What are the big trends in society and how might they impact retail

This year I had the pleasure to attend the National Retail Federation Big Show and listened in on several really interesting keynotes. One of the keynote that boiled to the top for me was one of the last talks of the Big show featuring Marian Salzman.

Marian  Salzman is CEO of Havas PR North America and lectures worldwide on various topics. During NRF16 she spoke to the top trends in society and how these will most likely impact the retail industry.

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In her talk, she laid out 11 different trends, then set those trend into context for retailers and how they can utilize this information today to cater to an ever changing customer. In this blog I have chosen a few trends, summarized them and  included a quick not on how retailers can adapt. See a segment of her keynote in this video

Uneasy Street: “a sense of unease that pervades much (most?) of life, an abiding feeling that things aren’t as they should be, that looming threats are out there, and that people need to make important decisions and do something.” More on this trend from Marian here. The impact on the retail industry is that your customers are now overloaded, anxious and overwhelmed so anything you can do to gain their trust and make them feel at ease will help you build stronger connection with them.

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Tech Addict “Control Thyself”: technology is bringing people together virtually but it can also drive people apart physically. Mobile technology is decreasing our ability to pay attention to what is going on in our physical environment. This is impacting retailer’s ability to capture the attention of the consumer even as shoppers are physically in their stores. The way retailers can turn this trend around is by either utilizing the customer’s mobile device location capabilities to send targeted coupons and offers or utilize human interaction such as their sales associate on the floor to bring shoppers out of their parallel virtual life while they are in the store.

Getting Smart: “the world is going crazy not just for smart people but for smart everything. Expect any item with a chip build into it to be described as smart” said Marian. For retailer to embrace the get smart band wagon retailers need to incorporate “smart” in their store strategy and put things like mobile compatible smart tech into product label, shelves and tags therefore providing customers useful info and the ability to plug in promotions.

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The roar of the Cloud: Today we can do many things virtually, collaborate on many different aspects of life and work over the cloud. More and more activities are being assessed on whether we need to have a physical presence to achieve the goal of that activity. Through cloud services smaller retailers can enjoy reduced cost of some services as larger retailers have had the ability to do in the past. For all retailers, the challenge will be to decide on the best mix between physical and cloud presence for their business.

Living large. No More? Large cities, like NYC, are increasingly costly and crowded to live in, to enjoy and to find real work life balance  More and more of the Second and even third tier regional cities like Portland Oregon or Austin Texas are becoming the new magnets. Retail can help shape the new dynamic cities and neighborhoods.

More information about Marian Salzman’s work is available on her site and you can download her full report of 11 trends in 2016 here.

For more retail expert blogs visit our industry community page at https://communities.intel.com/community/itpeernetwork/retail‌ or visit our Intel solutions for retailers page here

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Anne Van Hulle

About Anne Van Hulle

Anne Van Hulle is a U.S. retail campaign manager with 7 years of experience at Intel. In her current role, Van Hulle manages the North American retail vertical segment. During her career at Intel, she has led B2B media activities for North America including IT publisher partnerships, search engine marketing, social media, native advertising, and lead generation activities. Through her insight as an avid shopper, technology lover and as a millennial, Van Hulle has strengthened her experience in retail store technologies and shares her expertise and passion with retailers through her work at Intel. Van Hulle graduated from Willamette University with a Bachelor’s degree in economics, and from Willamette University’s Atkinson Graduate School of Management with a MBA in marketing. Outside of work, Van Hulle’s curiosity and diversity in her activities has no boundaries, but some of her favorite pastimes include dragon boating, running, shopping and enjoying a microbrew while listening live to a local band. You can follow Anne on Twitter: @annecvh and continue the retail conversation by following @Retailerinsight and visiting our retail community page http://itpeernetwork.intel.com/retail/.