Who’s On Your Retail Radar?

Retail Radar: Suggestions For Your Retail Map

I created a retail roundup, a public Twitter list that brings together the many facets of the retail industry ecosystem.  Think of it as my retail radar for scanning retailing, technology and innovation.  I leverage this list extensively to stay current, find research and uncover case studies to help add color to my customer experience blog series.

By no means is this retail radar list comprehensive and complete but it’s a good starting point for anyone interested in keeping tabs on retailing events, expert opinions, analysts, vendor specific retail practices, analytics and industry publications.

Here are some of my favorite go-to retail specific Twitter handles.


Expert Opinion:

  • Doug Stephens is the author of “The Retail Revival” and advisor on mega-trends in retail and consumerism  @RetailProphet
  • Jason “Retailgeek” Goldberg @RetailGeek VP of Commerce Strategy at Razorfish
  • Paul Schottmiller @RetailForesight Retail Strategy Consultant, Cisco Systems
  • Steven P Dennis @StevenPDennis Senior multi-channel retail executive and strategic growth and marketing advisor. Former SVP @NeimanMarcus

Analysts and Consultants:

 Vendor Specific Retail Practices:

 Analytics and Social Login:

RetailNext Video Teaser – Be Empowered from RetailNext on Vimeo.

Gartner Says Half of New Retail Customer Identities Will Be Based on Social Network Identities by 2015.

 Retail Industry News:


I hope you’ll enjoy these 31 Twitter handle suggestions and the others featured on my Retail Radar list.  Who would you add to the list?


Additional Information:

Sophisticated Guides for Sophisticated Consumers

The Next-Generation Retail Associate will be the cornerstone of personalized and unique shopping experiences.  They will be the ones wielding the mobile point of sale (POS) and information devices; and will be the face of the brand with the consumer.

“ They will be engaging individuals who are capable of building strong emotional connections with consumers, and they will be supported by technologies that will help them to achieve this.” – Doug Stephens @RetailProphet and author of The Retail Revival

This evolving new breed of associates will barely resemble those we have become used to (put up with) over the last two or three decades.  They will be computer and mobile savvy and have superior interpersonal skills. And the more languages they speak to accommodate the customer, the better.  Let’s take a glimpse into their technology-enabled world in the not-too-distant future …


1)     Mobile-Device Enabled

The mobile device will be the most important tool for working in this new environment.

“Retailers surveyed for the 2013 RIS News Store Systems Study, released in August 2013, identified ‘mobile for associates’ as their top store system priority, chosen by 61% of respondents.” – Retail Info Systems (RIS)

2)     Access to In-Store Wi-Fi

If mobile devices are the embodiment of this new era of retail, in-store Wi-Fi is the behind-the-scenes magic that will make it possible. It will arm associates with:

  • Source: Operating Seamlessly: Integrating Operations to Deliver the Non-Stop Customer Experience, 2013 via @AccentureRetail
    Source: Operating Seamlessly: Integrating Operations to Deliver the Non-Stop Customer Experience, 2013 via @AccentureRetail

    Store and company-wide inventory

  • In-depth product specifications
  • Product reviews
  • Customer name, demographics, purchase history
  • Customer loyalty program information
  • Employee collaboration and social tools

3)     Workforce Management Solutions

These systems offer many sophisticated tools for managers and associates to plan, record and optimize their tasks, including:

  • Scheduling information
  • Recording time worked
  • Shift bidding (where associates can swap shifts with others according to guidelines)
  • Exchanging information with HR

4)     Superior Customer Service Capability

Armed with easy access to information about the customer standing right in front of them — and what the store can offer to them — the associate will be empowered to deliver excellent and personalized customer service:

  • Greet customer via mobile phone upon entering the store
  • Guide customers on how to leverage loyalty program perks
  • Answer customer in-depth questions about products and selection
  • Offer customers information on useful add-on or additional products
  • Check stock without leaving the customer
  • Order on-line for them and arrange delivery, if not in stock (“endless aisle” concept)
  • Complete transaction via mobile POS so customer doesn’t need to wait in line
Source RIS: Preparing Associates for a New Paradigm in Customer Service
Source RIS: Preparing Associates for a New Paradigm in Customer Service


The challenge for brick-and-mortar retailers will be to find these people.

perlsThis will require rethinking the value of the associate to the organization. Better compensation and training will be needed to mold these associates into ambassadors for their brand.

“ Retailers seeking to prepare their associates for a new paradigm will need to start thinking of that workforce as skilled users of technology, and train them in managing and meeting customer expectations that continue to climb.” – Retail Information Systems


Additional Information:

@LinaArseneault Retail Blog Roll:

Potpourri Food for Thought: The Retail Remake

Attention Retailers | By 2016 there will be 2.43B smartphoes in use – it’s time for you to meet us  on our terms!

As Senior Director of Marketing for wireless security leader AirTight Networks, I get to engage with a broad cross-section of quick service restaurant customers such as Yum Brands (Taco Bell, KFC, Pizza Hut), Noodles and Company, PinkBerry and Garden Fresh. With great success, AirTight is contuing its push into this segment of retail:

AirTight Launches Retail Wi-Fi Analytics Engine for In-Store Business Intelligence and Customer Engagement

 @Airtight Launches Social WiFi for Integrated Retail In-Store Engagement

In support of this effort, I recently wrote several blog posts on the evolution of retail – especially as it pertains to the customer experience.

The Retail Revival: Reimagining Business for the New Age of Consumerism [Doug Stephens]

PurpleWifi Guest Blog Post : 80% of mobile consumers are influenced by in store WiFi

To shop or not to shop?  in-store Wi-Fi is the answer to that question

Book review: The #Retail Revival by Doug Stephens @RetailProphet | blog post by Lina Arseneault

PurpleWifi Guest Blog Post : Retail Revival Book Review

Doug Stephens, author of The Retail Revival generously granted me a half hour interview.  I look forward to working with him in the near future.

Doug Stephens response to book review tweet

It’s clear that Internet connectivity will influence every facet of the retail industry.  Consider this statistic from the hospitality segment:

Factors that influence hotel booking choices|

Free in-room #WiFi is now considered THE most important amenity when booking a trip | http://twitpic.com/cgigq5


When it comes to making purchase decisions, how important is always on access on your smart device?


Retail Wi-Fi as a Competitive Advantage - webinar


Retail Wi-Fi as a Competitive Advantage [on-demand webinar]



Send suggestions for future Potpourri Food for Thought features.

Lina Arseneault is Millennial at heart. Follow her on Twitter.

Cafélina uses Royalty free images