I have been in the Consumer and Content industries for quite some time, but I gotta tell you, what we have brewing with our partner ecosystem at the National Retail Federation show is pretty awesome and quite “transformational” if I do say so myself. ***Note: NRF is Jan. 13-15, 2019 in NYC, NY!

You see, for the past couple of years, I keep hearing this narrative that retail is “dying” that stores are “going away” and that it’s all “online” now. Why are you guys at Cisco focused on retail? And much, much more! Let me tell you, that’s not a correct assumption and quite the opposite. In reality, we are doubling down in retail as one of the largest industries we focus on at Cisco.

Yes, retail is changing. Yes, consumer behaviors are adapting to the most rapid time period of technology advancement. Yes, folks still want to have experiences with the physical stores they shop in and clearly people are still buying clothes, toys, food and much more. People are just doing things in a different way and leveraging lots of technology that they may not even fully realize they are consuming along the way.

This year at NRF we are trying to give retail brands of all types a roadmap to manage through these changes while also showcasing the retail industry’s most comprehensive technology solutions, partner integrations and ecosystem. Our “human-sized” game board (aka our booth) called the “The Game of Life” will feature guided journey tours leveraging an iOS-powered application that has a host of integrations. It will leverage “agile development” in partnership with our friends at Cisco DevNet, as well as a “Mission Control” area that will provide consumer analytics, user behaviors and trends that retail brands can use to better empower store associates, store design and store ROI. From our 20+ partners at the Cisco booth, here’s how we’re working together to change retail:

  • Experience augmented reality via mobile experiences in the Stop, Shop & Go customer application (visual search, product details, etc.)
  • Empowering brands to turn every customer into a loyal advocate through real-time, location based, and social customer intelligence
  • iOS-first booth experience that puts iPhones in our shopper’s hands and iPads in our associate’s hands with empowering retail applications
  • Have meaningful interactions with associates and a memorable store visit via relevant clientelling, product research, and more
  • Skip the lines by scanning products and checking out via the Stop, Shop & Go customer app or on the store guest Wi-Fi in browser
  • Experience the Stop, Shop & Go customer facing iOS application with new features and capabilities to make shopping fun again

All of this sounds familiar to some degree, right? Maybe you have experienced bits and pieces of it along the way in your life, but gosh, that’s a lot for any one retail brand to develop. Our retail customers are feeling the impact of the technology changing and are in need of a strategic partner like Cisco and its partner ecosystem to help them. That’s why we’ve showcased things in the way we have at NRF.   To top it off, we have had tremendous collaboration from partners like Presidio who are working with us in the booth and in the retail industry to have the technology in retail stores (or in this case the booth) designed, deployed and managed with professional services that can make life easier for IT and LoB buyers. Also, this year’s booth experience is powered by Intel (which also powered the Cisco Store in San Jose, CA) with services at the edge to run retail applications, gain customer insights, and accelerate innovation. Can’t think of two better strategic partners to help us.

So, you see NRF 2019 will show folks that they can adapt to the technology trends that are facing retail. Cisco has just the blueprint to help them through that journey.

For more information on what we are doing in retail with our partner ecosystem, please visit our Industry and IoT Partner Transformation Guide at www.cs.co/customerin.

See ya’ in New York City!




Bryan Bedford

Global Industry Director: Retail, Hospitality, Sports, Media and Entertainment

Global Partner Organization