News Feature | January 29, 2014

Retail IT News For VARs — January 29, 2014

By Anna Rose Welch, associate editor

Top Federal IT Initiatives Include Security, Disaster Recovery, Digitizing Records

Topics in the news include the growth of location-based marketing, Top 100 Retailers’ implementation of RFID initiatives, and a study that shows CIOs’ plans for new technologies — mobile devices, mobile payments, digital signage, and mobile POS. Data-centric security is also expected to trend.

Location-Based Marketing Poised For Growth

CMS Wire discusses the results of an Opus Research report entitled “Mapping the Indoor Marketing Opportunity.” According to Opus Research, location and place-based marketing could be worth more than $10 billion annually by 2018. This kind of marketing relies heavily on smartphones, which provide customers’ locations, and can be used to provide customers with in-store push notifications. Opus Research analyst Greg Sterling, author of the report, says that “analog” spending on shelf-visibility, in-store video, and in-store coupons, will be redirected to digital and mobile.

RFID Initiatives Create Successful Omni-Channel Experience

According to Just-Style, offering consumers an omni-channel shopping experience is going to be one of the biggest challenges for retailers this year. The article cites the NRF “Big Show,” which highlighted key trends poised to influence the omni-channel retail experience. These trends include: BYOD (Bring your own device); on-the-go-checkout; in-store beaconing; in-store Wi-Fi; and analytics. Inventory accuracy will need to be retailers’ primary focus before turning to enhancing the customer experience. RFID adoption has already been employed by several of the top 100 retailers. Experts say retailers should be investing in RFID initiatives or face falling behind.

CIOs Primed To Spearhead Digital, Innovation Agenda

Tata Consultancy Services has released its study, “The Global Agenda of Retail CIOs,” which evaluates CIO’s plans to address trends and new technologies in the global retail industry. Highlights include: 32 percent of CIOs are looking to implement mobile technologies with context-aware technology; 28 percent will implement mobile payments, followed by digital signage, 24 percent, and mobile point of sale (POS), 22 percent. In addition, more than half of CIOs intend to invest in SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) within the next five years. While 68 percent of retail CIOs say they collect data, they also say they have not used it to its fullest potential. Only 47 percent of CIOs have invested in cross-channel analytics. 

2014 Data Protection Predictions

Business News Daily has compiled a list of seven data security predictions for 2014. Data-centric security will become a priority for all enterprises, as opposed to perimeter security. More security will be required for supply chain organizations, and companies will require encryption and access control for cloud-stored information. There will also be more big data usage for security intelligence. The article also addresses “self-aware” malware, PCI DSS 3.0, and “hardened” enterprise applications.

80% Of Retailers Planning Technology Investments

An NRF/Demandware survey reveals 80 percent of retailers in the U.S., U.K., France, and Germany plan to maintain or increase store technology investments over the next three years. The survey shows 26 percent of retailers are equipped for mobile sales in physical stores. Roughly 40 percent of retailers also say they are considering single-platform systems to merge technologies and data for merchandising, supply chain, and business administration applications. Fifty percent of retailers plan to invest in POS hardware improvements in the next three years. Similarly, 30 percent of respondents say they’re interested in e-commerce platform software that could run store registers.

Retail IT Talking Points

Smart Data Collective features an Aureus infographic about the top trends for Big Data analytics. According to the infographic, more companies will be looking at analytics from “the outside in,” meaning service providers will have to “anticipate” needs rather than products. Big Data will no longer be limited to larger companies — even small organizations will begin to invest in Big Data. Marketing, customer service, and operations departments will drive Big Data usage.

The Huffington Post discusses the ways retail brands have been, or will be looking to revamp bricks-and-mortar to create a more tech-savvy experience. These investments could include visual analytics, tailored mobile offers, companion apps, or interactive kiosks.

According to Luxury Daily, mobile technology — in particular mobile apps — will be key for personalization and loyalty initiatives in the retail industry.

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

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