Updated August 31, 2013When asked for predictions about the U.S. retail industry in 2011, most retail industry experts predicted that short-term success and long-term growth would be driven by retail technology. What follows is a roundup of retail technology predictions given by retail industry experts at the beginning of 2011. These 2011 predictions are listed randomly, and are presented in no particular order of importance.
2011 Retail Technology Predictions from CNBC News Editor Christina Cheddar Berk:
Consumers are ahead of retailers with mobile technology, so retail technology investments in 2011 will focus on allowing customers to find what they are looking for in the way they choose to look for it - in-store, online, or via smartphone.
2011 Retail Technology Predictions from Brand Management Consultants Interbrand:
2011 will be a year of digital technology catch-up by retailers, particularly with digital mobile technology. The challenge of online and mobile marketing will be to find a way to get invited into consumers' social media circles, where consumers have complete control over their interactions.
2011 Retail Technology Predictions from David Dorf, Sr. Director of Technology Strategy at Oracle:
Predicts that Apple will lead the way with mobile retail technology by adding NFC chi's to the next generation of iPhone, which will enable consumers to pay for merchandise with their iTunes account via their mobile phone. Also predicts that QR code scanning with mobile phones will gain in popularity in 2011.
F-commerce (Facebook commerce) will become popular in the mainstream, in 2011, according to Dorf, and with Facebook and Google battling for virtual retail turf, retailers will benefit from virtual retail channels without having to pick up the tab to develop.
From Virtual Floorspace:
Retailers who do the best job at capturing the attention of digital consumers will do so because they combine social, mobile, and local strategies on their digital platform. Also, Facebook Deals will overtake Foursquare because Facebook Deals are marketer-driven, whereas the Foursquare model is dependent on proactive consumer participation.
Retailers just need to work their revised business models in 2011 and economic growth will assist them.
From Juniper Research:
Major retailers will start using Augmented Reality (AR) more in apps, for a wow factor in marketing, and to geotag products. Mobile phones will start to take the place of credit cards at retail stores, and retailers will have to catch up with NFC (Near Field Communication) technology which will become a standard feature of mobile devices, whether consumers want it or not and whether there are any retail stores equipped to interface with it or not.
From IDC Research:
Consumers with more omnichannel shopping options also have less loyalty. The most successful retailers in 2011 will be the ones who provide an immersive, customer-centric, and superior shopping experience on all channels.
From Insight Advertising:
Retailers will use mobile technology to push messages, coupons, and promotions to customers and pull them in through the door, whether it's a physical or virtual door. The most successful retailers in 2011 will also be the ones who don't just use social media to broadcast, they also use it to LISTEN to customers.
More retailers will use technology and innovation to make their gift card offerings more appealing. Gift cards that talk, smell, and suggest products have already been created by major retailer chains, and other retailers will plus up their gift cards in order to compete in that multi-billion product offering in 2011.
From Rillara News:
Retailers that successfully develop their app technology and integrate QR technology to deliver exclusive content will reinvigorate the relationship between their brands and their consumers. Technology will increasingly displace retail service jobs, but the counterbalance to that will an expansion of specialized and hyper-personal retail who will advise and demonstrate more than they will "sell."
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