Is your retail store ready for new tech?

retail technologyThe National Retail Federation’s Big Show was the biggest one yet, as 35,000 retail professionals flooded the Javits Center in New York City to see the newest retail technology and to stay up on industry trends. From digital signage to same-day delivery to mobile payments, the many breeds of technologies for bricks-and-mortar stores dominated conversation at the Big Show. But one key question remained unanswered: How do retailers accomplish it all?

Over the next eight months or so, retailers large and small will be planning, buying, and installing new technologies in anticipation of the 2015 holiday rush. But some organizations are better prepared than others to take the reins and lead the charge. Is your organization ready to start a major tech push, from planning and buying to rollout and support?

The health of your IT environment stems from your IT infrastructure, professionals, and policies. Ask yourself the following questions to check up on whether your IT department is fit enough to start implementing the newest retail technology. Continue Reading…

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What retailers will be talking about at the National Retail Federation Big Show

shopping mallThanks to holiday shopping, retailers pull in 70 to 80 percent of their year’s revenue in the last three months of the year. While reports show sales were slightly down in bricks-and-mortar stores to start the holiday season, these stores still have a leg up on online retailers.

But there’s no question that online shopping is a thorn in the side of retail stores. With free shipping more common than ever before and daily (sometimes hourly) deals to entice buyers, online retailers are racing to close the gap with bricks-and-mortar stores to keep customers coming back. But physical stores are fighting back: Digital displays with dynamic price adjustments offer better in-store pricing, beacon technology and apps enhance the customer experience, and mobile payment options attempt to make shopping easier and more seamless.

These options will inevitably be the talk of this year’s National Retail Federation (NRF) Big Show, being held from Jan. 11 to 13 in New York City. But it’s not just about technology — it’s about how that technology can provide a better customer experience. Retailers will try to crack the code on what the store of the future should look like, and consider the industry’s biggest mystery: How do we do it first? Continue Reading…

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Top 5 IT priorities in 2015

Strategy conceptGone are the days when the IT department could enjoy a healthy remove from overall business operations. Instead, today’s IT leaders are front and center — in boardrooms, sales calls, and customer meetings across the globe. This new role and visibility demands that CTOs and CIOs constantly shift and adjust their strategies, priorities, and tactics to effectively capitalize on emerging technological and business trends.

It’s a tough task, made all the tougher by the lightning-quick pace of technological change. Following is my take on the top five priorities for IT leaders to focus on in 2015: Continue Reading…

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