Retailing Retailored for 2015

John Krautzel
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The retail industry has been rapidly evolving in recent years, and experts predict that it will undergo even greater changes in 2015. Here are some of the hottest retail trends of 2015.

1. Personalization

Consumers are easily bored by marketing materials that aren't relevant to their interests. In order to keep customers interested, retailers need to make sure they deliver information and promotions to the people who want them. This principle is perhaps most important when marketing via email. Most consumers are too busy to read every message that arrives in their inbox, so retail emails must appeal to individuals' preferences in order to get their attention.

The rise of big data makes personalization more possible than ever before. Through loyalty programs and website traffic analysis, the retail industry is able to collect huge volumes of data about its customers. This data can be used to send customers only promotions that are relevant to their individual preferences.

2. The Cloud

According to research by the National Retail Federation, many retailers plan to use the cloud to host more than 90 percent of their enterprise systems. Cloud computing helps improve connectivity in the retail industry, making administrative tasks such as scheduling employee hours much easier. This is particularly useful for large chain stores, which have to manage many stores across the nation.

3. Social Platforms

Retailers have been using social media to connect with their customers for some time. These tools could also become an important part of employee training. Most employees working in the retail industry in 2015 are expected to be members of the digitally connected Millennial generation. These employees want to use social media not only in their personal lives but also at work. Employers in the retail industry can harness the power of these platforms to train employees, creating networks that allow experienced employees to pass on their knowledge to a broad audience of new recruits instead of just a single location. Local branches of chain stores can also use social tools to communicate with each other, sharing ideas and spreading innovation throughout the business.

4. Predictive Intelligence

Predictive intelligence is one of the hottest retail trends of 2015. It involves crunching huge amounts of data to predict future trends. Predictive intelligence can help retailers optimize store hours, use their marketing budgets as effectively as possible, choose the right products and price them correctly. Data from Salesforce Marketing Cloud shows that retailers who use predictive intelligence experience a 23 percent rise in revenue compared to retailers who haven't embraced this trend.

The retail industry needs to continuously evolve to respond to the changing needs of their customers and the new generation of retail employees. By embracing these four trends, retailers can maximize their chance of success in 2015 and beyond.


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