The only sure thing about disruption is that it will continue evolving at an increasingly rapid pace and in new and surprising directions. But for a last word, perhaps the industry should consider the following prediction from Nikki Baird, managing partner of RSR Research, on where disruption may be headed for 2014.
“Location-based technologies seem like they are poised to be the most disruptive in 2014,” Baird said. “A lot of retailers are looking at stores and trying to understand the role of the store as customers become more engaged digitally, especially through their own mobile devices. The first step seems to be to understand consumer shopping behavior in stores. In 2013, a lot of companies came to market with (or dusted off pre-existing) in-store analytics solutions, and we saw signs of more than a handful of pilots. As those pilots move to roll out in 2014, the next logical step is to move from analysis to acting on insights. It won’t be universal, by any means, but as far as changing what retailers can and should expect in delivering an in-store experience, I think between analytics and location-based insights, we’ll see a disruption in both consumer expectations and the tools that retailers have to meet those expectations.”