VMSD - February 2014 - (Page 4)
from the editor
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embrace technology. it may just
save the brick-and-mortar store.
I have a simple request: can we retire the term "omni-channel" to
wherever overused business jargon goes to join annoying words
like "enterprise," "scalable," "paradigm" and "leverage"? Having just
returned from NRF's annual conference in New York, my head is still
spinning with the ubiquitous term for multiple retail forms of engagement, not to mention Big Data, cloud-based apps and electronic information exchanges.
I have plenty of company when it comes to omni-channel fatigue. In
fact, at a conference session of retail cio's, lululemon Athletica's cvp and
cio Allan Smith suggested the industry adopt "one-guest experience" to
describe the integration of in-store, online and mobile shopping.
Semantics aside, that one-guest experience drove the show's focus
and content, with mobile declared the once and future king of consumer engagement. And here's a stat to support that claim to the retail
realm: 75 percent of consumers now use a smartphone while shopping.
"We will be a mobile-first world," declared Ginni Rometty, IBM's chairman, president and ceo, in a keynote address. "And those who tap into
that world will determine the winners and losers."
Ultimately, retailers, with the aid of IT professionals and, yes,
designers, must create an intuitive, seamless journey from the initial
contact to checkout. It's a handful. "We're still trying to figure out how
to engage customers in digital and mobile," said Michael Kingston, svp
and cio, Neiman Marcus. "The key is a well-rounded view of the customer based on how she interacts with all of her preferred touchpoints.
Technology is just the enabler to deliver customer experience."
So what does all this tech talk have to do with you, retail designer/
visual merchandiser? Plenty. And if you think you can avoid the conversation, you might just find yourself on the receiving end of a pink
slip. The brick-and-mortar store is here to stay. As one designer said,
"It's where technology and brand touch points come together." But
technology will increasingly be integrated into every facet of in-store
design, from lighting and displays to fixtures, finishes and wayfinding.
The good news is the combination of your skills and creative spirit with
technology's promise to improve and enhance the shopper experience
portends exciting times ahead for this industry.
As Square ceo and Twitter chairman Jack Dorsey told show attendees: "That's what great technology allows. It allows for experience. It
allows for the mechanical aspects of what we do every day to completely disappear."
4 FEBRUARY 2014 | vmsd.com
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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of VMSD - February 2014
VMSD - February 2014
FROM THE EDITOR
VMSD EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD
IT’S A WRAP
YOUNG, QUIRKY AND COLORFUL
HUNTING FOR THE PERFECT EXPERIENCE
VMSD - February 2014