Key Highlights From Our Parks Associates Q&A Series

Key Highlights From Our Parks Associates Q&A Series

Earlier this year, we ran a 5-part Q&A with Parks Associates. Founded in 1986, Parks is an internationally recognized market research and consulting company specializing in emerging consumer technology products and services.

We covered a wide range of topics, including the rise of the smart kitchen, personalization and the consumer, the connected car and the future of mobile marketing. In today’s blog, we’re going to look back at some of the highlights from this series.


While mobile is changing the brick-and-mortar experience for retail brands, the avalanche of data is fundamentally changing how marketers target consumers with ads, as well as how they design and serve these ads. And data is only getting more voluminous.

The Internet of Things (IoT) will generate new streams of data and create more intelligent information and communications infrastructures that potentially help retailers and brands engage shoppers and influence their behaviors ever more effectively. Specifically, the following IoT applications may play a big role in future shopper marketing:

  • Wearables: From smartwatches and fitness trackers today to smart shirt and earbuds in the future, wearables incorporate intelligent sensors that collect hyper-personal data and behavioral clues. Wearables will provide new dimensional data about consumers for marketers; this in turn can build more detailed shopper profiles for targeting and marketing.
  • Smart Cities: Smart city IoT applications, ranging from connected parking meters and security cameras to smart displays and logistical management applications, are another area of innovation that can benefit retailers and brands. These industrial IoT applications may provide relevant information to consumers and retailers about shopping factors such as traffic patterns, or make a city’s real estate infrastructure more intelligent so that retailers can benefit from additional ways to increase store traffic and convert more sales.
  • Augmented reality: The in-store shopping experience can be enhanced through augmented reality applications that provide information at the users’ fingertips. For instance, American Apparel offers an app that shoppers can use by pointing their phone’s camera at a piece of clothing. The app would show the same clothes on screen in different colors, accompanied by user reviews and additional product details. It would also know and display whether the shopper’s preferred color and size is in stock. Finally, the app can offer shoppers the option to buy the merchandise online if the item is out of stock. These in-store shopping aide applications will help retailers create a more convenient shopping experience for their customers, resulting in higher conversion rates from shopping to buying.   


Partly due to consumer demand and partly due to competitive necessity, connected features and apps are being integrated across automakers’ fleets. Automakers initially tried to keep tight control over their infotainment systems but most have since opened up to Apple and Android in the car. In doing so, they cede some revenue opportunities to the tech giants and must take a much broader approach to monetizing connectivity in the vehicle.  

At the same time, automakers and their suppliers are rethinking traditional approaches to the automobile. They are expanding their definition of transportation and mobility, vehicle ownership, and the driver and passenger experience. Many industry players have set a goal of transforming vehicles into productive and rich entertainment environments, and third living spaces—behind only the home and office. With the rapid increase in voice-controlled personal assistant adoption across device ecosystems, ecosystem gaps may close more quickly and seamlessly than expected.   

Connectivity also provides automakers the means to send major software upgrades to the vehicle at little cost and almost no inconvenience to the customer. This is much more dramatic than it sounds. It means that vehicles coming off the sales lot are not a finished product. Over-the-air (OTA) updates can be leveraged not only to fix bugs and avoid recalls, but also to enhance the driving experience and add new capabilities. Tesla, for instance, enabled limited self-driving functionality, called "Autopilot," in its models that were already on the road via an OTA update, fundamentally changing the car that the driver purchased. This foundational but incredibly compelling benefit of connectivity is not marketed or truly leveraged by traditional OEMs. Connected car players with a long-term vision can plan for value-added benefits that are introduced to drivers years after the initial purchase. Limiting strategies to maximize today’s one-off vehicle sales may not be a competitive play for the long term.


Q. What are the key trends influencing the smart kitchen market in 2017?

  • Voice control – Smart appliance manufacturers are making their products compatible with voice control technologies such as Amazon Alexa and Google Home.
  • Recipe integration – Smart stove makers are integrating recipes into their products to enable a variety of features, including cooking guides that automatically create the perfect cooking settings for integrated recipes.
  • Consumable reordering – This feature is most common among smart dishwashers. The feature monitors the products commonly used in the dishwasher, such as detergent and rinse aid, and automatically reorders these products when supplies are running low.

Don’t forget to check out all five articles in full here:

  1. Automakers are Transforming Cars into Third Living Spaces
  2. Rise of the Smart Kitchen - Voice Control, Re-ordering & More
  3. Personalization & The Consumer
  4. Advancements in IoT Continue to Improve Connected Lifestyle
  5. How Mobile Is Changing The Brick-And-Mortar Experience

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Published by Research and Markets


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