Trends in the retail industry often have a common theme from year to year, and not surprisingly, with the emergence of ever more sophisticated networks, devices and the popularity of smartphones, this year’s trends are highly entrenched in technology.
At a recent NRF big show session, five big technology trends were addressed.
1. A new computing model has arrived.
Between the acceptance of the cloud, the incredibly fast-growing segment of social networking, broadband internet access and mobile internet, it is impossible that the current system will stay the same. Retailers will begin to integrate all these capabilities into core functions like personnel management, operations, merchandising and marketing.
2. All-channel synchronization leads to happier customers and higher sales.
Creating a consistent message with consistent information across ALL channels will help retailers keep their marketing in sync with their merchandising.
3. Retailing gets personal.
Engagement-centric retailing will allow greater personalization with individual customers as well as your workforce. The key is listening to what they have to say.
4. Mobile, mobile, mobile.
It’s no secret that mobile is the next horizon of retail marketing. Creating compelling coupons and offers is already one of the major strategies in the retail industry. Add that to the growing usage of smartphones and combine the two for results through mobile marketing.
5. Take the POS into the store.
With roaming sales associates, you create more floor space, better customer service and hopefully, higher sales.
The connections between all these trends are the principles that have never changed in retail: a product is created, a retailer buys it, displays it for a customer base and sells the product to make a profit.
The difference now is that technology allows retailers a level of sophistication and personalization that has never existed before. But if the foundation of connecting your retail operations to what your customers want is not the primary focus of any efforts, what good is any level of new technology?
Source: Retailcloud.com, March 2011