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Retail 3.0: Internet of Things, Big Data, Social and Mobile Changing the Shopping Experience
The “internet of things” opens up huge possibilities for retailers. For years, retailers have sought to improve their understanding of the almost mythical ‘path to purchase’. Many will remember Paco Underhill’s Why We Buy – The Science of Shopping from 1999 that showed then how “hard data gleaned from thousands of hours of field research–in shopping malls, department stores, and supermarkets across America could help retailers understand shopper behavior and improve the bottom line.”
Fast forward to our world of social media, big data, IoT, and mobile and it’s heady times, indeed. Big data can now give retailers a precise, factual understanding of how shoppers move around their stores. Smart retailers have optimized store layouts, fixtures, staffing, and product offerings based on what they learned.
The shopper also comes armed with technology sets – mobile, tablets, apps, and social preferences. Pinterest is a very popular platform for shoppers and Nordstrom is capitalizing on their Pinterest presence. In SAP’s Future of Business series on Business Insider, this new social, data, mobile ecosystem is explained:
The retailer has a “Pin” button for every item on its website. It also showcases popular Pinterest items on its e-commerce site….The retailer also created an in-store app for salespeople that matches up popular Pinterest items with current inventory for a department on a store-by-store basis.
As retailers continue to understand that shoppers incorporate social media commentary and photos into their purchasing decisions, expect to see more sophisticated screens in stores and the portability of retail experience from store to online through smartphones and tablets. Great opportunity for analytics capture also!