1) Ecommerce Companies need to integrate data across the retail enterprise to possess a 360-degree view of the customer, but it’s not a simple thing to try to do. What are your views on getting this act right?

Data integration is usually one of the best challenges retailers, CPGs and eCommerce companies tackle and therefore the 360-degree view is that the inspirational goal to realize yet most companies struggle to succeed in. The 360-degree view of the buyer requires a technique informed by big data analytics that permits the mixing of structured data or data which will reside within the rows and columns of a knowledge warehouse, with unstructured data from ‘open’ sources like social media combined with the entire elimination of data-silos. Ecommerce and CPG companies that are ready to integrate these sources of knowledge centralize and leverage them to form data-informed decisions will have a singular advantage over competitors. Getting this built and mapped right is the difficult goal. Thankfully, with cloud-based marketing platforms that CRM organizations have built, the task is becoming marginally effortless. The simplest thanks to ensuring success is to possess several important components in situ before even lecture potential vendors like, what business issue are you trying to unravel, does one have the proper internal resources to manage the system such as business analyst and data scientists. The proper crawl-walk-run approach, executive-level sponsorship, and budget and the right partner that aligns together with your company’s goals and mission.

2) Changing consumer assumptions are intersecting with an assemblage of cloud computing, social, analytics, business, and mobile to fundamentally reshape commerce—with huge indication for retailers. What have you ever done to successfully run a business within the midst of rising tech expectations?

Geometry Global, a WPP company and partner of Kantar Retail, in their Connected Shopper Study, says that while only 7 percent of Web users make online redeems regularly, some 65 percent, nonetheless, use digital channels to explore and browse before making a sale. This approves our own Kantar Retail studies in ShopperScape™ that in-store purchases are changed through online activities. As a result, brands and retailers must think more than just the web purchase and consider the role that digital channels play in their categories before, during, and after purchase. This undergoes back to what I call “Everywhere Commerce”. The very fact that commerce can and is influenced by everything everywhere regardless of what channel the particular purchase takes place. The important point to form is that retailers and CPG brands got to have an entire view of their shoppers so that there are moments of intersection along the acquisition decision journey. The proper content at the proper time at the proper place. Marketers shouldn't be worrying about the 4Ps anymore; those are table stakes. Hopefully, you’ve figured this out way back. Now it’s about meeting consumer expectations once they are looking, exploring, researching, and converting—and layering it with moments of personalization.

3) How technology is revolutionizing a number of the subsequent segments essential for a Retailer's success.

a) Reporting and Analytics (social, mobile, reporting)

I’ll mention CRM and therefore the marketing cloud again as an example of how technology is enabling greater success and integration in reporting and analytics. Silo elimination and therefore the complete look and understanding of the consumer regardless of how they buy and interact together with your brand, store or site may be a key competency to take a position in. Understanding these sorts of insights can help deliver custom promotions and offers to your shopper both in-store and online. It’s also important to not get blinded by the info and make decisions during a vacuum. Make certain to know the truth and real ways in which shoppers shop your stores and categories through the utilization of consumer insights also.

b) E-Commerce (B2C, B2B, Mobile Commerce)

The technology stack that powers the transactional process can and will be one of the company’s greatest and thoughtful investments. Levering cloud-first technology will equate to substantial benefits for eCommerce and retailers including a discount in hosting and equipment costs, increases in capacity, streamlined operations, enhanced collaboration, and increased productivity and output. As businesses compete during a world that's experiencing margin erosion and limited consumer attention, a cloud-first approach can help in creating an agile environment that will learn and grow.

c) Core Operations (Store operations, merchandising, Infrastructure)

IoT is destined to possess the only, greatest impact to provide chain and store operations. IBM predicts that by the end of 2018, connected processes will drive 15 percent productivity improvements for manufacturing supply chains. By connecting the shop shelf to the rear room, ‘smart shelves’ will recognize when inventory is low and will potentially reorder directly from the manufacturer. Another example is food safety, which may be a major concern for retailers and consumers. In some cases, IoT technology enabled by frequency identification (RFID) has helped to form fish safer for consumption by tracking every endpoint within the supply chain. Stores will begin to display real-time promotions supported individual consumers is already happening (requires opt-in technology, of course). Understanding purchase trends in behaviors in key markets will help retailers build more targeted locations with the proper product mix and less waste.

4) How are Big Data and Analytics Transforming In- Store Experience for Retailers

At Kantar Retail, we are confident in our forecasts on how big eCommerce will become. In fact, we anticipate total eCommerce sales to leap from 11 percent in 2017 to more than 18 percent by 2021. Even with these staggering figures and our bullish eCommerce outlook, this still leaves anywhere from 70-80 percent of sales taking place through brick and mortar locations. This is a fact that retailers and CPG manufacturers cannot ignore. Those retailers that can provide a true ‘Everywhere Commerce’ experience to the shopper will win. This means using beacon technology to know what shopper is walking through the door and what her buying preferences are. What days she shops, if she has a gluten-free household, has children or what her favorite brands are. From this type of information stored in the CRM/ system, merchandising, personalization, convenience, and engagement can be delivered at new levels with greater outcomes. With technology capabilities from cloud-based CRM companies and with the right talent to deploy them, retailers can now have highly efficient, intuitive ways to extend digital experiences to brick and mortar. For example, strategically placed third-party displays can change dynamically based on the shopper to display interactivity that makes shopping more personalized, immersive, and even entertaining. With integrated digital technologies, shopping experiences are not only much more enjoyable for shoppers, they can produce higher basket sizes, generate consumer loyalty and deeper, cross-category purchases. Having deep shopper insights is key. Marketers from both the retailer and CPGs can now connect brick and mortar and digital interactions to create unique, highly personalized in store experiences.