Last week saw the annual mobile jamboree Mobile World Congress take place in Barcelona. Shingo Murakami, MD of Rakuten’s Play.com, was there and gives a unique insight into how retailers should be looking at the next big things in mobile tech right now or risk getting left behind
One of the biggest trends that was clear at Mobile World Congress this year is that mobile technology is no longer just about the smartphone. Instead, the ongoing development of nanotechnology and the Internet of Things is allowing any object to become smart. From wearable technology such as watches and headphones to everyday objects such as a pair of shoes, the possibilities are endless.
Most interestingly, by incorporating nano-devices with these objects and hooking them up to internet we are provided with a whole new world of data. This means that retailers have unparalleled access to shopping habits, information about customers’ lifestyles and even in store shopping selections.
On social media we share the things that stir up our emotions, revealing to brands what makes us feel happy and sad. With access to details about the feelings that affect consumers every day when they are on the move, retailers will be able to offer greater personalisation and more targeted customer service.
Imagine posting a sad status to your Facebook friends and then receiving a message from your favourite retailer offering you a special deal to cheer you up if you pop into your local store. Be it online or offline – a relevant, tailored shopping experience is what customers expect today. They simply want to shop the way they love to.
Retailers will clearly benefit from all of these trends: from boosting efficiency in store or behind the scenes with smarter tracking of products to generating new revenue streams by providing personalised and targeted customer service. The Internet of Things has plenty to offer to retailers and Google’s recent acquisition of smart home technology company Nest indicates that we could see the IoT become commonplace even sooner than we might think.