What Was Top Of Mind For Retailers in 2012?
By Bob Johns, associate editor
Throughout 2012, retailers read thousands of articles on just as many subjects. But, what were they most interested in over the past year? Here we take a look at the top ten articles and products that interested our readership in 2012, based on the article type. The results just go to show how diverse technology is in retail and how many ways retailers are looking to improve their business. From looking at all of these results, it becomes obvious that loss prevention, mobility, workforce management, and e-commerce were top of mind for retailers last year. Retailers continue to focus on the customer and search for solutions in any vertical which allows them to move the managers to the floor and increase the amount of time associates can spend with the customer. Additionally, retailers want to be able to engage with the customer in their preferred channel by creating a true omni-channel experience.
If we take a look at the most downloaded Retail Solutions Online articles we see a heavy emphasis on mobility. From a mobile POS guest series, to “Mobile Retail: The Device Dilemma,” retailers are extremely interested in how mobility affects their business and how they need to proceed in the space. Obviously, one of the concerns coming out of mobility is the network, and retailers took the time to see how 7-Eleven and Family Dollar are handling network bandwidth and security issues. Then we see loss prevention taking the lead. Loss prevention articles like “Counting The Cost,” “Raley’s Reduces Shrink By $18 million,” and “What The Doers Say: The Top 5 Surveillance Trends Of 2102” helped point retailers in the right direction to reduce shrink and increase margins. Other popular articles deal with the customer, such as “Pep Boys’ New Workforce Management Tool Improves Customer Satisfaction” and “Kiosks Are Here — Are You Ready?” E-commerce, POS, payments, finances, and sustainability round out some of the most read articles on Retail Solutions Online, with stories from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, Kaleidoscope Yarns, and Burgerville.
Now we can take a look at the ISR magazine articles. Loss prevention once again takes the lead with the most articles in this category, such as “How eBay Fights ORC,” “The Rising Levels Of Retail Theft And Shoplifting,” and “Eliminate Missing Cash.” Omni-channel retailing peaked readers’ interest with “The Build-A-Bear Workshop Cross-Channel Strategy” and our special report on cross-channel retailing. “Stein Mart’s Supply Chain Overhaul Saves Millions” showed retailers how to streamline their supply chain and maximize the investment it has made. Other popular articles deal again with workforce management, “WFM: Saving Time For Store Managers,” and mobility, “Customer Centricity: Manifest Through Mobility.” The top article for the year, though, was “Ace Hardware’s IT Overhaul,” showing just how important technology is to everyone in retail.
Ok, time for the news. And loss prevention once again comes in first with articles on return fraud and integrated platforms. Several articles dealt with news from major retailers such as Sears, JCPenney, BJ’s, Ascena, Belk, and others. Announcements from SAP, Oracle, Honeywell, and MICROS deal with acquisitions, showrooming, and Big Data. Once again mobility shows up with an article on transforming retail with tablets.
Finally we come to the product information. This is a list of the top ten products people have researched on our site, and mobility is the king here. Tablet PCs, mobile POS, and rugged tablets covered six of the top ten with workforce management occupying two of the remaining spots. Security solutions and kiosk print stations round out the top ten.