Retail's BIG Show: 5 Trends to Watch

           Laura Heller

With 2013 in the rear view mirror and omnichannel declared overused, new buzzwords are surfacing here at Retail's BIG Show:

In-store analytics. The next step into the realm of big data involved parsing in-store behavior in the same way as online. Whether it's via NRF, iBeacon or other opt in tracking technology,

Big Data. IBM's Chairman and CEO Ginni Rometty called it our next natural resource. With 2.5 billion gigabytes created per day, the effort that will go into mining, parsing and parceling out the information will be mind boggling but necessary to achieve the kind of connections to consumers needed to succeed today and in the near future.

Loyalty is everything. Grocers such as Albertsons may be doing away with programs, but cementing shopper loyalty is a must. Using mobile is the key, shoppers who opt into programs are more engaged and spend more. In one case, there was a 10 percent lift in engagement within the first few weeks of launching a test, according to RetailNext's Shelley Kohan.

"Don't be creepy." It's a common refrain at Retail's BIG Show as retailers look to leverage mobile by luring shoppers to opt into loyalty programs and interact with apps. But the strategy needs to be pull, not push, advised Sephora's Johnna Marcus, director, mobile and digital. Create content and value to shoppers, let them know it exists — don't push messages through that make them feel watched or worse yet, stalked.

Personalization. All that data and connectivity leads to the ability to create more personalized programs and offers for shoppers. The message to retailers is get to work -- collect, parse, program and create. And overall don't be creepy. --Laura

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