From CES to NRF: In 2015 Technology Will Create Even More Seismic Change for Business

There was no shortage of cool gadgetry showcased at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, but for anyone with a retail storefront, the National Retail Federation (NRF) was the place to see what technologies will shape the future of retail.

At the turn of the century, we could envision how technology would shape our future, but finally in 2015, it is feeling a whole lot more like the technically advanced (Jetsons?) future we were originally contemplating. From the Wall Street Journal’s Christopher Mims’ prediction that the Apple Watch could spawn the next billion dollar start-ups to the latest health care gadgets that turn your iPhone into a electrocardiogram, urinalysis reader and future drug testing device. There was no shortage of cool gadgetry showcased at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

But for anyone with a retail storefront, the National Retail Federation (NRF) was the place to see what technologies will shape the future of retail. And this year, there were several companies presenting some mind-bending technologies with incredibly practical and profitable applications. These technologies could best be grouped into three segments:

  • Context & Proximity Marketing via the Internet of Things (IoT)
  • Leveraging the Power of Social+Mobile+Local (SoMoLo)
  • Digital Path to Purchase via Beacons
  • Context & Proximity Marketing via the Internet of Things

In a previous article I talked about how proximity marketing and the age of context has over-taken the previous formula of “content is king”. In short, connecting things to the Internet help provide more and more context and that relevancy is shaping how we engage in the real world. For years, Amazon has profited from its product engine, “People who bought this item, also purchased …” and yet physical retailers have struggled to take advantage of this more than decade-old technology. Until now.

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