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It’s Time to Bring Back the Bingo Board: Retailing Buzzwords for 2016

Feb 10, 2016 / By Sue MacDonald

What’s in a word? Quite a lot, especially when it describes a new behavior, technology or insight from the current world of retailing. “Selfie,” for example, emerged in 2012 as the ability emerged to take a photo of one’s self from a 180-degree, point-back-at-the-shooter camera-enabled smartphone. The world now boasts entire product lines of selfie sticks, remote controls, hashtags and accessories for iPhone and Android users who can’t get enough of themselves. We wish they would all hurry up and go away.]

“Showrooming” also emerged in 2012 to describe shoppers’ tendency to browse products in stores and then buy them cheaper online. Hello, Amazon?

What buzzwords will infect our lexicon this year? Some, no doubt, will be deeply embedded in the mobile behaviors, devices and data that now define retail shopping. Others may be fleeting or inspired by some of the political and economic shenanigans taking place in this election year. Some, no doubt, will be (ahem) cutting-edge, best-in-class, synergistic, virally inspired, multi-channel, buzzworthy, game-changing, paradigm shifters. (We’re dying to know: did anyone in the office just yell “Bingo!!“? Thought so.)

We present to you some retailing buzzwords already in this year’s lineup– with credit given where appropriate, and others created for the sheer fun of making them up.

and Appifiction: With full credit to author Dippak Khurana at ETTelecom.com, who coined the terms as a result of the continued move of online and commercial activities from websites to mobile devices, the mobile web and mobile apps (hence, “appification”). Marketers will focus more attention, energy and communications to app users and existing customers – those who are actively downloading, using, buying and relying on apps as they shop. They are more valuable, and provide richer, better marketing data, than the vast pool of unknown, customers who still have yet to be convinced. Hence, marketers will work to optimize their apps (apptimization) for maximum relevance, feedback, data, value and revenue.

HEY-NOW! Marketing: Given that today’s 13-18-year-old Centennials are said to have an average 8-second attention span, marketers – already under pressure to be more real-time and instantaneous – are going to have to move into Star Wars-like hyperspace mode or find entirely new ways of engaging. Marketing will become more instantaneous, marked by in-the-moment, here-and-now, multi-format strategies and tactics before the intended targets get distracted by something else and move on.

Predict-alytical Marketing: No, it’s not a new dinosaur. It’s the mash-up of big data and predictive analytics, or the emerging science of using a spectrum of known data about shoppers/customers, and mashing it together to predict what they might do, search for, consider or purchase next. Data comes from shoppers’ smartphones, app interactions, websites, email subscriptions, shopping carts (purchased and abandoned), in-store behaviors, loyalty programs, website sign-ups, and other sources. Armed with that info, astute marketers and underlying analytical platforms they rely on for marketing automation ought to be able to say to their customers: “I know you, I understand you, and I’m taking an educated guess about what you’re going to do next….and delight you in the process.” Predict-alytical marketing identifies and sends the most logical offer or message – the one that will satisfy the customer before he/she has even had time to think about it.

Swipe-on: Does anyone really clip paper coupons anymore? It’s so much easier to store or call up an electronic coupon onto a smartphone screen and swipe it at the cash register during checkout. Shoppers, meet the mobile-iterated version of the coupon, the swipe-on. Swipe it, and save!

Yelperometer, the measure and value of consumers’ online reviews, which consistently rank high when shoppers are asked which types of information they trust most when making decisions about what to buy. Centennials also rate others’ reviews highly, often abandoning a product if they aren’t able to find validation from others’ reviews.

Of course, it’s early in the year for the buzzword bingo board, but we’re already planning ahead! What new retailing buzzwords have you encountered so far this year? Send them along, no matter how ridiculous or, you know, synergistic. You never know where they may end up.

Sue

MacDonald

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