A guest blog post by Lina Arseneault, Senior Director of Marketing at AirTight Networks

In early 2013, IDC issued the updated version of its IDC Retail Insights report outlining the top 10 predictions for the world-wide retail industry. One of the report’s authors is retail research director Leslie Hand. She and I recently met at IDC’s Directions annual conference in Silicon Valley to discuss the recently published report.

Most of our discussion centered on the first four predictions from IDC’s top 10 predictions list.

1. Omnichannel retail maturity will move from foundation to convergence and from precision to immersion
2. Retailers’ omnichannel objectives will require platform and architecture investments
3. Retailers will invest in customer analytics, merchandizing, and marketing technologies to curate commerce and contextualize communications
4. Retailers will pivot merchandizing and marketing on customer analytics to drive revenue and profit, relevance and reciprocity being the watchwords

Leslie and I agreed that consumers are forcing retailers to act faster than they traditionally have and that this type of pressure is only likely to increase. Digital and physical interactions are increasingly intertwined and consumers are demanding that retailers engage with them on these terms.

Retailers are realizing that knowing more about their shoppers can be the key to building relationships and boosting sales.

80% of mobile consumers are influenced by in-store Wi-Fi as a factor in deciding where they shop.

Retailers serious about meeting the customer expectations challenge head on can make continuous nurturing refinements based on retail analytics.  Savvy retailers will need to make the most of their Wi-Fi networks to not only drive sales but also to build up CRM programs.

Leslie and I rounded out our conversation by touching on AirTight’s experience in working with Pinkberry, the five year old Los Angeles based Brand best known for its highly popular handcrafted yogurt bar. Central to the Pinkberry promise is the belief in the power of human connection.  Accordingly, the driving force behind PinkBerry’s Wi-Fi deployment was the launch of The Pinkcard, Pinkberry’s loyalty program and mobile app; as well as requests from store customers and owners for Wi-Fi access services.  The company exceeded its three-month goals in just one month.

Read the Pinkberry case study

I can think of no better way to close our this blog post than by letting (virtual) Leslie Hand touch on the new retail paradigm and the opportunities it presents.

View the YouTube video, Mobility: The New Retail Paradigm by Leslie Hand.

Additional Information:

IDC’s “Retail Insights Predictions 2013” webinar

Follow IDC Retail Research Director Leslie Hand on Twitter

Follow AirTight Networks on Twitter

Contact Lina Arseneault