The paradigm shifts foreseen for retail in 2013 are mostly well-known — mobile is beyond important, physical retail will keep diversifying at a mad pace to keep up with online, and omni-channel integration, starting with social commerce, is the secret to retail growth. However, when it comes to digital strategy, some of the key points aren’t so well known. Here are the most important tips you may not yet have heard (again and again and again):
- Though only 3% of mobile sales come from Android tablets currently, there was an overall tablet sales increase of 150% in 2012 over 2011, so this is expected to grow. Better make retail sites fit the platform.
- Mobile advertising is becoming a priority, with Facebook, Twitter, and Google all experiencing an uptick in user clicks (with the most important variety of mobile ads being the native kind, i.e., those that fit seamlessly into a Facebook or Twitter feed).
- Luxury brands will be able to, and should, drive store traffic via mobile, allowing customers to make on-the-go appointments with in-store sales associates.
- Brick-and-mortar retail should embrace virtual inventory, which can be mobile-accessed by in-store customers, as they become more digitally oriented overall.
- Last but not least, so-called “data scientists” will replace social media gurus as the “It” job of 2013. Capturing consumer data — across all channels, of course — should be a priority for retailers so that they can most effectively tailor individual shopping experiences.