The following is a guest post by Scott Bradley, CEO at VMob, a mobile engagement platform for the retail sector built on Microsoft Azure.
As we move into the new year, we at VMob are looking at what's going to be the biggest technology move in 2015. Connected devices and wearable tech have clearly been standouts over the past few years, but the real change this year is likely to be the normalization of connected devices and wearables, as more and more people adopt these new technologies.
The retail industry, however, has lagged sadly behind in the adoption of technology to bridge the connection between the physical world and digital. And it's perhaps the one industry that stands to benefit the most.
Last year saw the burgeoning use of connected device technology in retail with a handful of retailers launching trials of beacons for in-store, location-aware smartphone apps. However, it's in 2015 that we will see the explosion of this technology as consumers come to expect a higher level of personalization in stores, and as brick and mortar retailers continue to look for ways to get the upper hand over online stores.
It's no surprise then that we're expecting the VMob mobile engagement platform to be a hot property on the Microsoft stand at the NRF (National Retail Federation) "Big" show next week in New York.
We are one of the few companies that has been pushing the boundaries in engaging with in-store shoppers via their mobiles, both in and out of store. At the "Big" Show, VMob will be presenting not only some of the work that brands at the forefront of the mobile engagement revolution, such as McDonald's Sweden have been doing, but also giving a glimpse into what the future holds.
What's coming to retail is a world where every consumer touch point is personalized to the individual, from their web browser, to their mobile app, to in-store displays and even the checkout staff. This isn't just a hyped up technology, this is the last several years of major technology movers coming together in the real world – smartphones, connected devices, beacons, and big (very big) data all driving a better experience for consumers and greater efficiency for retailers.
If you're a forward thinking retailer heading to the NRF show next week, then you should definitely be looking to stop by our VMob demo stand at the Microsoft booth #2803. If you're not heading to NRF, then you should probably look at booking a ticket!