It’s Time to Adopt Your
Consumers are showing
their preferences for all
things mobile and leading
retailers are dabbling in various technologies and will
decide on their approach
this year. But more broadly,
retailers need to create a
strategy, which includes
understanding rich sources
from a unified platform of
web and mobile to create
more precise demand and
merchandizing and product
— Ann Grackin, chief executive officer
at ChainLink Research
hoppers are getting so much savvier about how and where to shop.
They will make sure they are armed with the right information, now
more than ever, to assure they are getting the best deals.
Issues to consider:
• They will price-compare in store, on the web and now on mobile. They will price-
compare options on mobile while in your store!
• New information channels and techniques to reach consumers, such as mobile
apps, social networks, opt-in for promotions, etc., are extremely effective, attract new
channels and are green!
• Loyalty programs using RFID and Scan/QR and social networks both allow retailers to
glean important data about customers, as well as to craft programs, in an instant, to take
advantage of tribes.
• Web/search partners abound from Yelping, social networks, and product- or interest-specific sites. Twitter “personalities” who hawk their finds have amassed huge followings.
• Location-Based Services (LBS) is also gaining in popularity.
• 2011 will also see, finally, the Near Field phone, allowing the U.S. shopper to join Japan
and Europe for really smart phones and touch-and-go access, self-check, payments, etc.
• Demand management and merchandizing strategies need to be thought through and
more deeply deployed. Only a small percentage of retailers have these solutions in place
today. But serious evaluations are going on and this market will continue to grow.
• Trade promotions, always popular, will grow in practice and popularity with consumers beyond 2010 heights. Retailers will need to collaborate more with their brand suppliers to make these programs work—not just “me too” offers of little long-term value.
• Consumer products companies which support retailers have to get serious about
demand and trade promotion systems, as well as reaching beyond their channels to
understand the end consumer and create customer intimacy and brand recognition.
The challenge in all these is creating a holistic strategy that is interoperable and allows
for flexibly and growth since ideas are coming quickly. Retailers also need to be open to
small, young technology providers and allow them to make their case, since they are currently the most innovative and attracting the most opt-ins.
Retailers will spend more on technology in 2011. The most significant factor for retailers
to address in their technology strategy for 2011 is to create a mobile platform strategy.
The many technology options, information channels and consumer programs need to
integrate and form an understandable and usable framework.