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Televation Authors: Cliff Beek, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Carmen Gonzalez, Lori MacVittie

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Digital Solutions in a Digital World

Recession or not, there has never been a better time for technology to come to the fore

Recession or not, there has never been a better time for technology to come to the fore and prove its worth within the retail environment. Attitudes towards technology are changing in that the hard times may come and go, but consumer expectations do not. And retail technologists now have the perfect opportunity to help shape a better retail experience for the future.

Marketing via a mobile device was hardly seen as popular a year ago but it has seen increasing popularity this year and many retailers use mobile phone s to send the throng of Christmas shopper's special offers and the customer in turn is using their phone to search for product information and deals.

Social Media and mobile apps are also helping retailers to generate sales; it is the latest arm in the battle to close the gap between the retailer and the consumer. But how do we capitalize on this?

The first Method which has become more visible in our day to lives is the introduction of the QR Code (Quick Response). When you take a picture of this code (a function now available on most newly produced mobile phones) the scan will take you directly to that companies website, already using this technology are companies such as H&M (Danny Feltmann), Calvin Klein (Francesco Forni) and Puma(Markus Birkel), who will all be attending the NG Retail EU Summit. The QR code can be used a variety of existing, traditional, marketing methods such as posters, magazine advertisement and can even be used on the web.

Companies are also capitalizing on the customers need to be the ‘first to know' they will send texts to those loyal customers signed up to any of their incentives schemes on the latest offers or trends they have to offer.

"Now is the time to truly bring the consumption experience to the consumer versus the customer going to the experience, we, as a business, now need to integrate business intelligence in order to deliver brand messages, promotions, products and customer views successfully. By doing this we will be able to attract and maintain more profitable customers utilizing efficient fulfillment methods to reduce costs and increase customer satisfaction."

Now is the time for Europe to really start catching up with the rest of the world. Asia has really embraced the power of retail technology for a while and has been using innovations such as QR codes for many years now and the US seems to be slightly ahead of Europe on the uptake.

More Stories By John Funnell

John Funnell has worked in online media for over ten years, after achieving his First Class BSC Hons Degree (BBC Sponsored), John won Bos 18-21 Princess Trust Entrepeneur of the year at 21, setting up Clean Living Records Ltd (including www.BeatReview.com) with great success having many acts that charted in Europe and Canada. After selling the business John looked for a new challenge and joined GDS International, having a successful career in sales and Delegate acquisition, he worked up to Event Director EMEA, forging contacts with some of the biggest technology names in the world, this lead to John having a lead role in the creation of MeettheBoss.com and MeettheBoss.tv – the worlds largest business IPTV channel. John then took over as Marketing and Communications Director and ran a multifaceted global Marketing team for GDS International in New York, Sydney, Kuala Lumper and the UK.. John joined Global in 2011 with the challenge of supporting its growth by developing a solid Marketing foundation through various Digital, PR and brand initiatives.