Alexa devices already in homes and Google coming on fast, especially with its recently announced partnership with Walmart. Walmarts voice ordering system will work across more than one billion Walmart Assistant devices. Digital commerce continues to advance quickly while many supermarket retailers are still working to get online. The innovation gap continues to grow. 18 RETAILERS WITH THE BEST LOYALTY PROGRAMS | Business Insider Gary's Take: So here's a list of the top 18 retail loyalty programs as compiled by Business Insider... and there is not one supermarket retailer on the list. At a time when shoppers expect, even demand, marketing relevancy, supermarket retailers are missing in action. Customer identified purchase data provided by loyalty programs is the fuel for marketing personalization and yet 27 of the top 50 supermarket retailers lack loyalty and the resulting data. Yes, there's a path to personalization via eCommerce and other digital engagement, but it is a much slower path to meaningful levels and business impact. Supermarket retailers need to focus on digital customer engagement and utilize new innovative technologies to provide new services and experiences to their customers. Retail today is powered by data, customer data, and grocery retail needs to get moving.  SHOULD UNIFORM PRICING BE THE NORM FOR LARGE CHAINS? | Retail Wire Sterling’s Take: As soon as we all pay the same for airline tickets and credit card interest rates we should look at generalized pricing. Different customers have different economic value and personalization customizes that. There are technological and operational kinks at some retailers that reduce benefits, but that doesn’t mean scrap the program. We should be looking at how to improve it or use technology differently. FEATURED BLOG OF THE WEEK:  GROW REVENUES USING THESE DIGITAL STRATEGIES by Yehudis Milchtein, Senior Account Manager, Harvesting Media HAPPENINGS CREATING ROI IN THE FUTURE OF AR/VR IN RETAIL: HOW RETAILERS ARE USING VR/AR TO ACHIEVE GROWTH, PROFITABILITY, AND CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE GOALS - May 14, 2019 - 2pm EST  Questions? Contact Retail and eCommerce Committee Event Co-Chair, Sterling Hawkins DISRUPTIVE LEADERSHIP & THE SELFCARE REVOLUTION​, Boston Immersion Event  Apply to present at Retail Tomorrow Labs: Boston - Applications due June 15th, 2019 SPRING 2019 RETAIL INNOVATION PITCH EVENT, hosted virtually on May 23, 2019 Get on the Inside - CART Community FOR RETAILERS>> Proven programs to advance your business FOR SOLUTIONS>> Your growth engine into retail Become part of the epicenter of retail innovation exclusive network. The place where retail decision makers and solution providers come together to advance retail into the future.  VIEW ALL SOLUTIONS HERE   HOW CART WORKS CONTACT US     TELL ME HOW TO GET MY SOLUTION ADDED TO CART +MORE

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CART'S INNOVATION PROGRAM

Gary Hawkins, CEO , Center for Advancing Retail and Technology

CART’s Innovation Program, done in partnership with Retail Tomorrow, is a unique offering that works for retailers and solution providers alike. Designed for national and larger regional retailers, the CART team works with the retailer’s executive team to identify 2-3 specific areas of interest like automation, in-store experience, etc. With interests established, the team then goes to work identifying the leading solution providers in each area, filtering through and curating the most appropriate capabilities. That process often entails talking with each solution to ensure applicability and set expectations. Amongst the many factors we evaluate is making sure the size and scale of the retailer is aligned with the solution provider’s resources. Connecting a young solution to a massive retailer might sound exciting, but if the solution provider lacks the resources to pilot and then scale deployments it leads to frustration on all sides. Once the appropriate solution providers have been identified we all go on-site to the retailer’s HQ to spend a day with their executive team focused around education as each solution is given an opportunity to present to the group and talk about what they do. The format allows for Q&A along with opportunity to start building relationships as everyone networks over coffee breaks and lunch. From the solution provider’s perspective, the opportunity to get time with the senior exec team from prominent retailers is invaluable. Once a solution provider is selected to participate, the CART team will work with you to review your presentation materials to make sure you’re providing the most powerful and relevant message possible about your company and what you do. The CART team will provide some coaching for the presenters to make sure you deliver your message in the time allotted (these events are pretty tightly scripted to accomplish everything).  Expectations are clearly identified on all sides early in the process. From the retailer, CART is looking for executive level commitment and engagement with the process, the executive team’s commitment to spend the day with in the on-site meeting with all the solutions, and a commitment to seriously consider piloting appropriate solutions. From solution providers, CART is looking for new innovative capabilities to help the retailer address challenges they have or provide new capabilities that are beneficial to the retailer. This involves having a good understanding of retail and how retail works and helping educate everyone in the meeting as to the technologies involved. Retailers interested in learning more about the CART Innovation Program can get more information here Solutions interested in participating can learn more here +MORE

Five Predictions for Retail Transformation in 2019

Gary Hawkins, CEO , Center for Advancing Retail & Technology (CART)

As we begin 2019, tomorrow is no longer going to resemble today. The pace of tech-fueled innovation continues to grow, bringing with it increasing change across the supply chain and greater impact on traditional retail operations and models. 2019 is going to be a year of even greater change. Here are five key areas to watch this year: Frictionless shopping: The Amazon Go store with its cashier-less shopping experience has gotten the industry’s attention and this year we will see a great deal of activity in this space. There are several tech companies working to bring similar capabilities to the retail industry along with cost-effectively scaling the technology to work in traditional supermarkets. I believe the proliferation of retailers’ mobile apps having some kind of self-shopping capability - the shopper scanning their products as they shop using their smartphone and then an expedited payment process - is an interim step to a completely frictionless shopping environment. The whole idea of the Amazon Go store is to make buying products as easy as possible; the shopper having to use their app to scan and pay makes it easier to buy but not as easy as just walking in, picking up what you want, and walking out. Automated fulfillment: Kroger’s partnership with Ocado to build and operate twenty automated grocery eComm fulfillment centers is on track. We are seeing several other retailers enter into agreements with Takeoff Technologies to build mini automated fulfillment centers that can sit in the backroom, automatically fulfilling high-velocity packaged goods ordered online. Walmart is working with a partner to build an automated fulfillment center that is designed to sit alongside their stores, fulfilling high-volume products. In 2019 we are going to see even more activity in this space as other retailers will be forced to follow these leaders as automation brings efficiency and lower fulfillment costs, opening up a productivity gap. We will be seeing other technology providers step into this space as the market expands. Automated delivery: Kroger’s partnership with Nuro to use automated, driverless delivery vehicles to deliver online orders to the shopper’s home is already in pilot. Udelv and other solutions will be gaining more interest as retailers begin to focus more attention on the final mile delivery. While many retailers have signed deals with Instacart or Shipt to handle actual delivery, we’re going to see growing interest in Uber and other services to handle deliveries and fast growing interest in automated solutions like Nuro and Udelv in search of cost efficiencies. Health & Wellness gets personal: The wearables market is growing fast as Apple’s Watch and similar devices provide even more functionality to monitor key health indicators in realtime. The explosion in health data coming from these wearables will become increasingly tied to food guidance, helping the individual understand what specific food products to purchase and consume based upon the individual’s health condition and realtime data. As an example, Dexcom recently released a device that provides realtime glucose monitoring for people with diabetes. The ability to use knowledge of an individual’s glucose levels at that specific time - for example, while they are standing in front of the shelf - will inform guidance to beneficial foods. This movement is already underway as the massive food and healthcare industries converge, driven by Amazon’s ownership of Whole Foods, PillPack, and other activity in healthcare. Kroger’s Opt-UP app enables the shopper to easily understand the quality of the foods they are buying and easily filter the store’s product selection based upon the shopper’s interests, needs, and preferences. Look for a lot more activity around this space in the coming year. Melding of digital and physical retail: While most industry activity has been focused around eCommerce and automation of fulfillment and delivery of orders, I believe we are going to see growing attention to the melding of digital and physical shopping. This encompasses bringing augmented reality into the store and shopping experience; we’ll also see growing activity in virtual reality shopping as VR tech gets better and cheaper. Digital signage will spread across the store and get smarter, not only using demographic info to present messaging relevant to the person standing in front of the screen, but engagement will be far more personalized. Kroger’s new shelf Edge system is moving in this direction, lighting up as a shopper moves down the aisle to call out relevant products. Obviously there are many more areas where technology is going to transform retail but these are five key areas to watch. Each of these fundamentally changes the game: Frictionless shopping and automating fulfillment and delivery remove significant costs and will put growing pressure on competing retailers as companies using these technologies scale deployments.  Personalization will move quickly, not just in marketing but in linking an Individual shopper’s health to her favorite store’s product assortment, guiding the shopper to products to improve her wellbeing.  Lastly, shopping is about to become far more interesting and truly immersive as technology really begins to impact the shopping experience, whether you are in the brick & mortar store or sitting at home. +MORE

Pseudo Customer Centricity: Fool’s Gold

Gary Hawkins on Winsight Grocery Business, CART

Retailers must employ a customer-first philosophy into organizational culture Many regional retailers are (at last!) intent on becoming customer-centric, more than a decade after The Kroger Co. led the way and more than two decades after early loyalty pioneers proved the value of a true customer focus. But too many retailers believe that customer centricity can simply be bolted on to their organizations without realizing that true customer centricity is far more involved. Like the intrepid gold miners of the 1840s, these retailers awaken to the realization that what they’ve taken for retail gold is in actuality a false promise, seduced by the fools gold of pseudo customer centricity. I can recount meetings with senior executives from well-known retailers who espouse their customer centricity efforts; spending massive sums on consultants and solutions powered by a decade’s old approach based on customer segments integrated to the retailer’s category planning processes, and even personalized offers to shoppers. Countless of these retailers remain anchored in a product-focused world, even those who tout using technology to discover what products should be put on offer to their customers rather than starting with a vendor-funded offer pool.  True disciples of customer centricity deeply embed a customer-first philosophy into their organizational culture, extending it to every part of the enterprise. These companies realize that providing savings on products relevant to the shopper is only the beginning. Leading companies such as Amazon and Kroger are investing heavily in taking customer centricity to the next level: comprehensive, seamless user experiences across channels and devices, integrating personalized product recommendations with an understanding of the individual shopper’s specific health conditions, and laying the technology foundation for immersive shopping experiences melding the physical and digital worlds. Customer first disciples understand the dynamic flow of customers and their shopping behavior over time, putting in place capabilities and processes attuned to providing contextual relevancy inside and outside the store. And personalization—driven by past purchases and recommendation algorithms—is fast evolving to what I think of as strategic hyper-personalization, leveraging vast intelligence about each individual shopper to power a mix of recommendations to win the shopping trip, grow baskets, maximize retention, and foster customer advocacy—one customer at a time, in real time. Many regional retailers are based in more rural areas where company executives believe their shoppers are less tech savvy, relieving pressure on digital imperatives. According to Pew Research, 95% of Americans own a cellphone in 2018, with 77% of Americans owning a smartphone. Pew also calls out that in 2018, 89% of Americans use the internet. Location is no longer a proxy for customer technology illiteracy.  This year, Amazon is projected to realize over $258 billion in U.S. retail sales, an estimated 49% of all online retail spending in the United States. With this kind of penetration, and the ability to ship products anywhere overnight, traditional supermarket retailers would do well to remember that their shoppers are increasingly expecting (demanding!) the seamless and comprehensive user experience provided by Amazon, and increasingly by Kroger and Walmart. Yet, too many retailers remain mired in digital purgatory, constrained by capability silos and the inability to bring piecemeal capabilities together in a seamless fashion for shoppers.  Lastly, many seasoned grocery executives have spent their careers being rewarded for following, letting someone else bring innovation to market and only following when it has been proven successful. Years ago IT executives would buy IBM, even if it wasn’t the best choice, but because it was the "safe" choice. This practice continues today as retailers sign deals with "established" providers because they believe it is the safe choice, failing to understand that today’s environment rewards fresh, forward-looking thinking. Retail executives need to look beyond yesterday’s approach to customer centricity to capabilities and platforms that actually position the retailer for future success. The cost of failing to provide a seamless shopping experience, for failing to provide true individual shopper personalization, and failing to provide real time contextual relevancy, can rapidly obliterate any savings or security from yesterday’s "proven" approach. Tom Furphy, a former Amazon executive and the originator of Amazon Fresh, in a recent interviewspeaking to the challenges retailers face today, especially a reliance on past practices, says it all: “What seems safe is actually destructive. That’s a recipe for longer term disaster.” This article originally appeared on Winsight Grocery Business and can be viewed here +MORE

The Top Five Ways Retailers Benefit from Industry Trade Shows

Courtney Muller, Chief Corporate Development & Strategy Officer, Clarion UX

When was the last time you attended a retail or food and beverage trade show? If you have to pause to think of the answer – or know immediately that the answer is, “Never” – then it might be time to find a show or expo near you. Trade shows are the best places for those within the industry to get out of their stores and network; find new products and stay abreast of the cutting edge technology offerings; and gain invaluable education in the areas you need it most. In short, even if you spend time every day trying to stay current, you could never see it all – or know what to search for. There is no better place than a trade show … from seeing new products, meeting new people, becoming educated on a new way to engage your customers, or finding out about technology … this is the place to find what you don’t know!   Here are some of the top reasons you should attend a trade show this year: Network with Decision Makers When you think of networking, perhaps the typical “mixer” scenario comes to mind with people you don’t know awkwardly milling about a bar or restaurant, trying to strike up conversations with random people in the hopes that you might be able to benefit one another in some way. Networking at a trade show couldn’t be any more different. As an attendee, you can specifically find exhibitors with the products you seek; attend educational sessions that pertain to topics you are interested in, therefore attracting other audience members who share the same challenges; and be assured that your peers in the same industry as you are seeking similar solutions as you.  And you might even run into a colleague you haven’t seen in years! Find New Products and Foods You subscribe to industry periodicals and get Google Alerts in your inbox every day, but have you seen that new robot that identifies out of stock items and potential slip and fall hazards? Have you read about leveraging data to establish loyalty and trust with food delivery customers? A trade show is the perfect venue to scope out all that is new in the retail world from tech products to new foods and services – all in one place – to help you use technology to create a seamless customer experience. As you look for new technology innovation to keep you competitive, you may find the perfect partner for online ordering, rapid delivery, or rapid checkout through customer’s smartphones.  No matter what you want to go to a trade show to find, you will likely be pleasantly surprised by discovering even more than you thought along the aisles. See New Trends in Action Are vegan offerings a must-have? Should you offer chef demonstrations to showcase meal ideas? Are international flavors high on consumer’s minds? What chef dishes are they trying replicate at home? Be on the front line of this year’s and next year’s trends so you can bank on what your customers will be looking for in the near future. You’ll walk away with new products and great ideas you can implement immediately in your store operations. You may even realize that you are on the verge of creating an entirely different trend yourself that has yet to appear on the market – good information that you can capitalize on in the year to come. Receive Best in Class Education If school is a distant memory – or perhaps you learned hands-on in a family business and worked your way up the ranks – one of the best perks of most trade shows is the educational content provided to attendees and exhibitors alike. Whether you’re interested in operational excellence, developing your workforce, building bigger baskets, or sessions dedicated to those hot new tech trends we previously mentioned, trade shows like The NGA Show (presented by the National Grocers Association) in San Diego this coming February will have you covered on all fronts. What’s more, you can connect with presenting industry specialists to gain even more valuable insight into the topics that interest you most. Gain Immediate, Actionable Ideas The bottom line … your time is valuable and you want to spend any time out of your store obtaining the cream of the crop ideas - from new products, growth strategies and tech trends. Hear what the experts have to share, sample emerging products, uncover new technology, and refresh your enthusiasm for the business. You’ll walk away with a plan to bring all of these new ideas and initiatives into your store operation to drive profits, growth and innovation.   No matter where you are in your retail career, a trade show will no doubt provide you with opportunities, education and inspiration as you progress in the business. Interested in learning more? Check out the upcoming NGA show: National Grocers Association Show, San Diego, CA, February 24-27, 2019, www.thengashow.com  Each year, The NGA Show brings together independent retailers and wholesalers, food retail industry executives, food/CPG manufacturers and service providers for unparalleled opportunities to learn, engage, share, network, and innovate.  Given today’s ever-changing marketplace and evolving advancements in innovation occurring in the food retail industry, The NGA Show is a must-attend event, providing over 40 educational workshops, an expo floor featuring innovative and game-changing products and solutions and countless networking opportunities.  Registration is open at www.thengashow.com – early bird registration rates in effect through December 10, 2018.  +MORE

NGA Show 2019: The Epicenter of Grocery Industry Innovation

CART, Advancing Retail

In a special event leading up to the opening of the new NGA Show 2019, CART will bring together unique education, an impressive line up of speakers, and cutting edge innovation to make San Diego the epicenter of grocery industry innovation during Feb. 24-27, 2019. With a focus on regional retailers and dynamic independent operators, the CART team will present an innovation tour de force designed to help attendees not only stay in the game but help them win. CART is coming together with leading retailers through-out the industry to provide attendees a new worldview for the future of retail where transformation and disruption are the new normal: iRetail. Focused on five ‘i’s, iRetail will give attending executives a framework for evaluating their existing capabilities and provide a roadmap to closing the innovation gap. In a time of declining and disappearing industry events, the NGA Show has become a beacon of light for the industry as it has grown each year, even outgrowing its longtime home in Las Vegas, spurring the move to San Diego this coming February. CART has had a long time partnership with NGA and is taking the relationship to a new level this year, building on the success of CART’s Innovation Event at last year’s show.  Make sure to put Sunday, Feb. 24, 2019, on your calendar and plan to attend the CART special event at the new NGA Show! +MORE

Technology's Profound Impact on the Supermarket Industry

Peter Larkin, President & CEO, National Grocers Association

Often cited as the one of the greatest catalyst of change within the retail grocery industry, technology is an area that independent supermarket operators must understand, and embrace.  Technology continues to have a profound impact, where virtually every detail of the supermarket industry is being touched by new solutions and platforms. I see three technology threads, each entwined with the other. One is the explosion of mobile applications and programs that are turning grocery shoppers into high information consumers. According to Pew research, smart phone adoption among Americans has more than doubled since 2011. Not only are shoppers becoming more sophisticated, but they are using technology as a way to gain more information, transparency, and convenience. At the touch of a mobile screen, consumers can instantly access to updated information on locally sourced perishables, competitive promotions, price checks and recipe ingredient lists. In turn, this migration to the digital space is shaping customer relationships with retailers. Today’s shopper does not want to be talked to but instead wants to be a part of the conversation. Consumer product manufacturers and marketers make up a second technology thread. By analyzing large chunks of customer data and retail sales, manufacturers, retailers and service suppliers are exploring innovative ways to touch their target audiences. Big data though can be vast and hard to harness. Whether it’s social media, a mobile payment system, or loyalty programs, technology can effectively create many new opportunities for savvy retailers to learn about and to connect with their shoppers to better serve their needs. A good place to see and learn about a number of these innovative solutions is right here at www.advancingretail.org. The third thread is in the store itself, where technology is increasingly employed to improve overall store productivity to program more effective lighting, to boost checkout efficiency, to track shopper traffic flows to improve layout and sales per square foot, or to offer customers immediate cost savings via real time wifi connections as they shop. A great, and very recent, example of this is Sedano's Supermarkets launch of a “robotic supermarket,” which entails an automated fulfillment center where AI-enabled robots will assemble full supermarket orders of up to 60 items. While the landscape is quickly evolving, many independent grocers are taking advantage of cutting-edge technologies to engage with their shoppers, find efficiencies, and reach new and existing customers where, how, and when they want. Independents have been making their move into digital. They are hiring dedicated staff, dedicating marketing budgets to digital initiatives, more effectively leveraging social media platforms, and integrating the latest technologies into their business strategies.  With the dramatic pace in which new apps and tech solutions are coming on to the market, it can all seem a bit overwhelming, but technology will play a defining role in the supermarket industry.  Those retailers that are on the forefront of implementing new technology and embrace the hyper-connected, tech-savvy consumer are positioning themselves for success. I’m one who is convinced that these threads will weave into a pattern of rising sales and profits. And that’s why the 2019 NGA Show will kick-off with a new educational event, spearheaded by our partners at CART, entitled “iRetail: Technology Innovation Reshaping the Grocery Industry.” The event is designed to give supermarket operators a framework for navigating fast-paced innovation while maintaining a focus on the importance of people and physical stores as we move into the future. Despite increased competition from all angles, it is an exciting time for the supermarket industry – and we at NGA are bullish about what the future holds for the independent grocers! Known as the true entrepreneurs of the industry, independents are nimble enough to quickly overcome obstacles, and are finding innovative ways to respond to changing consumer preferences, which is something they’ve always been good at given their close ties to their communities and the consumers they serve. +MORE

Pace of Innovation -- Shattering the Status Quo

Gary Hawkins, CART

Retailers are shellshocked by the increasing pace of technology fueled innovation that is transforming and disrupting the industry. It seems not a week goes by that we don’t read about yet another new competitor entering the grocery space or some new innovation being rolled out by an existing competitor. Case in point: Kroger’s recent announcement that it is deploying its Shop, Scan, and Bag self-shopping solution at 400+ stores. This in response to Amazon’s cashier-less Go store pilot and Walmart’s similar self-shopping solution. Supermarket retailers are challenged on several fronts relative to innovation. It is nearly impossible for a retailer to be aware of all the new innovation entering the market. As an example, CART reviews an estimated 100 new solutions each month. Beyond awareness though is the challenge of deciding what areas to focus on (supply chain, distribution, marketing, store operations, etc.) and deciding what specific solution to pilot. And then having to decide what new capabilities to deploy across operating stores. Having efficient operations, quality foods, and great pricing and service is simply the cost of entry to supermarket retail. The new battleground is innovation. This is a new world for retailers to navigate. As an example, we see too many retailers implementing different digital capabilities in a piecemeal fashion rather than working towards a cohesive and comprehensive platform. The self-shopping capability mentioned earlier is a great example. Some retailers are trying to implement this kind of capability through a third-party app or a separate app rather than bundling it into one mobile app for their customers. Shoppers are after an omni-channel, seamless experience, not being forced to interact with different apps or systems to do business with a retailer. CART is here to help. We’re able to leverage our strong retail experience, industry knowledge, and unique insight to new capabilities and innovation flowing into the market to help retailers understand where they are today relative to their competitors and best-in-class retailers. Developing an innovation roadmap is important to help in prioritizing what new innovation to focus on and to create a foundation capable of adapting to new capabilities and technologies as they come into the market. +MORE

NRF 2018: Tech-Fueled Innovation in Retail -- The Future is Here

CART

Thoughts on NRF 2018… So I just returned from a jam-packed three days at the NRF Show in New York city. I’ve attended NRF for a number of years now and was struck by how big and how busy the show was this year. The attendance on Sunday and Tuesday was strong but the number of people at the show and on the exhibit floors on Monday was just mind-blowing. It may have been the busiest single day that I’ve seen. Many international retailers were there along with the usual extensive array of retailers across many verticals from the US. My feeling is that a growing number of retailers understand the importance of innovation to their businesses and that is a key driver for the activity at the show. Some years there is a common thread that seems to run across many of the exhibitors. This year that ‘link’ was artificial intelligence - everyone was talking about AI and how it was part of their solutions. While some of this is real, AI has quickly become the latest buzzword and is already overused. AI is no longer (nor was it ever) it’s own thing but rather AI technology is being incorporated into a fast growing number of solutions and applications, powering more effective capabilities. Robots were out in force with several robotics companies represented. Marketing personalization was well represented along with many other areas. The main exhibit floor is packed each year with the big established solution providers like Microsoft, Intel, Oracle, NCR, Toshiba, and many others. The NRF Show gets more interesting on the lower level exhibit floor where smaller (sometimes younger) companies are exhibiting and that’s where you can find more innovation. And then there was Retail 20/20 where young innovative solutions were showcased. This area drew a lot of attention. I think more than anything the NRF Show this year represented the diversity of tech-fueled innovation that is coming into the retail industry and the challenge for retailers to try and keep up with new innovation. Here are a few of the cool technologies CART tweeted about: Inventory Scan Complete!  #NAVii Optimizing your inventory with #Robotics  Discover consistent accurate & never-before-seen insights of your inventory   Fellow Robotics  How cool is this? It’s magical @perchexperience physically-aware displays sense when shoppers approach, touch and pick up products and responds with dynamic media  Perch Interactive @kroger #EDGE #Smart Shelf interacts w/shoppers using Kroger mobile app & can detect their location in the aisles, offer tailored promotions based on purchasing habits & highlight items on their #grocery lists as they pass by Edge - Edgewater Wireless Exciting news! Facebook and RetailNext Collaborate to Provide Greater Insight into Store Shoppers  RetailNext It’s really cool how @Integem_Inc Holographic #AugmentedReality system intelligently recognizes people and body movements, then immerses them into a virtual world in real-time. Integem Inc. @LocusRobotics innovative autonomous mobile robots make it easy to optimize your warehouse operation, respond to #ecommerce volume growth & seasonal peaks while giving you control over your labor costs Locus Robotics See @RenttheRunway’s Senior Director of Engineering demo how RTR uses Aila’s Interactive Kiosk to streamline in-store operations and create better customer experiences via @AilaTech Aila Technologies @Mike_Mack CEO & Fract co-founder @NRFBigShow Enhance #CustomerExperience with @fractInc Fract is winner of CART’s May 2017 #PitchEvent Fract helps #Businesses increase market share of their locations with a geospatial #AI platform fract™  @BNRobotics drives autonomously through aisles doing “basic stuff” -like taking care of tedious shelf-auditing tasks- allowing employees to focus on more important things Bossa Nova Robotics +MORE

Stepping into the Gap at the NGA Show 2018

Gary Hawkins, CART

Wow! The NGA Show 2018 was non-stop excitement from our opening presentation on Sunday afternoon to the Innovation lounge to the last moments on the exhibit floor.  It was powerfully exciting to see independent retailers embrace new innovation - an estimated 250 retailers attending the Industry Innovation session that CART delivered on Sunday afternoon. Independent retailers were taken on a journey into the innovation gap - the growing gap between traditional retailer deployment of new capabilities and the exponential growth of tech-fueled innovation. CART coordinated a pitch event as part of our Industry Innovation session on Sunday afternoon where four exciting young companies showcased indoor farms, eCommerce delivery capabilities using an automated delivery vehicle, in-store shopper analytics, and awesome augmented reality to capture and engage shoppers. And that was just the beginning! Four sponsors providing innovative solutions anchored the Innovation Lounge: Birdzi’s comprehensive digital customer engagement platform, ScriptSave’s Personalized Wellness program, Daisy Intelligence’s AI powered promotion optimization, and Rosie’s eCommerce solution. Each company provided an educational tech talk on Monday and Tuesday of the show to help retailers understand the power of leveraging technology to drive business success. The innovation flowed into the exhibit floor with great displays from over a dozen companies in the CART Pavilion helping attract just non-stop traffic as retailers visited the CART pavilion to learn, engage, and build relationships with key innovative solution providers that can help grow store sales and engage customers. The 2018 NGA Show was the most exciting and powerful CART event yet and planning has already started for the 2019 Show that’s going to be held in San Diego. Make sure its on your calendar! +MORE

Virt Walkthroughs for Retail

Virt

Virtual walkthroughs are a great tool to market your retail experience online and in VR, but creating VR content is a time-consuming and expensive process.  At Virt, we've figured out a way to create environments that feel 3D at the cost of 2D, by using 360-degree video rovers. We provide the full end-to-end service, scanning your space, hosting it in the cloud, and giving you a web-based Virt walkthrough player to embed directly in your existing website. +MORE

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SKIN semantic wall

umaskin

Imagine you walk by a wall and the wall starts to react on you, presenting you information based on your interests and allowing you, as individual or group, to communicate easily. The information contextually evolves based on your interest and interaction. The umaSKIN platform provides customers with a unique experience. The innovative approach of SKIN® is the combination of interactive and social media and multitouch installations into one highly adaptive and intelligent wall. The social web has shifted power to your customers, allowing them to express resonance. Retail: We want to help you to leverage this shift and use it actively to your advantage. Service, recommend, communicate Automatic mashup product database and social media   Personalize with RFID, NFC, Barcode   Leverage multi channel strategy   Sell ad space and content channels   Connect to loyalty and rewards systems   +MORE

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ArcGIS Platform

Esri

ArcGIS is your first step toward better, smarter decision making and a more efficient organization. Just about every problem and situation has a location aspect. Unlock the power of location with ArcGIS. +MORE

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Vuezr

Vuezr

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Vuezr delivers on iPhone and  Android smartphones a “Google-glass-like” consumer experience: bringing media-rich digital content via augmented reality on products  to consumers at their moment of truth, to convert them to purchase, here and now. In the digital and on-line age, retailers need to capture any opportunity to close the sale when consumers show product consideration in the aisle; Vuezr is the ideal platform to engage at that decisive moment. +MORE

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Flixmedia - Point and Place

Advantage Solutions

> content is king < Brands know better content translates into more engaged shoppers, which translates into better sales. As our brands work hard to build ever more engaging rich content, Flixmedia works hard alongside you to syndicate that ever more complex content to your retail partners in our Global Shopper Network.  > letting shoppers try before they buy < With hundreds of retailers connected across 40 countries, Point and Place is a revolutionary Augmented Reality Shopping Platform that engages and educates shoppers like never before. Available on iOS and Android devices, it reduces the 'Imagination Gap' for shoppers when buying online. Allow shoppers to place TVs, dishwashers, fridges, printers, laptops and hundreds of other products in their own home to speed up the decision-making process and reduce product returns.  >making shopping fun < Point & Place is a free turn-key Shopping Platform that allows you to instantly add Augmented Reality shopping to your own websites, your retailer sites and deploy in-store.  > 3 core types of content syndication < INpages Delivered in-line, directly in the retailer product page, just below the hero image and retailer’s own content. All of this rich content is syndicated automatically within a template designed with you, our brand partner.  MiniSites Pop-up windows with tabs, accessed by clicking on a button on the retailer product page. Again, within a template designed in collaboration with you. HotSpots Clickable, interactive buttons directly on your ‘hero’ product image – the most visible part of the page – to demonstrate key product features and benefits to shoppers.  > more than the average < We also offer a host of other syndicated content, e.g. video, comparison tables, product reviews, CGi assets, 360 degree spins.  > no worries < Our clever bunch of in-house developers have even devised smart ways to ensure that this rich content generally loads within 1 second on the retailer’s website, namely by compressing the content and using lazy loading.  On top of that, syndicated content is SEO-neutral. According to award-winning search marketing agency, Red Hot Penny, search engines such as Google penalise spammy behaviour but actively encourage activity that provides users with an enhanced user experience. Therefore, syndicated content does not result in ‘duplicate content’ penalties. In fact, it helps drive product engagement and conversion, both of which are vital indirect organic ranking signals. Our brand and retail partners often have lots more questions about our services. Contact our Sales Team to get quick answers to your queries or to get a copy of our FAQs.  +MORE

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Camera IQ

Camera IQ

CAMERAS ARE THE NEW START MENU Camera IQ is the world's first augmented reality platform for camera marketing. We unite the camera ecosystem to help brands create and deliver captivating AR experiences at scale.  TOOLS FOR A CAMERA-FIRST WORLD  Camera Experience Manager Mission Control for your Camera Content The Camera Experience Manager, our flagship product, makes it easy to leverage the power of Camera Marketing and unlock a new, direct relationship with your audience.  Create Our preloaded templates help you create augmented reality experiences (AREs) quickly. Upload 2D or 3D assets directly to your content library. Then create campaigns and experiences at will.  Manage Our intuitive dashboard makes it simple to manage all of your campaigns from one central hub. Deploy your content across multiple channels, including native apps, Facebook’s cameras, and Snapchat, all 
with the click of a button.  Measure The art of camera marketing thrives at the intersection of experience design and spatial analytics. We aggregate engagement data from each of your channels to give you a holistic understanding of your audience behavior and help meet them where they are.  Augmented Reality Experience Builder Take your best assets to new places Our library of Augmented Reality Experiences (AREs) allow you to leverage your existing repository of digital content in a whole new medium.  CIQ Camera Kit Own your camera, own your audience Our flexible CIQ Camera Kit enables brands to integrate and build their own camera into their application. The camera is the direct-to-consumer holy grail where presence, focus, and participation collide. Our robust feature set allows you to build rich experiences and deepen relationships with your audiences. +MORE

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Allure Systems

Allure Systems

An image solution to transform fashion ecommerce Allure Systems’ image-creation solution addresses both old and new challenges faced by apparel brands and retailers.  Drive E-Commerce Metrics provide more relevant shopping experiences to drive engagement drive conversions and reduce returns by providing additional visual information meet shoppers’ general diversity and size inclusivity hopes and expectations create specific images for specific territories/customer groups  Scalable, efficient image production transform studio productivity  reduced cost-per-image consistent, high-quality, on-brand images  reduced time-to-site  New and personalized experiences large image sets enable ‘show a model like me’ approach virtualized images support all current and future CX plans: 3D on model assets Augmented Reality etc… +MORE

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Mixed.Place

Mixed Place

Patented mixed reality AR cloud infrastructure that enables Streaming experiences to be placed on accurate locations on earth. Experiences persist and become part of reality forever for everyone, day & night.   Location-based, Streaming Experiences AR cloud App Location-based, multi-experiences app (patented) that provide streaming MR/AR cloud content while you move according to your location, what you need, the time of day and even your wishes.  Retailers & Agencies Mixed reality Tools Location-based MR/AR experiences indoors & outdoors Loyalty & promotion virtual collectibles system E-commerce to real world retail Own your domain of earth – your real-virtual real-estate  Mixed reality UGC (User Generated Content) tools. Worldwide, Location-based, persistent AR cloud, shared sandbox with multiple tools to cover the world with mixed reality content.​ 3D brushes Bricks & blocks 3D animated models Interactive game pieces  Location-based 3D websites real world Mixed Reality domains (coming soon)  Mixed Reality will slowly replace the old 2D websites, information boards and flat screens. business will need location-based content, 3D websites Own your domain of earth – your real-estate is your virtual real-estate too. E-commerce to real world retail – place your products in the real world. Offer your visitors interactive information on accurate locations in your store, restaurant, business and land. +MORE

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SmartPixels

SmartPixels

The best customization experiences are built with SmartPixels. SmartPixels is an all-in-one platform to help you design, sell and produce customized products. Show the right content with dynamic product visuals. Design unforgettable experiences Stand-out. Deliver a memorable, seamless shopping experience at every touchpoint with SmartPixels’ recognized technology. Take a look at our show-reel and learn how we can help you grow your net promoter score.  Drive new revenue growth Sell more. SmartPixels’ customers have experienced increase in conversion rate and upsell. Complex products become as easy to sell as off-the-shelf items thanks to our sales supports tools. Try us and achieve ROI faster than ever. Keep production under control. Integrated into your existing production line Reduce mistakes, track sales, and automate repetitive production tasks with the SmartPixels’ platform and save hours of manual effort. Feel confident about manufacturing and delivering the custom products you sold.   BECOME AN IMMERSIVE RETAILER Improve your digital strategy and your physical shops by offering an innovative and memorable client experience that combines both. Tell your stories and enhance your brand image by giving life and energy to your vitrines, products and displays.  Attract & Engage We guarantee that people will stop & look when seeing an animated product. They will film it, share it on social media, they will tell their friends and family. They will remember it. They will interact with it.  Analyse & Manage your content Update models, visuals & animations remotely to adapt to locations, seasons and clients. Gather data from client interactions and manage your visuals accordingly. +MORE

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All Things Media

All Things Media, LLC

Delivering immersive digital solutions every day. At All Things Media (ATM), we create unforgettable digital experiences for industry-leading global brands and agency partners. We excel at creating visually engaging, technologically advanced, yet intuitive, experiences that position our clients for success in today's digital world. Whether that solution involves VR, AR, mobile, app or web, let us help tell your story and maximize your digital impact.  Services ATM combines a wide array of technical and creative resources that span the digital development landscape, all under one roof. Simply put, our clients benefit from quick turnarounds, cross-channel consistency, and the best in collaborative thinking. We are constantly experimenting with new programs and technology to give your product the best possible results. Our talented team will guide you through every step of the process, turning your vision into a reality and allowing your customers to experience your brand and products in more immersive and rewarding ways. As our client, you will have full access to our robust (and growing) list of digital skills, including: Programming • Mobile Web Development • iOS/Android Development • Unity Development/Real-time rendering • Artificial Intelligence • Machine Learning and Automation Design • User Interface/User Experience (UI/UX) • Responsive, multi-platform design • Corporate training and eLearning • Brand design and development • Digital marketing • Illustration 3D • Modeling/texturing/rigging/animation • Lighting and rendering • Compositing • Photoreal visualization Video and Motion Graphics • Photogrammetry/360 video capture/green screen capture • Mixed Reality capture • Motion Graphics • Video editing, storyboards and pre-visualization Account Administration • Account Management • Project Management • Quality Assurance Testing • Copywriting/editing Extended Reality • Virtual Reality (VR) • Augmented Reality (AR) • Mixed Reality (MR) +MORE

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Studio 216

Studio 216

VIRTUAL REALITY + MIXED REALITY + PROFESSIONAL SERVICES  Experience the Virtual Environment.  Studio 216 is an immersive technology company that empowers our clients to see the future and experience their dreams in virtual, augmented and mixed environments. Our award-winning content and platforms bring projects to life by crafting the story of place.  OUR PLATFORM: ALTOURA XR Our proprietary platform, Altoura XR is optimized for the demands of enterprise clients.  We package immersive experiences with data and analytics to drive sales, and maximize ROI.  CONTENT CREATION  The story of place matters. Studio 216 specializes in finding that special story and bringing it to life.  Find out how we brand, package and create marketing assets, and tools for enterprise companies.  Microsoft HoloLens Agency Partner Studio 216 is partnering with Microsoft to develop mixed reality applications that will help transform the way we all do business. +MORE

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Americhip

Americhip

HYPERVSN™- USA Premier Reseller The reaction to seeing HYPERVSN is unanimous – Wow, insane, it’s unbelievable! The marketing sensation that is HYPERVSN is now available to attract customers in a truly captivating way – a “floating illusion” of dimensional, motion imagery.  The applications are as vast as the imagination to utilize  this innovation.  +MORE

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Collective Social Intelligence

Collective Social Intelligence

CSI specialises in using visualisation for bringing ideas and innovation to life for companies, government and education. +MORE

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Phoria

Phoria

Experience any physical space as if you are physically there. With Matterport, we have visualised more than 1,000 unique spaces across Australia since 2014. Leading portal Realestate.com.au demonstrates that listings featuring a 3D tour receive an 80% increase in enquiries and are 4x more engaging than video.  Create and distribute 3D content automatically. CAPTUR3D is a purpose built marketing tool that creates and distributes 3D content automatically. It helps 3D content creators produce whole marketing packages instantly, this game changer has helped us grow internationally.  Immerse yourself into spaces that do not even exist yet. The fidelity of 2D renders has come a long way in 24 months, however, the user experience is still trapped behind flat two-dimensional content. PLANN3D is a revolutionary off-the-plan solution that brings new developments to life using interactive Virtual and Augmented experiences.  Transform your imagination. DREAM3D leverages tools like 360 video, game engines and Virtual/Augmented Reality to craft unique experiences that entertain, educate and inspire. Whether you are a hospital patient looking to explore an untethered virtual world or an innovative brand wanting to connect with customers in new and exciting ways, we would love to hear from you. +MORE

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Immersive Experience Studio - You Are Here

A Cooper Holdings Company

YOU ARE HERE is an immersive experience lab that helps agencies and brands engage customers with a strategic mix of innovation technologies for events, marketing, and training all over the world.   You Are Here is an immersive experience lab that uses a strategic mix of innovation and immersive technologies like Augmented and Virtual Reality to educate, engage and excite people at retail, trade shows, and events all over the world. We use technology to help people feel things and understand concepts that lead measurable experiences for customers and brands. Our work in AR, VR and display technologies attracts and engages potential customers 4-5x more effectively than traditional methods.  We use technology to help people feel things and understand concepts that lead to mutually-positive and measurable outcomes for customers and brands. • Augmented Reality • Virtual Reality • 360° Video • 3D Holograms • Projection Mapping • LED Video Walls • Custom Interactives • Touchscreen Kiosks +MORE

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PTC

Computer-Aided Design (CAD) CAD software solutions for your seamless product design and development needs. Featuring the Creo Parametric Suite for your 3D CAD modeling. Product Lifecycle Management (PLM)  PLM for companies struggling to keep up with product complexity and the pace of innovation, and missing out on the potential of IoT. Service Lifecycle Management (SLM)  Maximize service efficiency and increase customer success with our SLM software solutions. IoT Platform  The ThingWorx Industrial IoT Platform delivers tools and technologies that allow you to rapidly develop and deploy powerful IoT applications and AR experiences. Augmented Reality Platform  Augmented Reality empowers innovators and developers to build immersive AR experiences that transform the way users create, operate and service products. PTC Mathcad  PTC Mathcad is math software that allows you to solve, analyze and share your most vital engineering calculations. +MORE

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Aria

YouVisit

THE IMMERSIVE STORYTELLING PLATFORM THAT DRIVES CONVERSIONS  MEET When you partner with YouVisit, you get access to Aria, the leading enterprise 360° platform designed to help businesses drive measurable results. Aria is powered by advanced patented technologies and over 200,000 hours of development by the brightest minds in the immersive media space. 800+ brands and organizations throughout the world rely on Aria to engage and convert audiences using interactive 360° experiences that scale across mobile, desktop, and VR.  CREATE YouVisit’s Aria platform was built from the ground up to efficiently create and deliver interactive 360° experiences that engage and convert.  Thanks to the easy-to-use features of Aria Creator, brands and organizations are able to integrate 360° videos, 360° photos, traditional videos and photos, and advanced interactivity layers to deliver an immersive virtual experience like no other. Features include drag-and-drop positional media, triggers, focus zones, hotspots, living scenes, and so much more.  ENGAGE Captivate your audience with non-linear storytelling that encourages them to explore and interact with your brand or organization based on their personal interests. Capture their attention with dynamic media and a wide range of interactive capabilities.  The Aria Player was engineered with fast-delivery algorithms that scale across mobile, desktop, and VR headsets like Oculus and Samsung Gear. Plus, they can be easily embedded anywhere. Your 360° virtual experiences will look their best—no matter what device your audience uses or how fast their connection is.  CONVERT It’s no secret that the best way to convert users is to engage them with the right message at the right time. Aria utilizes behavior-driven algorithms to deliver intelligent prompts and calls-to-action that boost conversions.  And since the average duration of engagement for a YouVisit experience is 10+ minutes, you can ensure you’re maximizing your conversion potential.  OPTIMIZE Aria’s powerful analytics engine enables you to measure ROI and optimize your 360º virtual experiences based on user behaviors. In addition, data-driven insights and on-demand reporting enable you to continuously improve interactions, engagement, and conversions. Plus, Aria is backed by a best-in-class tech team, so you always have the latest features and functionality. +MORE

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Adroit™

Gravity Jack

ADROIT TECHNOLOGY AND BUSINESS GROUP The Adroit Technology and Business Group is engaging with a select group of industry leaders that have been tackling challenging use cases for AR object detection and robotic machine vision. We are focused on solving complex problems with progressive partners -- ones who see AR coupled with 6DOF (6 Degrees of Freedom) object intelligence as offering a transformative competitive advantage. The near-term focus will be on developing select, targeted and custom solutions that employ Adroit to solve high value problems. We welcome you to reach out to us for consideration as a foundational partner, as we build this portfolio of solutions.  AR ASSISTED MAINTENANCE Adroit identifies complex components within larger systems, in varying lighting conditions -- even if visibility is impacted by dirt and oil. Adroit was developed with real world industrial use cases in mind, including field maintenance of critical industrial machinery.  AR ENABLES RETAIL SALES Adroit enhances the showroom sales process, allowing customization or feature exploration of physical products with customers. For instance, Adroit can assist a salesperson in helping customers select and visualize a range of wheels, features and colors of a car in real time.  AR POWERED PRODUCTION LINES Assist front-line workers with clear and timely processes, with only a glance. Adroit can identify and understand 3D objects at 30 frames per second with 6DOF, allowing the system to help workers pick correct parts, products and more - meaning costly error reduction, elimination of line stoppages and increased quality assurance.  ADVANCED MACHINE VISION FOR AUTONOMOUS ROBOTICS The next industrial revolution is coming. Robots and drones will solve problems and perform tasks the way that we humans do. The key to this revolution is getting robots to ‘see’ and have an intelligence of the real world and objects within it. Not simply recognizing them, but understanding these objects in ways similar to the human brain. Adroit enables robots to understand how potential multi-modal objects fit and work together independently, as well as holistically. Applications for this class of robotics span food production, building and construction, search and rescue, and defense/security. The technology will be essential to autonomous remote robotic missions, accessing areas and objects inhospitable for humans - from deep-sea drilling to Mars.  AUGMENTED REALITY  In addition to fully-custom solutions, our proprietary Adroit™ technology detects the precise pose any real world, 3D object -- regardless of size, moving parts, texture, lighting conditions & more.  VIRTUAL REALITY  Immerse users in a 360º, fully-virtual experience. We create one of a kind VR experiences for every headset available – including Google Cardboard, Oculus, HTC Vive, Samsung GearVR and more. We even offer video and 3D services.  MOBILE APPS  From iOS to Android and everything in between, our expert team has been creating some of the world's most powerful, innovative and beautiful mobile applications for nearly a decade.  360º VIDEO PRODUCTION  Give the whole picture, with immersive 360º videos. Our team of experts direct, shoot and produce beautiful, high-quality experiences that guarantee to wow from every angle.  WEB & DATA  When it comes to web, a responsive, professional and secure presence is absolutely critical. From front-end work, to custom content (CMS) and database management, our team has the full stack of skills to make sure you're solid. +MORE

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