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Ideas Retail

How CES impacts retailers in 2020 & beyond

Rich Phelan

For many of us on the agency side, CES is a good way to kick off the New Year by reconnecting with our clients and partners to focus on the year to come. For retailers and their merchant teams, CES is an important opportunity to discover the new products that could impact this year’s Holiday season and insights into the hottest trends.

This year, there is no shortage of new gadgets that may or may not make it to the market, like AI Toothbrushes, 8K and MicroLED TVs, and smart speakers. Consumers are more than ever looking for the latest and greatest, as highlighted by my eighty-year-old mother’s need for the iPhone 11 Pro. Making sure consumers can find these products at retailers starts, in many cases, at CES. In a role reversal for retailers, they become the shoppers. But with so much square footage to cover, a curated floor tour helps highlight new partners and products that will influence 2020 planning and ultimately enhance the experience of guests in store. More so, the start-ups in Eureka Park give retailers insights into potential consumer technology trends to anticipate beyond 2020’s holiday season.

This year marked an increasing focus, not just on the technology, but to the privacy, trust, and service layer that will impact consumer behavior and adoption over the long-term. Given the headline grabbing data hacks and scandals of last year, as well as businesses welcoming in the new year with CCPA, the handling of personal data is now part of the conversation for retailers, brands and marketers as they browse the CES show floor this year. A policy, plan and stance on consumer privacy, and understanding the electronic and technology layer empowering (or circumventing) it, may be the competitive advantage in winning a consumer’s trust, purchase and long-term adoption/loyalty over a competitor. And in turn, influence what retailers will be selling out of this Holiday season.

* Authored by Rich Phelan, EVP at Essence. This article was originally published by GroupM.