February is the month where the post-holiday luster diminishes and stories of the new year begin to coalesce. One of the more pressing concerns in retail lately has been consumer security. Data thieves are increasingly sophisticated in their ability to bypass retail security systems. We’re also starting to see old-guard retailers make bold strategic moves to expand their brands. The demands of the retail world require brands to adopt an almost zen-like philosophy to navigate the modern retail landscape: Bend with winds of change, but never lose the grip on the roots that nourish the entire organization.
“2014 retail predictions,” Retail Online Integration – The predictions made by Dan Darnell are already beginning to come true. One of the main beliefs held by the Baynote team is that despite all the powerful innovations being introduced into the retail world, brands must never lose sight that the customer experience comes first. The technology must develop and be adopted in a way that augments the customer experience at all times. Retailers should take this to heart: Technology changes every day, but brand experience is still in your control.
“Why retailers aren’t protecting you from hackers,” CNN – One of the less “sexy” aspects of e-commerce is the need for more secure database infrastructure. More transactions equal more money, and nefarious individuals are always attracted to where the money flows. The problem is that major retailers still lack a pressing incentive to increase spending on database security; unfortunately, it’s cheaper to allow breaches to occur and then pay for the cleanup. Retailers need to change this mindset if e-commerce is to continue growing. Imagine your wallet being stolen every time you walk into a store and having the store simply offer you a coupon for a new wallet. Unacceptable right? Simply stated, increased data theft requires an increased emphasis on security by retailers everywhere.
“Amazon tempts the anti-Amazons,” Wall Street Journal – It’s fascinating to see the Faustian bargains that old-school legacy retailers need to strike in order to thrive in the age of Amazon. Both Abercrombie & Fitch and Nordstrom, two of the oldest brands in America, are in conversations to begin displaying their products through Amazon, adding a major source to display their wares and reach new customers. In exchange, Amazon receives what is perhaps the most prized commodity in the information age: Consumer data.
“Our love affair with the tablet is over,” Re:code – This past Valentine’s Day figures showed a noticeable drop in individuals planning to make a lover’s day purchase. How appropriate it is then to see figures that appear to show tablet adoption rate plateauing as it appears that the market may be completely saturated. If we look back at the amount of coverage devoted to tablets, one would suspect that the tablet was the second coming of the television. This drop-off continues to demonstrate that obsessing over a core seamless experience for shoppers is the best strategy regardless of the device.