CES 2018

AR, AI, & “Smart” Stuff: Top Retail Tech Takeaways from CES 2018

by Jenna Sindle

Everyone’s favorite madhouse trade show overtook Las Vegas this week – CES 2018. In case you live under a rock, CES, AKA the Consumer Electronics Show, is the world’s largest gathering place for all those who thrive on the business of consumer technologies and it takes place in Las Vegas every January. This year’s show boasted over 184,000 attendees, over 4,000 exhibitors, and 1,200 speakers, all ready to discuss the latest and greatest in consumer technology.

To no one’s surprise, the (not so distant) future of retail technology has been one of the hottest topics at CES 2018 this past week. Complete with a whole track entitled “High Tech Retailing Summit,” attendees were able to listen to retail experts discuss topics like data science, AI, experiential shopping, and “smart” merchandise. And with big-name speakers from companies like Walmart, L’Oreal, PSFK, Target, and Amazon, there’s a lot to be taken away.

The Retail Technology Insider team has compiled some of our favorite Tweet takeaways from the show that touch on some of the most pressing topics in retail today:

The concept of “blended retail” is an important one, as retailers are learning to utilize tactics from both the brick-and-mortar world and the online world to create the most cohesive and seamless experience for their customers.

Augmented reality continues to make some big waves in the retail world, as customers are looking for more memorable and personalized shopping experience.

Smart products are yet another tool that will enhance the shopping experience by allowing retailers to interact with customers in effective, non-creepy ways while still leveraging customer data productively.

But one of the most talked about areas of retail at CES 2018 was the advent of “human-less retail,” where AI bears the brunt of mundane retail tasks like inventory or checkout. This has been discussed at length among retail experts and it’s something that retailers are going to have to wrap their heads around to keep pace with industry innovators.

Check back with us next week when we tackle innovations at NRF’s Big Retail Show and chat with industry experts like our good friend Mike Mack about what the future holds for retail technology.

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