The Internet of Things, where everyday objects are connected, is leading to better sleep cycles, weather prediction via smart umbrellas, and more effective tornado warning systems
The power of Big Data rests in its ability to predict consumer behaviors and influence change by serving contextually-relevant recommendations and offering companies better insight on consumer habits. Brands are tapping into this knowledge network to drive more effective marketing campaigns, customer engagement at every touchpoint, and ultimately more sales. Internet-connected attire allows the user to track movement and ensure hyper-awareness of progress toward desired goals. These wearables, which transfer activity data to the cloud, offer new communication channels that are already surpassing any antiquated human-based tracking. In effect, these channels are ensuring that both consumers and brands have their needs met with minimal friction.
A planet-charting look at what happens when five billion new users finally get online
Companies are on a mission to connect the world—from the treetops to the clouds. Facebook first democratized the idea of ‘connecting the world from the sky’ in a white paper highlighting efforts to provide Internet access to urban and rural environments worldwide. Today, only one-third of the world can access the Internet, meaning that a knowledge gap between the connected and the not connected threatens to further divide us.
We examine the merchants and third-party providers that are most effectively using apps to streamline shopping
In today’s market, where every brand or retailer has their own unique app, it can be difficult for consumers to sort through what really adds utility and what just takes up space. Too often, apps will fail to deliver consistent value to the shopping experience, which can adversely impact the way a customer views a business as a whole. Because of this, it is important for merchants to craft a compelling mobile experience that is able to conform to a person’s existing lifestyle and solve a real need.
Merchants like Starbucks are building in new one-click efficiencies in order to make buying seamless
No matter where a customer chooses to buy something—in a store, online, or on a mobile device—being able to get them from intent to purchase quickly and easily can be the difference between a completed transaction and an abandoned shopping cart. These considerations become even more important as consumers get accustomed to the speed, convenience, and always-on nature of digital retail.
We examine the merchants and brands that are utilizing mobile to provide more personalized and contextual shopping experiences
In today’s market, where so many products and services are mass-produced and take a one-size-fits-all approach, it is refreshing when merchants go out of their way to provide a more personalized shopping experience. As mobile gains popularity as a shopping platform, it becomes especially important for merchants to deliver uniquely tailored mobile experiences that sync with and complement a person’s lifestyle.
Merchants are building loyalty platforms to dynamically engage mobile shoppers and provide interesting incentives for repeat business
If you’ve ever been through a checkout line, then chances are you’ve been asked to sign up for a store’s rewards program. If you have enough time and patience to get through the forms, you’ll be handed a plastic card that may never see the light of day again. And if it does, the likelihood that you’ll ever receive any tangible benefits of membership is slim. Not exactly the formula for building a lifelong consumer/brand relationship.
Capture footage across untold settings with Sony's waterproof device
In a world replete with action sports and video production, a new handheld toy has launched to help amateur filmmakers bring professional-grade short docs to life. The Action Cam—a tiny, waterproof device by Sony—will compete with the likes of GoPro as a high-quality video camera for daredevils and photo enthusiasts alike.
We examine the merchants and brands that are most effectively integrating mobile into their physical stores
In today’s landscape, where the blur between online and offline is the new normal for consumers, building a successful brick-and-mortar experience requires retailers to rethink how to make digital a core aspect of their physical stores. Mobile is the go-to technology to help bridge that gap. Whether it’s creating an ever-present shopping companion that provides contextual information and in-aisle advice or offering another channel to open up dialogues between shoppers and staff, phones—and, more recently, wearable devices—offer opportunities for stores to experiment and innovate.
Merchants are accepting a wider range of digital currencies, which is redefining how customers pay for products
Mention Bitcoin at a cocktail party and you might get a slightly puzzled look. The most popular of a growing slate of cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin has only recently gained traction in the mainstream, leaving many consumers a little hazy on how these new forms of digital cash actually work. But as more people see the value of adopting these emerging currencies from the standpoint of security and convenience and as an investment opportunity, there’s a growing need for consumer-facing platforms and services to make them a viable part of the marketplace.
We sat down with Mohith Julapalli of SKU IQ to discuss why the distinction between online, mobile, and in-store shopping will eventually fade
Mohith Julapalli is the cofounder of SKU IQ, a software startup designed to help brick-and-mortar retailers deliver an omni-channel experience to their customers. By connecting in-store point-of-sale systems with e-commerce sites, the platform helps merchants seamlessly manage inventory between their online and physical stores. The system also helps power digital storefronts by handling requests such as in-store pickups, same-day delivery, and in-store reservations.
Merchants are creating new ways to reward customers for participating on social channels
In this age of the digitally empowered customer, a considered approach to making the most of your social media presence is more important than ever. For brands, embracing social platforms can no longer be just about pushing out promotional messages to their audience, but rather about having two-way conversations with them. These interactions not only build direct relationships with individual customers but also leverage their networks to extend the reach of that discussion. As a result, these social engagements are starting to translate into real value for brands and, more recently, for consumers as well.
Customers shape their shopper experiences (whether they know it or not), as evidenced by PSFK and EVRYTHNG’s shortlist of retail insight strategies
Retailers are looking past your beat-up sneakers and pajama pants to analyze the way you interact with their products, displays, and employees in-store. Today’s most innovative retailers are effectively instrumenting shoppers using different physical and digital technologies to track movements, behaviors and preferences. They are using data collected from connected kiosks, beacons, Wi-Fi networks and increasingly products themselves to optimize operational decisions. This includes everything from merchandising mix and pricing to store layout. Retailers can then translate those insights into shopping experiences tailored to your individual wants and needs.