Retail trends to watch in 2016.
Analytics and Data-Driven Decisions
2015 witnessed a dramatic surge in the use of analytics and data to guide decisions. Not only did the number of employees able to access an assortment of data types increase, but tools and resources to help them also rose convincingly. In 2016, analytical capabilities will be a focus for retailers looking to invest and grow in a respected field, whether it be through a marketing department or an IT department.
Analytical capabilities are included in most leading CRM packages today, such as Microsoft Dynamics CRM. These capabilities lead to smart knowledge and informed business decisions as companies are able to extract and segment lists, tailor communications, interpret purchasing behaviors and decide on promotional activity before effortlessly personalizing their messaging. To view Microsoft Dynamics from HSO for retail, click here.
The timing of this analytical explosion could not come at a more perfect time, as its acceleration is linear to developments within its context. New, diverse data types are becoming more available, with access that is fast, the cost to store technology is falling, and secure cloud resources are more achievable. Data-driven behavior is evolving into a cornerstone of contemporary marketing decisions, and we are now in a year where retailers can rewardingly use data to their advantage.
The Internet of Things (IoT)
Fundamentally, the Internet of Things connects devices and computer powers that energize technological habits. Standalone devices are able to interconnect in networks, allowing them to communicate and act off each other. Today, there are twice as many connected devices than people, and the number of linked ‘things’ is only set to rise.
In retail, a stream of connected devices have been linked throughout the market. Technology that links the aforementioned surge of data management is set to explode and encourage the infusion of analytics, strategic insights, capabilities and people.
The amalgamation of unified data will transform how retail industry participants are able to plan, market and execute, to target, engage and interact with consumers.
There are three distinctive patterns that have emerged as part of the IoT revolution that closely link to retail:
- Mobile Integration – referring to the interlinking of devices, smartphones, tablets and more conventional tech such as laptops and desktops.
- Cloud Advancement - relating to enhancements in storage capabilities and the increased accessibility of external connections.
- Hardware and Software Innovation – linking to continuous improvements in memory, processes, inter-device communication, and data transfer.
From now on, marketing will be less impeded by device and platform, it’s the content and UX that will be under the spotlight. Power is truly in the palms of the consumer, and those who are to take advantage will be those able to embrace a data-driven era, to power innovation and progression.
Explore HSO's Retail Solutions to see for yourself how we can reinvent your Retail capabilities.