The weekend review: social customer service and the future of retail

The future of retail — and, most importantly, the future of the shopping experience — continued to be a major topic on GigaOM Pro this week. Research content on the continued evolution of the workplace also proved to be a popular subject among readers.

Our latest Sector RoadMap focuses on social customer service: meeting users where they are on social networks and social media platforms. It’s no longer a niche market, as enterprise giants like, Oracle, and SAP acquire social customer service startups or launch their own in-house solutions. It’s clear that social customer service could transform how customers interact with businesses. In “Sector RoadMap: social customer service in 2013,” Laura Stuart analyzes data from GigaOM Research’s recent survey on social business technology and identifies six major factors that could disrupt this volatile market in the near-term future.

Last week GigaOM Pro readers tuned in to our podcast about the future of shopping. “Why mobile must be part of the shopping experience,” Phil Hendrix’s follow-up report, presents extensive data from a recent IMMR/GigaOM Pro survey of smartphone users about the retail experience. Hendrix posits that the traditional shopping experience is broken and ripe for disruption, and he digs in to the survey responses to identify what makes for a successful retail operation (across brick-and-mortar and ecommerce outlets). Based on his findings and analysis, Hendrix concludes with a series of recommendations for retailers, brands, and local businesses.

Last, in “The cultural bias against creatives as leaders,” Stowe Boyd muses on the connections between creativity and leadership in the corporate sector. While a 2010 CEO survey conducted by IBM reveals creativity — and its role in innovative, disruptive thinking — as a highly valued quality for corporate leaders, there is a bias against promoting creatives to positions of authority. Boyd looks at the ongoing struggle among maintaining the status quo, charismatic leadership, and “thinking different” when it comes to corporate politics.

Also popular this week: 

The wearable computing market: a global analysis

Connected consumer 2013: how 2012 laid the groundwork for change

A near term outlook for big data



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