We're only a quarter into 2017, yet many retailers have already made drastic changes to their businesses this year. Many of the changes involve implementing different types of technologies to better engage and service customers in a digital-first world. In the Winter 2017 issue of Total Retail, we asked our editorial advisory board what they believed would be the technology that would impact retailers most this year. Below are some of their answers (click here for a full list of our editorial advisory board, including their titles and companies):
Jenn McClain-De Jong: Mobile (personalization); apps — client facing and associate; and updated point-of-sale solutions — more cloud (speed) vs. large ERP.
Aubrie Pagano: Amazon.com is a force to be reckoned with. The big guys will be up against them in 2017 even more than they are already.
Peter Cobb: Personalization in all aspects — site, email, social.
Richard Last: It will once again be everything mobile. Mobile visits have already reached a tipping point, exceeding website visits for many retailers. Key priorities for 2017 will include mobile conversion; mobile attribution; mobile in-store integration; CRM and mobile analytics; mobile payments; and mobile wallets. The challenges for retailers in 2017 include prioritizing strategic investments in mobile technologies, as well as adapting to the proliferation of devices along with lack of standards for hardware, network carriers and services.
Brian Shultz: Product visualization technologies like 3-D product modeling and augmented reality are meshing nicely with consumers continued, exponentially increasing preference for their mobile device as a shopping tool.
Jim Garlow: At CDW, we’re seeing heavier investments from retailers in data retrieval for faster decision making, such as inventory levels and shelf restocking; a greater usage of mobile applications, both consumers and associates; in-store Wi-Fi; and reducing silos that prohibit data retrieval for operational insights.
Lauren Freedman: Analytics and data will be critical to understanding one’s customers and tailoring the customer experience accordingly.
Mark Friedman: 3-D printing as well as personalization and customization of products. Also, in-store mobile applications and easier checkout in-store.
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