News Feature | December 26, 2013

Retail IT News For VARs — December 26, 2013

By Anna Rose Welch, associate editor

BSM-iPad

In the news are retail technology predictions for the New Year and trends that show tablet shopping and BI/analytics are on the rise.

2014 Retail Industry To Be “Integrated” And “User-Friendly”

Revel Systems has released a list of its top industry predictions for 2014. Some of these predictions include mobile and digital currency becoming mainstream, order-ahead features becoming the norm, and CRM technologies evolving to be “smarter” and more predictive. Similarly, point of sale systems will become even more aligned with customers using personal data trackers, and social data will be used to highlight and reward influential social media customers.

Tablet Shopping On The Rise

QR Code Press discusses a recent study by BI Intelligence that reveals tablets are beginning to emerge as consumers’ preferred mobile shopping method. While penetration of tablets is lower than that of smartphones, results suggest that purchases from these devices will comprise roughly $15 billion this year. Tablet shoppers also have their own distinct habits, often researching more, shopping at night, and making larger purchases.

CIOs To Stay Focused On BI/Analytics Through 2017

Biztech2.com highlights four Gartner predictions for Business Intelligence (BI) and analytics. According to Gartner, BI vendors’ platform offerings will be primarily analysis-centric by 2015. More than 50 percent of analytics will use event data streams by 2017. In order to capture this data, there will be the need for more flexible, multipurpose sensors that can determine motion, facial expressions, temperature, and other sources. By 2017, Gartner also predicts that software vendors’ analytic applications and service providers’ analytic applications will be indistinguishable. Because of this, there will be a larger variety of possible providers for end users and more competition between software vendors and service providers. Finally, because of Big Data confusion, there will be less spending (single-digit growth) on BI and analytics software until 2016.

Retail IT Talking Points

During a busy promotional year, The New York Times reports that more stores attempting to rely on email marketing are running into trouble. Gmail has changed the way marketing messages and images are logged/displayed making it difficult for retailers to track how many users open their emails. Email marketing companies are also reporting that opening rates for Gmail users have been declining; however, those that did open holiday emails were more likely to spend money.

SME Mentor and iMedia Connection have both released predictions for digital marketing in 2014. SME Mentor predicts that hashtags will become an important search tool and image-centric social media sites will be the best method to engage customers. There will also be more emphasis on geo-targeting, mobile marketing, and targeted online content. iMedia Connection predicts that more brands will be emphasizing the “customer journey”/journey mapping to better understand a customer’s path to purchase. Real-time and hard metrics will help a retailer reduce costs and optimize online marketing campaigns.

For more news and insights, visit BSMinfo’s Retail IT Tech Center.

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