NRF 2020 the Retail’s the bigest Show just closed the door after 3 days of the best of the art in Retail at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City with 40K attendees, 18k retailers, 800 Exhibitors from 100 countries !. It was a three-day conference bringing together the largest gathering of industry executives from retailers, brands, software solutions for discussions of the latest industry trends and gives attendees a view into how retail brands of all sizes who are transforming at the new edge of digital and the industrie 4.0. It’s where visionary talent meets visionary tech, where big-box retailers share out of the box ideas, and the latest and greatest becomes the here and now.

NRF 2020 concluded as one of the greatest Big Shows ever. Check out the recap video below
to see some of the highlights from this year’s event by ©NRF

Just after the CES 2020 in Vegas the event offered networking opportunities and insights of the latest technologies and solutions for retailers. For more than a century, NRF’s annual convention and EXPO has been the annual gathering for industry luminaries and leaders, and it remains the place where big things happen in retail.

It is obvious as reported by Forbes that NRF is without question a technology show. From the keynotes to the booths to the media coverage, all the excitement around the event focused on how technology is transforming the retail experience.

Here a selection of the best Video Recap by NRF : Spend the time to review the keynote of Satya Nadella CEO of Microsoft, very inspiring in this marketing technology stack.

Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella, kicked off the show with an inspiring keynote address. He said, “the goal of the 2020s is for every retailer to develop their own tech intensity. That doesn’t mean reinventing the wheel, but it does mean building the digital capabilities of your organization.” Satya encouraged companies to leverage tech partnerships and spend resources developing their own systems and programs to bolster organizational performance.

Don’t miss the official Web Report

The future of retail is all about pushing the boundaries and enhance the digital customer experience. At NRF 2020, retail partners demonstrated the many ways brands can gather different data sources to produce a personalized experience. Here are highlights from the Innovation Lab, a showcase of startups that are re-envisioning the retail journey with cutting-edge technologies.( Judith Aquino of the Customer Strategist Journal (

Today’s retailers compete in the most complex, high-pressure consumer marketplace in history. Attracting and keeping customers’ demands that retailers “raise the bar in a world of raised expectations.

What are the most important strategic business objectives of your company’s omnichannel strategy?

Because the Big NRF Show is so large, you have to go there not only to attend, but to approach with a plan. One strategy is to identify the key themes that will shape the future of retail and seek out the latest thinking on how to respond.

What are the most important strategic business objectives of your company’s omnichannel strategy?

From the tends for retailers we can highlight some man trends :

1- The NRF is the clear representation of the Digital Transformation in Store. Retailers have to find new ways to attract customers into the store, to engage with them on a deeper level through effective use of data and devices. Today consumers need more content at every stage of the touch point.

More and more content for shopper to make a decision

2- Shoppers are more concerned with the responsible dimension of their purchases, even if it means playing more expensive, and are increasingly fragmenting their shopping, according to a study published on the occasion of Retail’s Big Show 2020. Thus, 77% consent to a financial effort for “clean” purchases, 73% for organic products and 72% for recyclable objects. This year it is all about sustainability and social responsibility.

3- Mobile : Mobile devices have changed the way you are buying and it transformed every aspect of consumers’ lives, including how they engage with brands. Thisois the clear representation for Gen Z and Millennials as for example. Consumers spent $7.4 billion online this year blackfriday 2019, up by $1.2 billion on blackfriday 2018 according Adobe Analytics, Salesforce revealed $7.2 billion in sales too. And a full $2.9 billion of blackfriday sales happened on smartphones for the first time !

Adobe Analytics tracks sales in real-time for 80 of the top 100 US retailers, covering 55 million SKUs and some 1 trillion transactions during the holiday sales period. Salesforce uses Commerce Cloud data and insights covering more than half a billion global shoppers across more than 30 countries.


The Mobile is a key player now for retailers to bring the digital/physical divide. It is mandatory today that any DAM PIM CMS solution has to be responsive helping retailers and shoppers to boost sales engagement and performance. Mobile will increase basket size and value for new immersive customer service.

4- Order Management System (OMS): A very important part in order to deliver a seamless and sastifying omnichannel experience is to optimize the order management, selecting the best ship-from locations while minimizing cost and environmental impact. I advise you for the french people this article from Thierry Lembert here.

5- Of course the other BIG subject especially just after the CES 2020 this year is the Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI). We are all agreed that they are poised to transition from emerging technologies into widespread and effective use but it brings a new way of usage every day and Apple, Google, Amazon are drawing aa new standard “Connect Home over IP” . Project Connected Home over IP is a new Working Group that plans to develop and promote the adoption of a new, royalty-free connectivity standard to increase compatibility among smart home products, with security as a fundamental design tenet.

“Connect Home over IP”

6- I will end up with the digital strategy and the way to select the right marketing technology stack. For any retailers it is all the data that you have to distribute or syndicate across all the communication channels.

  • As a foundation you need a DAM system to organise all your content in a unique spruce of content for the whole organization.
  • A PCLM (Product Creative Life Cycle Management) integrated with your DAM becomes mandatory to manage your business process mapping. It involves complicated business processes working together design, global regulatory requirements, manufacturing, and product information. Drive faster, smarter content development with a platform that combines the content your teams need with the context they crave. You can watch this #webinar by NUXEO explaining how to Accelerate Creative Processes with DAM. Or this very good white paper written by Theresa Regli for DALIM SOFTWARE GmbH.
White Paper by Theresa Regli about Creative Workflow
  • A PIM system is at the heart of the data to drive your business. PXM (Product Experience Management) is the subtle science of creating compelling product experiences.The world of commerce is rapidly evolving. With more channels and different avenues for reaching customers, a great customer experience is no longer a nice-to-have – it’s an urgent need. A great customer experience can’t happen without a compelling product experience — consistent product information delivered in context wherever, and whomever, your buyers are. This infographics from AKENEO a leader in PIM market is a very goos representation of the business requirements.


Maybe the best way to get inspired about Retailer challenges is to visite a selection of the best stores in NYC, Brands are everywhere with new digital customer experience. During the show, a couple of people visited the Amazon Go store on 42nd Street, where you were finally able to experience this new shopping concept firsthand.

I advise you also the 2019 Omnichannel Benchmark Survey: Redefining Omnichannel Success For 2020 Retail


The FrenchTech organised also a great party this year with Catherine Barba President of La Franc Tech New York.

NRFrench Party

I advise you also this report from SALSIFY :

5 New Rules to Tackle Shoppers’ Rising Expectations on Your Brand

As experiences are at the heart of the customer journey, traditional retail is more and more marginalised and the the vision and future belongs to retailers who will place experiences in the store, online and everything between driven by innovation and smart digital solutions. Thanks to technology it is becoming possible and I think this is the right path to take.

If you want to start a DAM PIM project contact us

Frédéric SANUY

CEO – ACTIVO Consulting