How 5 Retail Brands Are Maximizing the Power of User-Generated Content

Photos and videos that shoppers post on social media convey sentiment about brands, giving fellow consumers—and brands themselves—an uncensored look at how people really feel about their products and services. How brands harness this feedback is evolving, as brand marketers find new ways to glean insights from the unstructured consumer feedback being posted on social media and elsewhere online. Here are five examples of brands that are engaging shoppers across social channels and taking full advantage of the content that customers post on their own online accounts.

How Online Grocers Are Using AI to Cut Food Prices

The distinction between real-world supermarkets and online-only grocers has come down to price. The introduction of a new technology to lower prices for consumers may be what the industry needs to finally push it past the tipping point.

6 Next-Gen Review Marketing Platforms for Retail Brands

Determined not to fall even further behind their online-only competitors, retailers are investing more heavily in a new breed of review platform. These next-generation solutions integrate written reviews with pictures and videos to create more cohesive omni-channel shopping experiences. Here are six next-gen review platforms that brands are using right now.

How Brands Are Using AI to Fight Back Against Dark Marketing

According to some estimates, as many as 85% of Facebook ads and 60% of YouTube ads are hidden from public view. The practice is even more common on Twitter, where an estimated 90% of ads are hidden. What does that mean, exactly? Rather than posting their messages publicly, major brands are creating social media posts or sponsored content that is only shown to targeted audiences. Unlike organic or boosted posts, these targeted ads don’t show up on the company’s timelines or all of their followers’ feeds.

online privacy

Consumers Willing to Forgo Privacy, For a Price

New research indicates that consumers are actually more aware of how their personal information is being used today than they were last year, with those ages 55 and above showing the greatest level of awareness. These consumers are increasingly willing to share their personally identifiable information with brand marketers—with one caveat. They want a reward for doing it.

As Voice Gets Established, Brands Grapple with Implementation

Consumer demand for voice technology has never been greater, and industry heavyweights like Google and Amazon are gearing up for a platform war as they work to integrate voice assistants into virtually every area of the connected consumer’s life. But behind the scenes, many brand marketers are struggling to connect the dots and design campaigns around a technology they don’t fully understand.

How 6 Brands Are Using AR to Drive Experience Marketing

Worldwide spending on AR is expected to reach $215 billion by 2021, as new hardware ships and AR moves further into the mainstream. Acceleration in the AR market is also being boosted by brands’ growing frustration over the limitations in display advertising. With AR, brands can bypass ad blockers and unleash their creativity in a bid to capture the attention of consumers. Let’s take a look at how six top brands are using AR for experience marketing right now.

What Standard Cognition’s Big Play Means for Autonomous Retail

If autonomous checkout systems ever go mainstream, it will be because retailers finally figured out how to effectively harness in-store cameras to determine where customers are and what items they’re holding in real-time. Reaching that goal has proven elusive to AI technology providers thus far, but a San Francisco-based startup called Standard Cognition is hoping that its recent acquisition of Explorer.ai, a mapping and computer vision firm, will be the catalyst that’s necessary to accelerate growth and expand into new retail verticals.

How Savvy Brands Are Getting Mobile Offers Into the Hands of Consumers

“For brick-and-mortar businesses, the focus on driving foot traffic through mobile couponing is even more important due to the convenience of online shopping. We see mobile coupon platforms becoming ubiquitous and affordable for even small businesses to create, design, and distribute their own coupons,” Katie Wilson, CEO of TapOnIt and a digital advertising veteran, tells our senior editor Stephanie Miles.

In On-Demand Economy, Brand Partnerships Could Mean Big Paydays

Partnerships between on-demand technology providers and global restaurant brands are generating big bucks and creating buzz about what’s possible for the ever-evolving on-demand delivery industry. Tech companies allow retailers and QSRs to keep up with the latest standards for convenience, and partnering with a brand name like Starbucks or McDonald’s can expand the audience of potential users for a growing on-demand startup.

Big Data Helps Predict Which Brick-and-Mortar Locations Will Thrive and Fail

While the Gap says its decisions are being made based on traffic trends and profits—the brand saw a 7% decline in quarterly comparable sales—data scientists from top technology firms are working feverishly behind the scenes to use big data to predict which store closures could come next. Having a heads up on which retail locations have a high likelihood of closing could benefit those in the commercial real estate sector, as well as retail brands looking to decide on future store locations.

How 5 Brands Leverage Voice Search Technology

Twenty percent of mobile searches now are voice-initiated, with voice technology users most likely to ask about business addresses, directions, and hours, followed by whether stores carry specific items. Let’s look at how five of these brands are taking advantage of voice search, and what other industry players could be learning from their approaches.

These 5 AR Providers Are Changing the Beauty Space

Augmented reality isn’t just for dog filters and Pokémon catching. A growing number of beauty brands are hopping on the AR bandwagon, hoping that virtual makeup try-ons with facial recognition will help spur e-commerce sales. Here’s a peek at how five AR technology providers are making their mark on the beauty and fashion industries.

5 Brands Innovating with Augmented Reality

While just 12% of brands say they’re interested in exploring AR in the near-term, according to a recent Street Fight survey, that figure is expected to increase exponentially in the coming years. Part of that anticipated explosion in the AR market is thanks to companies like Facebook and Snapchat, which are aggressively building out their AR offerings. It’s also thanks to innovative thinkers at major brand retailers, who are reimagining AR technology and making it all their own. Let’s take a closer look at how five brands are innovating in the AR space.

mobile data

How Predictive Analytics Reshaped Decision-Making in 2018 and Will Evolve in 2019

In this Q&A, we dig into what Sriram Parthasarathy, senior director of product architecture and predictive analytics at Logi Analytics, envisions as the future of predictive analytics and what he believes still needs to happen before AI-enabled applications move into the mainstream.

6 Cannabis Point-of-Sale Systems Blazing Trails for Nascent Retail Sector

Unlike traditional POS solutions, or even mobile systems like Square, cannabis point-of-sale systems are designed in a way that helps dispensaries operate under the appropriate guidelines, particularly when it comes to processing cash and managing inventory. Here are six cannabis point-of-sale systems that dispensaries are using right now.

Cannabis Retailer Uses Tech to Boost Employee Morale

Old-school companies hosted picnics and holiday parties to keep their employees happy, but tech-focused startups in the cannabis industry are taking a decidedly more sophisticated approach.

home services

6 Lead-Generation Platforms for Local Businesses

More than a quarter of consumers say they use the internet to find local businesses every day, and yet a whopping 29% of small businesses still don’t have websites. Here are six examples of lead-generation platforms that small businesses are using right now.

Kroger Pushes Boundaries with Mobile Holiday Strategies

Feeling the pinch from online-only grocers, many brick-and-mortar supermarkets are beginning to dip their toes into mobile marketing this holiday season. Kroger, on the other hand, is jumping all the way in.

What Can Brick-and-Mortar Grocers Learn from Online-Only Competitors?

To learn more about what supermarkets should be doing to meet rising consumer expectations, and what brick-and-mortar stores can learn from their online-only counterparts, we caught up with Pradeep Elankumaran, CEO of Farmstead, a pure-play digital grocer that brings local groceries to doorsteps.