NRF Recap: Digitization, data and differentiation

In the beginning of January, the Bamboo Rose team attended NRF 2018: Retail’s Big Show to share insights with industry leaders and connect with customers. Every year, this event sets the tone for what’s to come in retail, and this year the focus remained on evolving retail technology and digitalization within the industry. Here are some of our biggest takeaways.


Digital transformation

A key theme throughout several presentations was how digital transformation is the path forward for the retail industry. This statement was echoed throughout the event as retailers are revisiting how they invest in new technologies as the industry advances. In the next ten years, over $2.8 trillion in value could be at stake as retailers embrace digital solutions. To take advantage of this growth, retailers must:

  • Employ productive tools
  • Focus on innovation and insights
  • Enhance the customer experience
  • Improve asset use
  • Optimize the supply chain and logistics
  • Embrace sustainability


The first step toward successful adaptation, however, is laying the right technological foundation to support these goals. Retailers need a fully integrated system that allows them to collect and analyze data, increase communication and collaboration, and improve visibility throughout the product development process.


Data science

With the advancements in machine learning and artificial intelligence, retailers have numerous tools at their disposal to collect and analyze data. These innovations, along with 3-D technology and augmented reality, don’t have to exist on the front-end alone. Retailers should take advantage of the insights gathered in-store or online and apply the same approach on the backend. The same way consumers can use smart mirrors to try on new clothes, retailers can use 3-D technology to project a product and inspect the design before it’s manufactured.



All the technology in the world won’t help you if you don’t have a good value proposition. This sentiment throughout the retail industry grows as more and more stores close their doors. To survive in the Amazon era, retailers need to understand their place in the market and focus on innovation within their specialization. Tools and technology can only do so much for a brand with a lack of consumer loyalty, and now more than ever consumers are drawn to brands that focus on creating high-quality products and unique experiences.


As consumers continue to demand products that specifically suit their lifestyle, retailers struggle to incorporate personalization at scale. Affecting everything from marketing to the end product, personalization is key for the retail industry this year and retailers who embrace collaborative digital technology will be better prepared to incorporate it in their business plan.


See how Bamboo Rose is leading the B2B Retail Revolution to help retailers improve backend product design and development.