Beacons, Sensors & Tags, Oh My!

Ability to use data from all parts of their business will separate retail winners from the rest

Over the past decade, e-commerce and social media platforms have created a marketer’s dream, by having an always-on conduit to shopping, whilst generating deeply immersive and instructive details about the habits and preferences of the vast majority of the world’s population. Now, with the onset of incredible data collection devices in retail locations, including sensors, facial recognition, beacons and RFID tags, all shopping experiences can to be tracked and managed with sophisticated, integrated analytics.

Individual products, merchandising displays, fixtures and any consumer with a mobile phone, now also have the ability to generate incredible amounts of data, much like the advancements enjoyed via ecommerce and social media – heat mapping, behavioral analytics, and personalization, the in-store environment has fast-forwarded to also be digitally enabled.

Retailers, particularly e-commerce retailers, have a tremendous ability to have a deep understanding of consumers. Already widely regarded as a substantial leader in the arena of customer tracking, the extension of the Amazon Go store concept highlights innovation in how brands collect and value data, by not only going to a bricks and mortar solution, but an inherently frictionless solution between consumer and retail brand, regardless of their shopping modality. And the acquisition of Whole Foods literally opens the door for Amazon to further connect the information ecosystem through supply chain and distribution to consumers, by amassing millions of additional transaction and loyalty touchpoints.

It’s an exciting time to be a part of the evolving retail environment – these retail technologies have expanded the marketer’s toolbox across virtually every channel, creating the next great challenge and opportunity: combining data from these disparate data sources to create a holistic view of performance across the entire shopping journey – retailing systems understanding and mirroring consumers’ view into the always on shopping experiences, regardless of when, where or how they shop.


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