Everywhere you look in today’s marketplace, the lines are blurring between brand and consumer, online and offline, owned and earned. Here are a few recent articles that illustrate the convergence of our world. You can share articles you find interesting with me on Twitter at @lpearson and @Bazaarvoice.

Why retailers should design mobile for the experience, not the device
by Fiona Swerdlow for Shop.org

Device-centric thinking is like channel-centric thinking: Expired. In every aspect of marketing, it’s time for marketers to forget specific devices and channels and look at the bigger picture, the comprehensive consumer experience. So, when it comes to a mobile presence, brands must think about the various scenarios in which customers use their devices. It’s not enough to have a mobile-friendly version of your ecommerce site. What tools can you provide to make your mobile experience helpful to the consumer in-store? How can you empower your in-store staff with mobile tools to better engage and delight shoppers?

Amazon launches a social media-fueled gifting tool
by Zak Stambor for Internet Retailer

Amazon’s “Friends & Family Gifting” Facebook app goes beyond the standard of creating wishlists and seeing others’. The app scrapes social data from users’ Likes and status updates to suggest gifts a shopper’s friends may enjoy. Walmart’s Shopycat app works similarly. These early experiments in combining interest graph data (gleaned from social networks) with purchase data to predict appropriate purchases are exciting – and hint at more common applications to come in the future. Social data, combined with demographic data, purchase histories, sentiment data from reviews, and more will lead to more personalized, effective, relevant product recommendations, which makes capturing these forms of data now increasingly important for retailers and brands.

Paid, Earned, And Owned: A Content Paradigm Whose Time Has Passed
by Steve Kerho for Fast Company

Converged media is a hot topic these days, and Steve offers an interesting perspective on the merging of earned and owned media into one content type, which he calls “shared media.” Shared between marketers and consumers alike, that is. All owned media properties (like brand sites) moving forward should/will have opportunities for audiences to share their own content as well. And all earned media (like social chatter) is already an opportunity for brands to join conversations. Referring to brand sites and social properties as shared media will

The rising trend of convergence goes far beyond media, as well – I’ll have more to say on this soon in an upcoming post.

Instant convenience: How same-day delivery and in-store pick up are transforming retail
by Vicki Cantrell for Shop.org

Same-day delivery is an intense arms race between many large retailers like Walmart, Amazon, and Ebay. It’s the next evolution of the order-online-pickup-in-store practices perfected by retailers like Toys ‘R’ Us and Home Depot. Vicki highlights a few of the challenges/opportunities, the first and most obvious being creating infrastructure required to achieve such quick fulfillment. Many retailers are now partnering with courier services in key markets. Inventory data management is another key, as retailers will need the capacity to rapidly and efficiently route products from more storage locations to more destinations. And lastly, she remarks on the importance of in-store champions who answer questions and prevent attrition on in-store pickup orders, like Walmart’s “buy online, pay cash in store” option.