It was exciting to be together again at NRF after a tumultuous few years! The conversations and face-to-face interactions I had with our customers, peers, and partners were nothing short of inspiring. Cisco is doing some incredible work driving true outcomes for our customers, and NRF ‘23 was a great showcase of where we can go from here. 

Whether you attended virtually or in person, we covered a lot in just a few days, so check out my four big takeaways from the show. 


1.Harnessing data drives the right engagement 

Capturing the right data within a brick-and-mortar store helps retailers strategically develop the engagement opportunities most beneficial in the eyes of the customer. Our demo journey showed how automated solutions can help transform the retail experience and improve operations. We also showed how we give our customers and partners the tools, solutions, and digital capabilities to serve their customers online, at home, on the go, or in-store. Most importantly, we showed how to “stitch” that all together, so the customer has an amazing brand experience. 

All this is possible through Webex CPaaS SolutionsCisco Meraki, and our ecosystem partners showcased in our booth: meldCX, SES-Imagotag, EVERYANGLE, MHT and Wipro VisionEDGE. 

2.Sustainability is top of mind 

For retailers, the benefits of incorporating reusable materials and integrating green initiatives go beyond just “humanitarian good.” As consumers gravitate toward brands leveraging a circular economy, energy efficiency, and other eco-friendly endeavors, digital solutions tackling these ideas head on are taking the retail industry by storm. Solutions we enable, like edge compute to manage HVAC, lighting, etc., in thousands of retail stores, help reduce cost AND carbon. By numbers, that edge compute device uses 45% less energy than its predecessor, making it a true win-win for retailers and their customers. It’s how Cisco confidently committed to a net-zero goal by 2040. 

3. Keeping you and your customers safe 

Retailers who successfully implement security solutions develop a competitive advantage. Those retailers enjoy the flexibility to continue their digital transformation without the deterrent of security incidents. During our theater sessions, we provided examples of how deploying a secure, flexible, resilient, and scalable network between stores, corporate locations, and the cloud allows you to operate in the new world of retail. It also provides a safe and compliant environment for your associates and customers. With 90% of login attempts to retail sites being hacking attempts, security was a top concern in every discussion we had, and we are so appreciative that retailers trust Cisco Secure to help them secure their businesses. 

4. Post-purchase plays a key role in the customer journey 

Retailers leveraging cutting edge technology are taking advantage of new opportunities around post-purchase engagement. This spans from real-time inventory management that enables positive exchange and return experiences, to smart appliances which populate your shopping list based on purchase history. By changing the way retailers view customer engagement, we’re helping evolve the customer journey. 


Continue the conversation 

All of our Cisco content and resources from NRF are now available on our microsite! You’ll find more information on our digital solutions for retail, like one of my personal favorites: how Cisco is optimizing the drive thru process  

Big thank you to all of the partners, customers, and the Cisco team who made NRF successful. See you all next year! 


Wes Sylvester

Vice President, Industry Solutions Group

Cisco Marketing