One of the hottest topics at NRF this year was the role data will play in the future of retail. To learn more about this trend, we interviewed experts on the ground at the event to get their takes.

“Data will change everything,” said Steffen Schenk, business unit director at Barrows. Schenk thinks data will allow retailers to make shopping trips more convenient for customers. And by leveraging data, retailers can personalize content to customers inside the store and ultimately improve efficiency on the back end.

New York Times best-selling author and futurist Chuck Martin agrees that data is everything.

“Information about the product and information about the consumer [is] more valuable than the actual product being sold,” said Martin. This trend marks a departure from the previous, product-centric approach to retail.

The consensus among the experts at NRF 2018 was that data-driven retail will continue to disrupt the industry as a whole.

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Natalie Zfat

Natalie Zfat is a social media entrepreneur and Forbes Contributor who has partnered with some of the most iconic brands in the world, including Rolling Stone, Food Network, American Express and Levi’s. Curating original content and videos, Zfat gains millions of impressions for the brands she advocates for. When she's not engaging with her half a million followers, Zfat loves sharing her entrepreneurial thought leadership at conferences and universities, including Carnegie Mellon, NYU Stern School of Business, The Harvard Club of New York and Internet of Things World. Follow Natalie on Twitter: @NatalieZfat

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