Day 1 @ NRF 2023 | Trends, Themes, and Talks

The biggest retail show of 2023 is finally here! 🥳

It’s great to see NRF filled with energy and excitement – a much bolder atmosphere than 2022’s show.


This year, retailers, vendors, and industry experts all across the globe have met up in NYC to discover breakthrough solutions and technology. (Did we mention, Cognira & Retsci are exhibitors at Booth #561)

Cognira's Booth at NRF 2023

While we’re at NRF 2023, get a day-by-day recap of the interesting trends, themes, and talks we saw while at the show.

Themes & Buzzwords @ NRF 2023

After cruising around the booths, and sitting in on keynote sessions on day 1, we’ve picked up on a few buzzwords.


Here are the top three:

Themes & Buzzwords
  1. Customer Experience: Shopper expectations have changed drastically and retailers need to pivot. The need for an omnichannel and personalized experience is at an all-time high.
  2. Real-Time: Real-time data is necessary for decisions that are needed to be made on the fly. Ex: personalization and targeted strategies.
  3. Seamless: Retailers today are looking for sophisticated software solutions that have a simple and easy-to-use UI. There also needs to be a consistent and efficient connection between online & in-person shopping.

Interesting Big Idea Sessions

Though there have already been many awesome Big Idea sessions, here are our top 3 from day 1!

Within the retail space, there has been more demand for the following:

  1. In-person shopping experience
  2. Seamless shopping experience between online and in store
  3. Voice-eCommerce (Ex: Using Alexa for ordering purposes)
  4. Rewards programs & loyalty (Especially for Gen Z)

The following trends are becoming essential for retailers to focus their marketing efforts on: 

  1. Appealing to the right audience in their channel of choice. For example, Gen Z wants to consume content within the following content channels: Youtube, Instagram, Tiktok.

  2. Understanding what additional features or complementary services consumers specifically want or expect while shopping. For instance, many consumers want to be involved in experiential retail. Take the example of shoppers wanting to have a wine tasting experience while shopping for furniture.
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Cognira’s comment:


Our targeted insights are even more important to satisfy omnichannel demands.

There have been many shifts in the retail industry caused by:

  • Shopper expectations: real-time personalization (BOPIS is huge and was successful during the holiday period)
  • Data optimization
  • Inventory strains
  • Margin pressures

Ways to combat the shifts:

  • Make it personal
  • Captivate the customer
  • Don’t be a dinosaur- Be innovative!
  • Stay future proof
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Cognira’s comment:


The key to winning in an inflationary digital era is to acknowledge the strategic problems that you are facing, put the customer first, and stay on top of trends.

Sephora’s innovation equation for connected planning:

  • Seamless data management
  • Real-time plan consolidation
  • Single entry point
  • Synchronization allocation models

How Sephora was able to achieve this:

  • Cultural change that identifies what to do, how to do it, and how to be efficient
  • Shift from Excel to a planning engine in the cloud
  • Increase time spent on analysis and scenarios to see the financial impact
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Cognira’s comment:


The shift from legacy systems to cloud solutions is becoming a reality for retailers of all sizes. Today, collecting and understanding data in an efficient way is more important than ever. To do this, however, retailers need to shift in how they operate which will require leadership to get on board. 

Stay Tuned for our Day 2 Recap!

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About Cognira

About Cognira


Cognira is the leading artificial intelligence solutions provider for retailers. Cognira is passionate about helping retailers unlock valuable, transformative business insights from their data.


Better Promotions. Better Results. 


To learn more, check out our website at or contact us today to get started. 

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