When the potential of the internet as an e-commerce platform was first realized, futurologists predicted that one day all shopping would be done online and remotely. Products would be delivered by drone and the personal aspects of the retail experience would no longer be relevant. How times have changed!
Today the global retail space is more vibrant and sophisticated than ever before, online retailers are setting up offline retail spaces, and forward-thinking retailers are using the power of Big Data and the cloud to gather vital insights into how well their offline spaces are working and what can be done to make the shopping experience even better for consumers.
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Retail analysis and the effective role of Big Data will come under the spotlight from 16-18 November at MAPIC – the International Retail Property Market taking place in Cannes, France. This year, MAPIC is hosting a brand new Trends Hub which will focus on the trends and impacts of O2O (Offline to Online) retail and its opportunities for business development.
Director of Strategic Innovation at Salesforce, Pamela Wolf, explains how “for over 20 years, Mapic has been the place for retailers to shop for their new store locations. Today, it is also transforming into a destination for innovative retail concepts, partners and digital solutions.”
Gathering big data for retail
The flow of data which is constantly being generated via shoppers, online and offline, is a goldmine of information for retailers. From customer transactions, including point-of-sale, ecommerce and mobile sales, to membership and loyalty schemes, customer relationship management to store layouts, pricing and product placements and much, much more. It’s all gathered together and sorted to derive insights which can perfect the sales approach.
Furthermore, today’s technology trends add immeasurable value to the data that retails and analysts can work with. Two trends are increasingly valuable: Consumers use of mobile devices in tandem with offline shopping, the strong and sophisticated presence of global brands on social media, and these trends, all taken together, can drive a deep and intimate understanding of consumer behavior which can dramatically increase loyalty.
One of the most dynamic aspects of MAPIC 2016 will be the Innovation Forum, an area with a dedicated exhibition space and conference programme that will showcase solutions and technologies that raise the attractiveness and value of retail property.
More sophisticated than ever
Big Data analytics for retail has developed remarkably over the last few years. Initially, it was merely descriptive in nature, offering a summary of demographics, store operations and an analysis of how store footfall converts into sales. From there big data entered into a predictive era, where it was able to forecast what demand would be, predict sales revenue and develop personalized recommendations for consumers. The predictive model is now growing to include the science of semantic analysis, which offers wonderful opportunities for retailers. Big data firms are able to track the sentiment around stores and products through metadata and social media analysis, and provide context driven understanding.
Two dynamic conferences at MAPIC on November 16 are absolutely essential for those working in the field of retail data. The first is by Kies Thorsten, Business Director of Retail and Airports on Retail Analytics and how they can help you understand your customers.
The second is from the Director of Retail Advantage, Gareth Jordan who will be presenting a talk entitled Data: Unlocking Shopping Centre and Outlet Potential.”
The MAPIC Trends Hub will not only be investigating the power of data; there are plenty of other aspects of 21st Century retail that will be coming under the spotlight. From the blending of entertainment and retail into Retailtainment to the power of Pop-Up stores as well as focus on the trend of O2O (Online to Offline) retail, there’s going to be something for everyone at MAPIC, 2016’s premier global retail marketplace from 16 – 18 November in Cannes, France.