Elaine Cook: The secret life of data

25 : 03 : 2014 Data : Total Retail : Analytics
Elaine Cook

Technology developer Intel and retail strategy firm The Store WPP recently collaborated on a book, The History of Retail in 100 Objects.

Author David Roth says he has always been concerned that, from the first transaction, retail has played a vital part in the fabric of life yet has never been recognised as a driver of society. ‘The history of retail and [the history of] social developments are inextricably linked,’ he says.

‘The forecasting part of the book splits the future of retail into the face, the bones and the brains behind retail strategies for the next five years,’ says Elaine Cook, strategic marketing director for retail technology at Intel UK.

‘Everything behind the new retail paradigm is data-driven,’ says Cook. She highlights how augmented retail, hologram communications in the retail environment and 3D printing in the supply chain will all transform the future of retail through one thing: data. ‘Retailers need to be able to refine that data – like oil – and use it to make actionable business decisions. Retailers can make campaigns more personalised the more qualitative the data,’ she says.

As part of her presentation at Retail Week Live earlier this month, Cook showed a video, Vibrant Data: A Collective Vision for the Future. Imagine a world in which consumer data could negotiate group reductions for mass purchasing power, or could do things on behalf of consumers, and with permission, even act serendipitously. ‘We call it vibrant data that is interlinked, where your data can work with your social media network to achieve wonderful things for you,’ she explains. 

Top five take-outs

1. Elevate data-mining to the top of your to-do list. Refine it like oil.

2. Consider data as a serendipitous tool to create highly personalised consumer experiences.

3. Use the latest augmented retail technologies to transform the phygital retail space. Target customers with data-driven, personalised hologram messages.

4. Start selling permissions. The more pro-permission consumers are, the smarter their data can be.

5. Embrace the secret life of data and what it can do for your customers. 

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