Retailers will gain maturity in mining actionable insights from social media and other sources to better engage with customers and build loyalty, but transparency will be important to maintain trust.

The gap between retailers’ existing planning/operations and consumer expectations (annual versus hourly cycle) is widening, leaving room for new types of products, channels, and competitors. We’ll see more retailers leverage predictive analytics both online to close the gap and personalize the interaction with increasing sophistication, and in-store via clienteling and in support of other smart digital store capabilities. As an example, retailers will use social insights to enable sentiment analysis with the potential to optimize the supply chain—via improved customer segmentation, predictive capabilities, localized assortments and to ultimately influence demand. However, using social and other customer data in new ways may put retailers at some risk of being perceived as untrustworthy by consumers. To preserve integrity, retailers should disclose commercial interests in social media practices, be transparent in how they use the information, and allow their customers to “opt-in” to their desired degree of personalization. 

This post is part of Capgemini’s 2016 retail trends and strategies blog series. Read the rest of the articles:

Mark Olivero is a senior manager in Capgemini’s retail practice. He can be reached at Connect with him on LinkedIn and Twitter.