CART’s Top 10 Predictions for 2017
The following blog originally ran on the CART blog HERE
As we quickly approach the end of the year its time again to look forward to what 2017 will bring. Using CART’s unique perspective into retail industry interest and new innovation rushing into the industry, here are our thoughts on what to look for in the year ahead.
- Alexa and Siri become new retail customers: Home-based digital assistants like Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri will proliferate and expand into eCommerce, enabling consumers to ‘shop by voice’. These assistants are becoming pervasive as the ecosystems expand outside the home; Amazon is already integrating Alexa into Ford, BMW, and Hyundai autos and Apple is a growing force in cars.
- IoT hits a tipping point: The Internet of Things (IoT) has been talked about a lot for both in-home and in-store applications. 2017 will be the year IoT his critical mass with a fast growing number of solutions and applications coming into the retail and home environments.
- Omnipresent omni-channel: Platforms are being put in place that provide consistent relevant content across every digital touchpoint while ensuring a cohesive and comprehensive user experience across devices and channels both inside and outside the store.
- Relevancy required: Strategic hyper-personalization goes from a ‘nice to have’ to a necessity to keep customers (especially millennials and younger shoppers) engaged and to make the most efficient use of marketing budgets.
- Delivery, your way: Last-mile delivery will gain in focus as retailers partner with third-party services like Deliv, Uber, and others to quickly and efficiently deliver online orders. Robots, drones, click & collect, and other delivery mechanisms will continue to expand as retailers focus on fulfillment.
- Brick & Mortar stores made digital: We’ll see the growing number of in-store analytic tools move from testing, pilots, and research into more widespread implementation as they are integrated to realtime in-store marketing capabilities and the industry understands how best to operationalize the powerful new insights and analytics these tools provide.
- In-store goes online: Augmented reality (AR) will make its way into supermarket and CPG retail as the technology is used to provide rich, supplemental information and experiences for shoppers. Virtual reality (VR) pilots providing an immersive in-store experience while at home will grow.
- Mobile power to the workers: Retailers will begin to leverage the power of mobile devices to empower their associates with access to realtime information to bolster customer service. Mobile-based intelligent task management and operations will spread across retail stores and distribution centers.
- Mega data: Big data is not big enough any more, the new term is mega data. Every device, every touchpoint, every engagement produces an ever-expanding amount of data and 2017 will continue the exponential explosion of data that’s collected and available to use.
- AI to make sense of it all: The only way to make use of all the data being collected is through the application of artificial intelligence and machine learning. Marketers, operators, and people across the retail industry will be empowered to make faster and more effective decisions due to systems automatically surfacing opportunities or concerns.