This Week in Retail: Top technology trends for 2015, using customer data to win, and more.

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Thanks for checking out our latest This Week in Retail post! Today our roundup covers an array of topics, including retail technology, strategic partnerships, customer data, and more.

Read away!

1. 2015 top 10 retail technology predictions – part I – Where is retail technology headed this year? Retail expert Tony D’Onofrio aims to answer that in this post. He covers five important trends, including the Internet of Things, omnichannel, inventory visibility and RFID, innovation labs, and mobile. If you’re not up to speed with what these are about, then be sure to read his post and stay tuned for part 2.

2. Expert advice: How to build a strategic partnership – Many companies are now “partnering with noncompeting businesses and forming strategic partnerships to enhance their sales channels,” writes Suzanne Kearns. This move can make a lot of sense and enable merchants to pool their resources and tap into wider audiences. If you’re thinking of getting into strategic partnerships this year, this article can give you a ton of insights. It answers questions on how such arrangements can help you increase revenues, and it also offers tips on forming effective partnerships.

3. Keep the holiday cheer flowing in your small business – The holidays may be over but that doesn’t mean the cheer should stop flowing. Read this article for advice and ideas on how you can “stretch your success well into 2015.” Rhonda Abrams provides a variety of tips and best practices on engaging with fans, stepping up your customer service efforts, running post-New Year promos, and more.

4. How Timberland used customer data to reboot its brand – The years 2006 to 2012 weren’t great for Timberland. Sales were flat, and they were losing market share. But in the past two years, the company was able to turn things around. Last quarter, for instance, sales were up 15% and they enjoyed wider profit margins. How did Timberland bounce back? Simple. They switched to a consumer-data-driven approach to reposition their brand. Get all the details of Timberland’s data-centric success story in this article.

5. 5 key essentials needed for business success – Modern technology and innovation can certainly drive retail success, but that doesn’t mean everything in your company has to be new and advanced. There are some timeless elements that your business should keep and never lose sight of. This insightful post talks about what these components are and what you can do to keep them.

About Francesca Nicasio

Francesca Nicasio is Vend's Retail Expert and Content Strategist. She writes about trends, tips, and other cool things that enable retailers to increase sales, serve customers better, and be more awesome overall. She's also the author of Retail Survival of the Fittest, a free eBook to help retailers future-proof their stores. Connect with her on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Google+.