I’m always on the lookout for interesting articles to share. You can share articles you find interesting with me on Twitter at @Bazaarvoice.

Associates armed with technology are most powerful showrooming tool: NRF speaker
by Erin Shea for Luxury Daily

This quote from Cheryl Berinato, director of consumer insights and strategy at Macy’s, says it all:

“You should bring technology into the store, instead of having the consumer go home and use their own technology.”

Consumers are going to use consult digital resources when shopping offline, period. Retailers, it’s time to join them! Arm your in-store sales reps with the same tools consumers are using themselves. Make your associates part of the showrooming experience to combine the human touch shoppers enjoy in brick-and-mortar stores with the wealth of information available through mobile. If a product is not available in the desired size, for example, the in-store rep can pull it up on their tablet, order it online, and have it shipped to the customer’s house. If the checkout line is too long, associates can ring up waiting shoppers with their smartphone and email a receipt.

Consumers Are Realizing the Value of Data: Interview with Ian Greenleigh (@be3d), Bazaarvoice
by Kyle Lacy for ExactTarget

Businesses have obviously already realized how much they want and need access to the massive amounts of data consumers now share about themselves online. Ian shares a newer idea: That consumers are realizing this fact as well, and beginning to understand how much their data is worth to a business. Privacy is a major discussion among consumers and marketers alike today. Ian suggests that when consumers understand how sharing their data can make their own experience better (“What’s in it for me?”), we’ll move to a more open and collaborative exchange of data between consumers and brands. “I’ll share my data with you, and in return, you’ll provide a more relevant and helpful experience.”

Value beyond the product is a priority in fashion retail: NRF speaker
by Tricia Carr for Luxury Daily

A successful luxury fashion brand needs to be viewed as an authority on style to thrive. To have its products considered high fashion, the brand has to convey that it knows exactly what’s hottest at the moment. One excellent way to achieve this is to become a publisher, adding value to peoples’ lives beyond the product by educating them in the latest trends and connecting with them around their passion for style. Not only will luxury brands thus keep the loyalty of their current customer base, but they’ll start building their next generation of aspirational customers. We’ve written before on this blog about the need for brands to become publishers – and this need is especially felt in luxury apparel.

John Sheehy @ CES – Mobility Will Have the Greatest Impact for Marketers
by Ashley Swartz for Beet.TV

I wrote earlier that mobile is a lifestyle, not a device. Mobility is a defining trend driving all new technology – it needs to be able to move with us, wherever we go, whatever device we use. We won’t be tied down. John Sheehy, president of global operations for SMG, went so far as to call mobility the most impactful trend facing marketers today:

“Mobility seems to be the center point of how we connect with technology… Mobility by far has the most impact that we’ll see in the next couple years.”

I’d call mobility just another contributor to the megatrend I recently wrote about: Convergence. All devices are converging into different sized screens connected to the same cloud. Consumers don’t distinguish between their phone, tablet, laptop, or TV – they want access to the same media, seamlessly, on every device. If you’re not already preparing for this super-mobile world, catch up while you have the chance!