NRF helps merchants integrate new software with Association for Retail Technical Standards


Over the past decade, technology has become crucial to the success of retailers and merchants. Websites enable businesses to engage shoppers in a new way, point-of-sale technology helps improve and expedite the in-store shopping experience and eCommerce software can assist with everything from order management to warehouse delivery. A successful modern retailer is one who is also technologically savvy.

However, for many merchants, technology is still a relatively new advancement. The National Retail Federation (NRF) is attempting to act as a guide for the integration of new eCommerce software and solutions through the Association for Retail Technical Standards (ARTS).

“From guiding retailers on their path to achieving seamless integration with point-of-sale and cloud systems, business process models, schemas, mobile, social commerce and more – you could say ARTS has led the retail industry through the information technology learning curve,” Kathy Grannis, an NRF spokesperson, wrote on the organization’s blog.

Speaking from experience
Several proponents of ARTS recently spoke at the NRF’s Retail BIG Show about how the ARTS helped their businesses implement new technology solutions and the benefits that modern hardware and software offer to retailers.

For example, John Rohland, associate vice president of club sales systems at BJ’s Wholesale Club, decided to utilize ARTS’ Unified POS standard, essentially using his career as a case study to assess the impact of ARTS. The standard provided a consistent and exact framework for point-of-sale devices, with Rohland concluding that ARTS provides the tools needed to make technology integration easier and more straightforward.

Tim Hood, vice president of SAP AG, and Frank Andryauskas, vice president of retail solutions at Microstrategy, also attested to the importance of leveraging the ARTS model as a basis for their operations.

The future of technology
As the retail experience continues to evolve, technology will become a mainstay in driving innovation and efficiency. According to a report from The Control Group, new technology will allow retail operations to become more immersive, personalized and cohesive with customers’ wants and desires.

“Brick-and-mortar retail hasn’t changed drastically since the early days of the shopkeeper,” the study notes. “It’s long been an experience based around tangible goods on shelves and a clerk behind a counter. Even if wooden boxes and coins have been replaced by cash registers and credit cards, the basic process of a retail purchase has looked pretty much the same for thousands of years.”

Technology will allow merchants to take that next step and truly evolve. However, it’s important that merchants realize that there are a variety of different types of software and solutions, with each used to achieve disparate goals and objectives.

For example, tools such as SalesWarp, allows retailers to consolidate a number of other software applications into one, easy-to-use dashboard that makes broad ecommerce management more efficient and effective.