The “Tech Titans” — Amazon, Apple, eBay, Facebook and Google — are changing the face of retail, driving sweeping change using technology. The Titans challenge retailers to jump on their progressive bandwagon or lose discerning consumers who will seek out competitors — often from the showrooming convenience of mobile devices — if their expectations aren’t quickly met.
“Mobile technology is having a profound impact on the retail landscape by disrupting the traditional path to purchase,” said Lori Schafer, SAS Retail Executive Advisor. “Each of the Tech Titans has made vast investments in mobile as a part of their core strategy, and it’s having a significant effect on retail. Whether introducing prospective customers to new merchandise on a tablet through Instagram, Pinterest or Google Shopping or letting customers pay using a smartphone, the future is at the crossroads of mobile and analytics.”
Schafer and Bernie Brennan, former Chairman of the National Retail Federation are co-authors of Branded: How Retailers Engage Customers with Social Media and Mobility. Together, they will probe how the Tech Titans are using path-breaking mobility strategies during a Super Session at the NRF 102nd Annual Convention and EXPO in New York City on Monday, Jan. 14.
“Until recently, the Titans had separate niches,” Schafer continued. “Amazon was an e-tailer, Apple made computers, eBay hosted online auctions, Facebook was a social network, and Google was a search engine. Today, they are reinventing retail, communications, financial services, entertainment, travel and technology services. And mobile technologies are especially important to their success. This is an amazing time of technology innovation for retailers.”
Schafer cites several examples:
- Apple’s iStore payment system is a classic mobile innovation. With iStore, a customer can browse a retail aisle, scan a barcode using their phone’s camera, pay through iTunes, and walk out with the purchase. No check-out lines, no staff. Schafer calls Apple the best omnichannel retailer in business today.
- eBay has made a hefty $5 billion investment in mobile technology through recent acquisitions, including PayPal, which shows major mobile promise. The Home Depot, one of the largest traditional retailers, offers a PayPal “mobile wallet” option at every check-out counter. Twenty other retailers are scheduled to follow. Additionally, eBay is piloting same-day delivery using mobile technology.
- Facebook is becoming more mobile-friendly. The pace at which the company has collected an unequaled trove of consumer sentiment data leaves traditional ratings and sentiment tracking companies breathless. Now, Facebook is poised to cash in with marketing and advertising companies that want to reach consumers through all communication channels.
Progressive retailers work with SAS
SAS’ unparalleled retail business knowledge — coupled with powerful, advanced analytics — allows retailers to anticipate customers’ wishes, empowers retailers to act, and drives better results. SAS’ customer and merchandising solutions are available through a variety of investment, deployment and growth options.
SAS retail customers include A&P, Aeropostale, Ann Taylor, AutoZone, Beall’s, Belk, Best Buy, Brooks Brothers, Cabela’s, Carrefour, Casino, Casual Male, Charming Shoppes, Chico’s FAS Inc., DSW, Eddie Bauer, Family Dollar, Foot Locker, Gander Mountain, Godiva, Hallmark, Hudson’s Bay Company, Kohl’s, Macy’s, Mark’s Work Wearhouse, Marks & Spencer, Nestle, Northern Tool & Equipment, Office Depot, Overstock.com, S-Group, Sainsbury’s, Staples, Tesco, Waitrose, Wakefern, Williams-Sonoma, Winn-Dixie and 1-800-FLOWERS.COM.
For more information about SAS® Retail Intelligence Solutions and SAS Customer Intelligence solutions, visit www.sas.com. Visit SAS at the NRF 102nd Annual Convention and EXPO in Booth 753.