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The only prediction for 2015 that counts

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Christmas still looms large in retail circles. The data gleaned from how consumers shopped is now grist to the mill of the inevitable January forecasts for what lies ahead. Yet this year things feel different. This year we seem to have some sense in the predictions: we have predictions that may actually come to fruition.

There has been much said about how Black Friday and Cyber Monday show the changing ‘shape’ of shopping, but research by Monetate out this week showcases how there is more to it than that. Much more. It has looked at the data and found that the one thing that retailers really should take away from Christmas 2015 is that mobile and social media on mobile are going to be driving etail this year.

But it’s not that simple. It’s not about mobile and mobile social just driving sales, these things are part of the whole retail process. Mobile and social together are powerful, but it is when they are combined with other tech – such as wifi and beacons, mobile marketing and location-based services, for instance – that they become really powerful.

And this is perhaps the untold trends for 2015: the trend towards how all these things work together as part of the whole retailing paradigm. Most of the predictions that we have seen for 2015 have revolved around technology trends. The real case is that these technologies run as part of a whole. Yes beacons are going to be important this year – but only in the context that more people will be using mobile and social in store so beacons have a role to play.

The wider trend then is that more people will be using mobile and social in store, so there will be more use of beacons and wifi – so then there will be more use of mobile. And round and round it goes. Off the back of this there will be more mobile marketing and increasing use of mobile loyalty and eventually payments. It is all interlinked.

This is pretty well reflected in this week’s newsletter, but is even better exemplified by Internet Retailing Expo, taking place at the Birmingham NEC on 25 and 26 March. As outlined in our preview this week, there are many elements to this mobile-online-instore nexus telling you how they did it. Take a look at the line up and then sign up so you can learn from the experts and be part of this paradigm shift… and then hunt me down and tell me to stop using the phrase “paradigm shift”. See you at the NEC.

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