target audience: TECH BUYER  Publication date: Mar 2023 - Document type: IDC Perspective - Doc  Document number: # US50413523

Innovation Trends at NRF 2023 Highlight How Digital Dependency Must Drive Digital Differentiation

By:  Dorothy Creamer Loading


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This IDC Perspective discusses key takeaways from NRF 2023. With a welcome fervor for innovation also comes concerns that the pace of technological advancements will be too great for brands. Throughout the conversations and presentations at NRF, there was an acceptance and acknowledgement of the "digital dependency" that organizations now face. An overarching theme at NRF 2023 was focusing on solutions and not a single piece of technology, and this took shape through a multitude of solutions from a broad sense with enterprise platforms down to the granular level with focused, purpose-driven AI.

As digital transformation has given way to this digital dependency, now is the time for organizations to find ways to achieve digital differentiation. The NRF's 2023 Big Show offered a microcosm of how this digital dependency would look in retail environments, but use cases extend to hospitality and travel. The importance of frictionless experiences remains paramount, and that is being enabled with more self-service augmented capabilities. Driving loyalty and customer lifetime value gives way to more robust needs for real-time data, and workforce struggles put a hyperfocus on staff-facing solutions. In addition, security and sustainability continue to drive conversations and investment across all facets of hospitality and travel technology.

According to Dorothy Creamer, research manager, Hospitality and Travel Digital Transformation Strategies at IDC, "NRF 2023 signified a return to 'normal' for many; however, this normal is anything but ordinary. There is a need for organizations to level set business priorities and strategies around IT investments. The solutions being presented at NRF remind that to truly be digital first is more than singular solutions, but rather building integrated and interoperable ecosystems to drive strategic objectives including improving customer and employee experience, driving revenue, and increasing efficiencies."


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