Jon Stanesby , commenting on The Guardian’s Media Network Blog 10 May 2013 reviewed the major technology led trends in retail marketing.
In summary they are:
Brand journalism; providing consumers with relevant information continuously. Rich sources of ideas and opinions can come direct from customers (e.g. crowdsourcing via social channels or bespoke tools like Scoopshot) or staff.
Engaging customers in real time; providing tools that show the consumer where products are located nearest or cheapest can satisfy the customer and counteract the danger of “showrooming” (shopping and comparing online while in store)
Recognising small anomalies in data; retailers are starting to pick out, smaller “out of place” results from large data sets to yield greater returns. For example, a consumer shopping for a sunhat in November, suggests a holiday is planned. Centre emails around this.
Rewarding customer curators – rewarding those people who bookmark your site, build wishlists and Google shortlists or at a more complex level, use affiliate platforms such as import.io to create their own virtual department store. You can make it easy for these curators to share info by offering social icons and shareable links to products.