How retail sector is spending on IT infrastructure and digital

Retail customer image by Motorola Solutions
A glance through the announcements and product launches at the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) Big Show in the U.S indicates that IT investments are flooded to meet various needs of the retail sector.

Indian software major Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has launched two retail solutions — Optumera Digital Merchandizing Suite and Omnistore Unified Store Commerce Platform.

Optumera Digital Merchandizing Suite enables retailers to leverage the power of computational intelligence to deliver shopper centric merchandising, while Omnistore Unified Store Commerce Platform is a micro-services based modern POS platform to help retailers seamlessly orchestrate omni-channel journeys for their customers.

Zebra Technologies demonstrated a smart refrigeration Internet of Things (IoT) reference design. In addition to the latest in low-power silicon and cloud services, this demonstration will show how products designed with the ARM mbed IoT Device Platform bring improved security and energy efficiency.

Zebra noted that consumer demand for fresher, safer food and medication is driving retailers to invest in automatic, non-invasive temperature monitoring of refrigeration units.

Zebra also introduced two new desktop printers – ultra-compact ZD410 2-inch direct thermal printer and ZD420 thermal transfer printer.

The first model is designed for the smallest of work spaces. It can be placed conveniently wherever employees need to work.

Zebra said this model is ideal for printing high-quality labels, receipts, and tags in applications including pharmacy prescription labels, shelf labeling, price markdowns and scale labels.

At the same time, the second printer is a desktop thermal transfer printer with an easy-to-load ribbon cartridge.

Zebra further demonstrated Price Management Execution – an integrated retail enterprise asset intelligence solution with predictive analytics from Revionics.

Japanese information and communication technology (ICT) company Fujitsu explained how its Retail Engagement Analytics helps retailers.

The Retail Engagement Analytics is a cloud-based analytics solution that integrates with Point of Sales and key retail information systems to improve customer experience and store performance. The new solution will be available from April 2016 with rollout starting in North America.

Infor announced Infor Supply Chain Execution (SCE), version 10.4, to deliver enhanced performance and efficiency. Infor SCE 10.4 combines warehouse management, transportation execution, 3PL billing and labor management in a single, unified solution.

It is designed to help users optimize inventory, warehouse space and labor in the warehouse while streamlining the complex supply chain business processes. The solution is available to users as an on-premise or cloud deployment.

At the event, Kronos announced that Swarovski, producer and retailer of crystal product collections, has deployed the Kronos Workforce Central suite of workforce management solutions in locations across Europe and the U.S.

Toshiba showcased a broad variety of retail solutions. Some examples of Toshiba retail innovation featured on the show floor include hardware experience bar, new Toshiba smart van, augmented reality and future self-service concept.

Technology major Intel unveiled a range of technological innovations at the show.  The solutions feature popular brands including Boulanger, Brooks Brothers, Coop, Levi Strauss & Co., and Nordstrom.

The company also announced the Intel Retail Sensor Platform, the first vertical solution based on the Intel IoT Platform, designed to enable future retail systems with analytics.

Starmount released Starmount Store Inventory, a new application designed to help retailers maintain accurate store inventory. This application works on the same powerful mobile platform that store associates use to engage customers and process transactions.

At the show, NCR Corporation has brought a new solution to the U.S. petroleum and convenience store market to modernize the fuel pump experience and increase in-store sales.

The NCR Outdoor Payment Terminal will come in 7” or 12” interactive touch screens, enhanced by NCR solutions on an open platform.


The event also witnessed new tie-ups and partnership extensions. Some of them are:

Demandware and eBay Enterprise have announced an alliance to develop a fully enabled omnichannel solution. The goal of this relationship is to deliver integrated access to the Demandware Commerce Cloud solutions and the eBay Enterprise suite of “post-click” commerce technologies and services.

Mobivity Holdings joined Epson at the NRF. Mobivity will showcase how it leverages real-time data generated through Epson’s OmniLink Merchant Services platform to determine transaction patterns and generate tailored print-on-receipt coupons, custom mobile offers, and dynamic text based marketing solutions in real-time.

Survey findings

SAP announced findings from a survey and report commissioned by The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), “How Mobile is Transforming Retail.” The report is based on a consumer survey across 39 countries.

According to the survey results, retailers are under enormous pressure to adjust both internal and customer-facing business strategies in order to keep pace with rapidly evolving consumer demands.

The report identified three key mobile imperatives to retail growth- Addressing generational differences in shopper behaviour, prioritize the user experience to attract and retain customers and closing the gap in mobile shopping functionality.

Arya Krishnan
[email protected]