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Optimizing operations: Insights from NRF 2024 Wrap-up

The curtain has closed on NRF and was another successful event for Castles Technology. Here’s a quick wrap-up of what we gleaned.

As well as showcasing our latest Android POS innovations, our experts took time out in New York to explore what topics were creating a buzz at the event.

A buoyant market is fueling a desire to optimise operations

Firstly, the timing of the event was perfect. According to Matthew Shay, NRF President and CEO, “sales growth from the holiday season is expected to be around 3%-4%, reflecting a more sustainable rate of growth than seen during the pandemic years.”

As we head into 2024, high employment and wage growth is also creating a promising market for consumer spending. With customers seeking value as well as seamless experiences across digital and physical stores, there’s recognition that merchants who can execute at a higher level and lower costs will be most successful.

It’s why many merchants want to take their businesses to the next level with technology that helps them address key operational challenges including:

  • adding value for businesses and customers;
  • building unique offerings and personalised shopping experiences;
  • making business operations smarter for ever-changing markets;
  • putting people first and creating better more productive and efficient workplaces;
  • achieving more ethical and sustainable business models.

AI in retail is driving decisions on transformation

AI in Retail: Machine Learning and Analytics Take Center Stage at NRF. As expected, AI was a hot topic. Merchants are interested in how the latest machine learning and analytics combined with POS transaction data can be used to improve their processes, security, customer interaction and supply chains.

It’s generally understood that AI applications need data and having a single source of truth across all channels is central to this. As a result, there was lots of discussion around sales data and inventory, and how POS and AI can work in tandem to make projections and forecasting faster and more accurate.

There was also lots of interest in AI at the POS, and how it can ensure sales points are more in sync with customers – from couponing and offers to personalisation that responds more easily to changing behaviours and preferences.

Collaboration, ecosystems and the metaverse

Collaborative ecosystems were also in the spotlight with partnerships proving as important to vendor attendees as client prospects. With solutions like Castle Cashub opening up app marketplaces for Android POS users to explore, it was a theme that resonated with our propositions.

When focusing on future growth, how to win over Generation Alpha was high on the agenda. Born after 2010, and mostly children of millennials, this cohort will become increasingly important as they come of age as shoppers in the next decade and beyond.

Consequently, store owners are looking at how they can use technology like augmented reality and the metaverse to make environments more emotional, engaging and hands-on. This will encourage younger consumers in-store and invite them to discover and explore new products.

Android is still king of POS: Key Takeaways from NRF 2024

From a Castles Technology perspective, many of these themes reinforced the power of our Android POS and unattended solutions. Our devices can overlay digital services and mobile functionality at the sales point, allowing us to marry real and virtual worlds, connect checkouts to commerce and business platforms, and deliver seamless experiences without compromising reliability, security or compliance.

With powerful memory, connected functionality, advanced features and AI-enhanced software and downloadable applications, Castles Technology’s advanced POS solutions are more than able to meet retailers’ and partners’ needs, today and in the future. Now that’s a wrap!

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