retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Forbes has a piece in which it pulls together what analysts seem to think will be the next big retail trends likely to emerge in 2013...

Mobile. The general sense seems to be that 2012 was the year in which "mobile became embedded into the lives of consumers" and the conduct of commerce, and that in 2013, a majority of retailers will invest in applications that will enable mobile commerce to an even greater extent.

Integration. The focus will not be on e-commerce vs. bricks-and-mortar commerce, but rather on integrated, multi-channel commerce that will cater to shoppers who do not distinguish between the two. They are interested in compelling, relevant, aspirational brands and great values. And it is up to marketers to find balanced formula that works for them and their shoppers.

Social. Experts appear to believe that social media will continue to be influential in terms of telling people about products and providing recommendations and information ... though social media won't necessarily be the engine of direct sales. Marketers will have to understand the difference, and make sure that they continue to invest in social media that won't necessarily be able to define a direct ROI.
KC's View:
None of this is surprising, but it all requires attention and vigilance. What it really comes down to is a highly fluid shopper ... caring about relevant products and services, looking to other consumers for information and recommendations, less concerned with the specifics of the venue and more concerned about the ability of the retailer to deliver.

Specificity and ubiquity may become the defining terms of art. And, maybe, uniquity.