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Go Back to www.FleaMarketZone.com RETAIL TRENDS


The Future of Retail continued from page 60


an online channel are not merely deploying it in a separate silo; they are leveraging it to engage their customers online and carry that engagement through to the store. This allows the retailer to maxi- mize the potential of social media through innovative tools and tech- nologies that enable the profi ling of customers. It helps the retailer to understand what consumers de- mand with their online shopping experience, and the retailer can use this information to tailor price, as- sortment and service to individual customer preference. It also means enhancing mobility technologies to the point where barriers are removed and products are avail-


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able wherever and whenever the customer demands. Over the past few years, there


has been an explosion of data and data sources. 2011 brought the emergence of using unstructured data sources, and the need for tools, technologies and approaches that can analyze extremely large data sets using “Big Data” approaches. In 2012 and the years to come, the ability to use analytics to drive in- sight and real time decision making will be another signifi cant trend. Retailers will use analytics: 1) As a way to drive business


effi ciency and cost reduction. 2) As a tool to increase stan-


dardization and consistency across their business. 3) As an enabler to adapt in real time/near real time by using sense


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and respond capabilities. 4) At the highest end of the


pyramid, retailers will use ana- lytics for the ability to listen to consumers, as well as see the busi- ness and economic environment around them. They will be able to rapidly deploy insights to create disruptive innovations. Retailers will also adapt to the


constrained economy by inter- nationalizing their markets. By moving applications to The Cloud and utilizing pricing structures such as pay as you go, retailers are dramatically reducing the cost of entry into new foreign markets. This enables them to distribute the always present risk of one economy starting to falter. As the ever increasing shift to continued on page 63


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