A Year-End Look at Retail - Page 2

By Evan Schuman  |  Posted 2004-11-25 Print this article Print

CRM has also existed for many years in various forms. But what made 2004 an important CRM year is that CRM played a critical behind-the-scenes role in several of the years other key technologies. Many of the more state-of-the-art POS approaches—including contactless—were based on gathering more data for CRM. As consumers continue abandoning greenbacks and checks for electronic payment options, the ability to gather, analyze and use tons of new data points puts CRM front and center. But its not definite that CRM is being used in the way intended, especially in the retail space. Do retailers want to merely better understand what people buy, or do they want to identify what specific customers buy, so they can be individually marketed, through e-mail, snail-mail or even custom messages zapped to their cell phones or PDAs? Heres a short list of stories on how CRM influenced the retail scene:
  • Epiphanys New CRM Apps Offer Instant Analysis
  • Is Corporate Hoarding The CRM Goodies?
  • Will Frustrated Store Managers Revolt Against Corporate CRM?
  • Albertsons Learns The Legal Dangers Of CRM
  • How Intimate a CRM Relationship Do Your Customers Really Want?
  • Retail CRM: Does Data Create a Duty?
    During the first several years of e-commerce—say, from about 1994 through 2001— we experienced a technology in its infancy. After that, the initial rivalries (physical store executives protecting their turf from the online invaders) started to shrink as the economy bottomed out and the United States was attacked and went to war. The economy didnt truly show evidence of a strong recovery until early 2004, so thats when e-commerce started to get real again. This time, though, the technology and the business models had matured, and consumers and corporate buyers had gotten entirely comfortable with Web purchases. So 2004 was the first full year when we met the grownup (OK, older adolescent) e-commerce. The ability to cleanly perform e-commerce tricks—such as buying online and then picking up in-store—had been well-rehearsed, and few major retailers today cant do it in some form. But even online leader Best Buy stumbled, succeeding with the terribly difficult integration and programming challenges but dropping the ball with the elementary communication tasks.
    Heres a short list of stories on how e-commerce influenced the retail scene:
  • Keeping Seasonal Help Away From Customers
  • Abandoned Shopping Carts May Be Good News
  • Staples Automates Refunds
  • Next-Gen Kiosks For the Holidays
  • Study: Holiday Online Sales to Jump 20 Percent
  • A Tailor-Made Technology Environment
  • Best Buy Learns That Great Technology Is Little Help If Employees Dont Know About It
  • Bringing Storefront Perks to Web Sales
  • Aberdeen Report: True Multichannel Sales Rare
  • Drawing The E-Commerce Battle Lines
  • Site Helps Retailers Tout Local Deals
  • Tracking Service Aims to Ease Product Returns
  • Pity The Retail IT Pioneer
  • A Lesson From Toys Were Us
    Next Page: POS.

    Evan Schuman is the editor of CIOInsight.com's Retail industry center. He has covered retail technology issues since 1988 for Ziff-Davis, CMP Media, IDG, Penton, Lebhar-Friedman, VNU, BusinessWeek, Business 2.0 and United Press International, among others. He can be reached by e-mail at Evan.Schuman@ziffdavisenterprise.com.

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