It is that time of the year to look forward at the top 10 key trends that will drive technology adoption in 2014:
Successful technology deployments focus on strengthening the brand
According to Deloitte, brand value declined in 2013, for the third year in a row. To win in 2014, companies will need to go back to basics by selectively deploying technologies that protect and grow global brand value.
China ascension as a global retail market will continue
By the year 2022, China will account for roughly 25% of the total global retail sales generated by the 60 largest markets. By 2022, the retail market in China will be twice the size of the US. Technology will be a key driver to China's growth. In 2012, China was already the second largest online global retail market at $210 Billion in sales. (3)
Privacy awakened by NSA concerns
In 2014, retail will need to react to the NSA privacy concerns. Technology deployment options and candid open approaches focused on value will be critical to addressing growing consumer privacy concerns.
The Store as a Personal Brand
Personalized "mom & pop" retail shops with strong brand value will grow and prosper in 2014. Connectivity will continue to create market niches that entrepreneurial individuals will exploit to transform their personal brand into a profitable global business model.
Location based technologies will accelerate penetration into retail
The recent iBeacon announcements by Macy's and Apple stores set the stage for continued growth of location based solutions in retail. 77% of consumers are OK in sharing location in exchange for value. (4)
Video Analytics technology focused on in-store customer experience will continue to grow
In 2014, retailers will continue to deploy technologies to analyze consumer shopping patterns, identify store "hot spots", speed up checkout lines, and measure display effectiveness. Counter technologies will also emerge to protect privacy. Japan's National Institute of Informatics recently released technology that helps disguise the face from cameras (anti-face recognition software). (5)
Mobile retail business models will explode in 2014
We are just getting started with the mobile retail wave. For North America alone, the Mobile POS market will surpass $2 Billion by the end of 2013. In addition to POS, new innovative apps will emerge for consumers to interactively engage and shop strong brands.
The explosion of sensors will continue in 2014
The retail sales floor, where the critical buying decisions are made, is still highly under sensored. Computer technologies will continue to be miniaturized into ever smaller "smart" sensors and their presence will grow in stores.
Connectivity will expand in 2014 to include humans as nodes on the network
The wearable technology market will grow from $1.4 Billion in 2013 to $19 Billion in 2018 (7). Winning retailers will leverage wearable technologies to strengthen brands by improving customer experiences.
The smart surface as a retail store
The definition of a physical retail stores will continue to evolve in 2014. Joining brick & mortar stores and online experiences will be virtual "smart surfaces" pop up stores where consumers will engage with strong brands to purchase products. To see what's possible, review Corning's "A Day Made of Glass" on YouTube. (8)
To win in 2014, focus on key markets, brand, personalization, mobile, and expanded connectivity through sensors and surfaces. Virtually go back to the core value of the brand and profitably move forward to new markets and growth opportunities.
(1) http://ow.ly/rLqtb (2) http://ow.ly/rLqUs (3) http://ow.ly/rLr2H (4) http://ow.ly/rLrw6 (5) http://ow.ly/rLs1Z (6) http://ow.ly/rLsiA (7) http://ow.ly/rLsTL (8) http://ow.ly/rLt9j Image from http://ow.ly/rLyev