NRF 2024 insights: six highlights from the largest global retail trade show

Published on Jan 18 2024.

reading time 9 minutes reading

A gathering of the largest retailers in the world, NRF 2024 Retail’s Big Show took place January 14-16 in New York, in the United States, with nearly 40 participants exploring valuable trends for the sector, in more than 170 panels.

 Continuing with its tradition, Dock was once again a sponsor and participant with BTR-Varese, learning about the latest at NRF 2024, alongside the principal market specialists. We also participated in the post-NRF seminar, led by the BTR-Varese group, in which we analyzed the main content and the perspectives of the largest global retail trade show.

In this article, we share a little of what we saw at the show, and we discuss the developments of the main issues discussed at NRF 2024.


The future of retail: 6 insights from NRF 2024


Artificial Intelligencewas the main topic of discussion at NRF 2024. In his presentation, Eduardo Terra, a partner at BTR-Varese, laid out a series of insights, pointing out that of the more than 1000 exhibitors at the global retailtrade show, nearly 80% are using this technology in some way.

However, in addition to AI, other topics were also thoroughly discussed, rounding out the list of principal insights, which we detail below. Check it out!


1. Retail Resilience


Over the last five years we have faced significant challenges, including a pandemic, accelerated digitalization, and global political instabilities. The retail sector has been a roller coaster, but we can’t deny that it has proven to be resilient.

While global retail has grown more quickly than GDP, according to data from eMarketer presented by Terra, the sector’s resilience can be evaluated in different ways. For example, we’ve seen that more physical stores are being opened than closed.

As also pointed out by Henrique Casagrande, Dock’s Chief Operations Officer, retail accelerates countries’ economies, despite adversities and financial crises. “It is important that retail continue being a driver for the country, and that it continues developing financial products that will provide access to credit, and to bankarization. It is in this area that retailers can rely on Dock to help them develop solutions that truly transform society,” the COO said.


2. The explosion of Artificial Intelligence


There is no better word to describe Artificial Intelligence than “explosion.” The use of applications using this technology is growing. It’s about seeing AI as a talented copilot that helps in decision-making and in the transformation process.

Today we can already consider use of AI in retail as indispensable in processes such as pricing, credit and collections, expansion, purchasing and inventory, customer service, product selection, team allocation, CRM promotions, and media.

However, the vast majority of Brazilian retailers do not yet use this tool. There is an enormous opportunity in this scenario, as shown by the following data:

  • In Brazil, AI-related expenses will exceed US$ 1 billion this year, 33% growth according to the consulting firm IDC.
  • In the global retail and consumer goods sectors, estimated AI-related expenses will increase from US$ 400 billion, to US$ 660 billion per year.
  • 72% of CEOs believe that investing in AI is priority, according to research conducted by KPMG.


Read also | Chat GPT and means of payment: Learn how AI is impacting the financial industry


3. Unmanned Retail


There is a series of events that leads us to believe that retail as we know it will no longer be characterized by intensive manual labor. Now is the time of Hyper-Automated Retail.

To illustrate this scenario, Terra cites a McKinsey study that indicates that Generative AI alone could automate nearly 10% of the tasks of the American economy, as well as impacting an even greater percentage of activity.

“In retail we’ve never seen so many robots, so many drones, so many solutions that make retail operations more intelligent, more efficient, and more automated. And this is where the perception arises of ‘if I don’t do it, someone will,’ which completely changes the competitive and operating cost yardstick,” Eduardo Terra said.


4. Content-Driven Commerce & Retail Media


Content-driven commerce and retail media is something that is already quite prevalent in China, and it is definitively changing the purchasing process. In summary, consumer demand is increasingly being activated by content, not desire or necessity. This brings an attractive agenda of opportunities to retail.

“Retail is going to have to make a huge cultural and organizational shift, which is the true transformation businesses are going through: moving from a product- and operations-focused approach, to a vision that is focused on clients and client information”, said Alberto Serrentino, also a partner at BTR-Varese.

According to him, in Brazil we are in an embryonic phase of monetization. However, we are already consuming mass quantities of content in a different way, which can open up purchasing journeys.


5. Store as a hub


Physical stores play –and will continue to play– a relevant role for the future of retail. As Terra said, the physical point of sale still represents three-fourths of global retail. However, when we talk about the store as a hub, we need to understand the physical store differently, in the center of a series of roles that it did not have in the past.

“We don’t have to discuss whether or not we’re going to have physical stores anymore. What we do have to discuss is what role that store will play in capturing and engaging customers”, said Serrentino. So, more important than the channel through which the sale is made, is understanding other indicators that impact business growth, such as customer frequency and customer’s total purchase amounts.

It is also necessary to focus on the challenges of the store experience, since most consumers feel the lack of experience more gratifying at the point of sale.


Read also | Modular financial solutions: the power of API-based platforms


6. Three-dimensional leadership


Leading a retail business is neither easy nor simple. Within this context, it is increasingly necessary that leaders be actively involved in three fundamental dimensions: digitalization, obtaining results, and promoting sustainability.

Digitalization, as an inevitable technology progression and shored up by AI, is already under way. The priority now is in the search for sustainable and lucrative growth.

From Serrentino’s viewpoint, there is no more tolerance for activities that consume financial resources without the perspective of concrete results: the effort to prioritize is more rigorous.


Dock at NRF 2024: the future of retail lies in innovative technologies


Dock is pleased to have once again been part of the BTR-Varese event, exchanging valuable information with Brazilian retail executives, further enriching our experience.

It is good to see how technology continues to mold the future, increasingly intertwined with the leadership strategy of businesses, and with a focus on generating benefits for society as a whole.

This perspective encourages Dock to continue developing solutions that help build retail with a purpose,, driving sector progress and encouraging financial inclusion.

Learn how we drive businesses to be everything they wish to be:


NRF 2024 insights: what you saw in this article


  • NRF 2024 Retail’s Big Show gathered nearly 40 participants in New York, exploring more than 170 panels on trends in the global retail sector. The post-NRF seminar, led by the BTR-Varese group, discussed the main content and the perspectives of the largest global retail trade show.
  • Artificial Intelligence was the main topic of NRF 2024. Of the more than 80 exhibitors at the global retail trade show, nearly XNUMX% were using this technology.
  • Retail resilience was also emphasized, highlighting growth in the sector despite challenges such as the pandemic, accelerated digitalization, and global instability.
  • Hyper-Automated Retail was discussed as a trend, showing the automation of tasks using robots, drones, and intelligent solutions.
  • The importance of the physical store was reaffirmed with the idea of thestore as a hub“, emphasizing the store’s central role in capturing and engaging with clients, overcoming experience and purchasing challenges.
  • It is important that retail continue betting on products that will provide access to credit and bankarization. It is in this area that retailers can rely on Dock to help them develop solutions that truly transform society.


Related articles


Want to stay on top of the latest news in payments and banking?

Subscribe to our monthly newsletter:
Email sent Enrollment done! OK
Code Equal Web Accessibility