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Retail Group

Welcome to the Retail Industry Focused Group

Our IDC Retail Insights community has been created to enable you to engage with our retail industry analysts, share your knowledge and best practices, and connect with your colleagues.

  • Participate in the retail discussions in our Blogs or Forums
  • Learn about and share best practices, tips, tricks and tools related to business/technology alignment
  • Network with your colleagues within your industry
  • Provide feedback to IDC's industry analysts and your peers

We welcome your participation!

analysts blogging about retail

OfflinePhoto of Meredith Whalen
OfflinePhoto of James Wester
OfflinePhoto of Michael Versace
OfflinePhoto of Bob Parker
OfflinePhoto of Miya Knights
OfflinePhoto of Kimberly Knickle
OfflinePhoto of Spencer Izard
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Engage with IDC Industry Analysts

I just returned from NRF 2017--where the retail information technology community converged to chart the course for the year ahead and beyond. I went to test my point of view that applying artificial intelligence in retail isn't science fiction nor needs to be a science project. I came away more convinced than ever that it's time for action. Here's a snapshot of what I found.


Retail leaders determined to disrupt and create sustainable competitive advantage will engage in digital transformation (DX). They will recognize that digital transformation is much more than applying incremental technologies at the edge to create new experiences. Digital transformation requires holistic redesign of business strategy/leadership, business processes, human engagement (workforce and others), information monetization, and technology.


This blog analyzes the results of testing out a new class of cognitive/AI software — natural language processing analytics focused on understanding the personality behind unstructured text. That personality might be any public or social figure, a brand, or some form of commercial speech. In this instance, we had IBM Watson Personality Insights assess the personalities of the Democratic and Republican presidential nominees by applying linguistic analytics and personality theory to their convention acceptance speeches. We recount Watson's findings, identify important caveats, and assess how this type of analysis can help retailers improve their brand voice, customer interactions, and B2B corporate communications.


I channeled James Carville to title this piece. Back in 1992 he earned notoriety by keeping his candidate's campaign focused on one issue with the mantra, "It's the Economy, stupid!" The stories I've seen in the general business press about the recent spate of poor earnings posted by some leading retailers miss the mark. It's the digital transformation, stupid!


With the Holiday Spirit in full swing, many of us have found ways to give back to our communities. Giving often comes in the form of one of 3 T's:
- Time
- Treasure
- Talent


Is the fact that payments fraudsters will have to go online to perpetrate crimes against your customers if EMV capabilities are implemented in store really a good rationalization for not moving forward with new EMV payments terminals and fully encrypted payments processes? If you had water leaking from a hose in two places, would you not fix one problem, for fear the water pressure would push more water through the other hole? Well, perhaps in the latter case, you would buy a new hose, and there is a similar corollary in retail payments. Multiple security holes should be treated with multiple tactics to improve enterprise security, but every attempt should be made to secure transactions and data everywhere vulnerabilities exist. There is absolutely a cost consideration at hand, but there is an even greater risk of not doing everything possible to plug the big holes.


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