At the core of many technologies is Wi-Fi. In 2023, the IEEE Standards Association released a new “standard amendment” called IEEE 802.11az Next Generation Positioning, which will bring more refined and accurate location capabilities, improved security, and other benefits. One key benefit: it will fine tune accuracy to less than one meter. Eventually, shopping apps will enable consumers to more accurately navigate inside stores, taking them to within inches of desired products. Retail workers will use micro-targeting tools for asset tracking. Although we haven’t seen its amazing benefits yet, device manufacturers are already designing new solutions and use cases around the technology.

Jonathan Segev

Task Group Chair, IEEE Standards Association, Standards Engineer, Intel

In 2023 retail marketers prioritized top-of-funnel marketing strategies to capture consumer attention early in the purchasing journey. This led to significant growth in content marketing, particularly short-form video content. But 2023 also saw successful marketers recognize the value of engaging consumers in a wider variety of channels, beyond just digital and social media. Strategies like out-of-home advertising (OOH) and personalized direct mail saw a resurgence. Marketing is still complicated, and the best marketers have figured out how to create a comprehensive approach that resonates with consumers across different touchpoints.

Marcus Lancaster

Head of Strategy for DTC, Quad

This is the year Artificial Intelligence went mainstream. AI itself is not new. However, this is the year AI became a “hot” topic for retail executives, due partly to the hype around generative AI but also the increasing impact AI technologies are having in retail.

Computer vision is one of those technologies. One can use it to automate the checkout process, eliminating lines for shoppers and delivering top and bottom line impact for retailers. Checkout-free technology eliminates shrink at self-checkout, as much as 16x the shrink as traditional cashiers.

Will Glaser

Founder & CEO, Grabango

2023: Retail's Standout Year