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CES 2014 Was About More Than Just Glitzy Products

Former consumer electronics buyer, Frank Fotia, reviews the highlights from CES, including his major takeaway from the show.

CES impressed again this year, offering show-goers a view of the hottest, new technology attractions. What stood out for me this year:

  • Curved Ultra HDTVs including a 98-inch 8K QUHD
    prototype from Samsung.Drone from CES
  • Drones: A big hit this year at CES and very topical, especially after Amazon said it would start delivering small packages via this unmanned aerial device in the near-future. Parrot and DJI were two companies that stood out in their demos of these devices.
  • Driverless car technology impressed with the likes of Volvo, BMW, Audi showing their latest in application and sensor-controlled vehicles.
  • The massive digital health exhibit, highlighted by Fitbit
  • Connected home theme: imagine starting a load of laundry while you are on the road or better yet, vacation? Ok, maybe not that exciting.

 Although I was captivated by all of these products, there was one theme that really resonated with me – connectivity, or the Internet of Everything, as coined by Cisco. Cisco’s CEO John Chambers discussed the ability to get the right data to the right device at the right time to the right person or device, in order to make more informed and more accurate decisions. A great overview of his Internet of Everything case can be found in this article.  

360pi’s presence at the show was motivated by the notion that retailers need to stay ahead and connected through price intelligence. It is their “Internet of Everything”, in my opinion. After meeting with many retailers, consultants, and manufacturers alike, the key takeaway following my conversations with them was their demand for better data.

Our team met with several retailers that suggested that their need for quality data was accompanied by a stronger need for market insights. For example, this included equipping them with a view that would allow retailers to spot assortment opportunities and views that would allow them to determine exactly how to react to competitive pressures. Stretching this even further, retailers displayed great interest in the potential for snapshots of the market for any period of time, in order to make a more informed product/category decision. In short, retailers were looking for trend analysis and more advanced analytics.

360pi can help retailers re-configure their go-to-market strategies across their least competitive categories, for example. Better insights may demonstrate that there is an easy way to improve margin in a particular category. One might notice that their competitors are actually employing a cyclical high-low pricing strategy in a particular category where it was perceived that they were actually more competitive. Insights into this type of activity would enable retailers to adjust pricing accordingly and determine how they optimize their ongoing pricing strategy.

These are just some of the many examples. 360pi realizes that analytics empower retailers to make confident and strategic decisions. Click here to learn more about how 360pi can help you.

About the Author
Francesco is a former consumer electronics (CE) buyer, with years of experience at a successful multi-billion dollar retailer. He offers first-hand knowledge on how to convert price intelligence into practical and value- added merchandising strategies and concepts. Currently, Francesco is 360pi’s retail industry lead, and is an ongoing contributor to Profitable Insights, focusing on the various ways to leverage price intelligence to help increase margins, sales and market share.