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Six Trends That Are Transforming Retail [Slide Show]

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120913-1 Pervasive Shopping

In a keynote presentation for the Merchandising Summit, Rohit Bhargava presented 12 major trends that are set to transform the world of retail. Here are six of them.

Trend No. 1: Pervasive Shopping

With mobile devices and retail integration, the store is never closed. Anyone can shop for anything, anywhere, anytime. "Offering the ability to purchase in multiple channels, and integrating with third-party e-commerce networks, is key," notes Bhargava.

120913-2 Retail Curation

Trend No. 2: Retail Curation

Retailers responded to ever-increasing shopping options with a tailored experience that enables customers to find and share the products that interest them. Now, customers have come to expect a high degree of personalized curation.

120913-3 Story Trumps Product

Trend No. 3: Story Trumps Product

A strong narrative can clinch the sale. "When products are easily replicated and do not necessarily stand out," explains Bhargava, " better storytelling is the secret weapon."

120913-4 Being Useful Sells

Trend No. 4: Being Useful Sells

The conversation is important, but customers see value in usefulness. Are you trying to create dialogue when a customer really wants education? Sometimes she just wants a how-to guide, not an online chat.

120913-5 Analytics Everywhere

Trend No. 5: Analytics Everywhere

Whether they're tracking the progress of their Amazon delivery or the progress of their Domino's delivery, consumers use online tools to chart every aspect of their lives. These tools—and the data they provide—will influence their purchasing decisions.

120913-6 Instant Visual E-commerce

Trend No. 6: Instant Visual E-commerce

We've nearly reached the point where we can click on any image to view and purchase a product. "Finding ways to link imagery in any form (across the Web) to ecommerce pages will become more important," says Bhargava.

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Christian Gulliksen is a writer who has authored several of the Get to the Po!nt newsletters for MarketingProfs. A former editor at Robb Report, he has also contributed to Worth, Variety, and The Hollywood Reporter.

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