In this week’s Top 5, I am covering some interesting trends on new (or reinvigorated) ideas. It is clear that when you hit the timing right, a good idea just takes off on its own, but for most – just like fine wine and cheese – some ideas take a little age to satisfy consumers.

Retailers are Tailoring Their Web Sites and Promotions for You. Just You – The Washington Post

After years of using customer data to fine-tune their marketing efforts to smaller and smaller groups, retailers are now making a massive and expensive effort to tailor their Web sites and promotions for an even narrower target: an audience of one. Full Article

My Thoughts: About 10 years ago, one-to-one personalization was all the rage.  However, retailers (and marketers in other industries) quickly discovered how much work was really required – hence, targeting segments and groups became the next best thing.  Luckily, technology has improved greatly to make it easier to create great experiences for an audience of one. It’s not a “nice to have”, but a must-have for retailers. Learning from shoppers’ behavior and presenting more relevant experiences featuring products they will be more likely to buy (like Barneys New York does) is a win/win for retailers and consumers.  If it isn’t already implemented, this should be a top priority for all retailers in 2015.

9 Startup Ideas That Were Ahead of Their Time – Entrepeneur

“The only thing worse than being wrong is being early.” It’s impossible to count the number of startups which failed because the world wasn’t ready for them yet. Since the dotcom bubble, many of the era’s biggest flops have been revived in different forms to become viable businesses. Full Article 

My Thoughts: 9 phenomenal ideas – some took hold, some are still early to tell and some flamed out beautifully. Same-day delivery, pet food delivery, live-streaming apps, and touch computing all took root – some took longer than others but all have changed and impacted the way we live our lives. Personally being able to live stream television while traveling while learning about the new Apple release on Periscope while ordering my groceries sounds like a great time to me!  There are others that haven’t fared so well, virtual reality – and I would include the likes of Google Glass with this and digital currency (maybe that’s just me, but I really don’t get bitcoin.) I will also add in beacons, “smart home” apps, and Amazon Dash as other technologies that are ahead of their time.  

Apple Pay Running Into Hurdles at Checkout Counter, Survey Finds – Bloomberg Business

Apple Inc.’s new mobile payment system is failing to capture all of its potential business, according to a survey, with two-thirds of users reporting problems using the service at the checkout counter. Full Article

My Thoughts: A slew of articles hit this week talking about weak adoption and Apple Pay’s destiny. In a nutshell, Apple Pay isn’t seamless yet, and consumers aren’t standing for it. They don’t know where they can use it, they aren’t confident in how they’re supposed to be using it and they can’t use it the one place they’re making most of their mobile purchases: mobile browsers. 

As a brand, Apple has always been about its IP – control of the interface and operating system. It doesn’t worry about playing nicely with other systems or applications. With Apple Pay, the game has changed for them. It’s really the first time they’re enabling their technology to work with other pieces of technology and putting trust in non-Apple trained staff to manage, maintain and trouble shoot. 

Apple should focus on making transactions within devices easy and seamless – not just with native mobile apps – in order to get shoppers accustomed to using digital payments before any major success will be seen in-store or elsewhere. 

How Amazon Dash Button Could Hurt Brands – CNBC

Amazon’s Dash button could hurt new brands if it becomes widely used to reorder old favorites, according to one economist. Full Article

My Thoughts:  All I can think about are those soccer and rugby jerseys that are littered with advertising logos…is this really what my nicely decorated house is about to look like? I don’t think so. Brand loyalists don’t need a dedicated button to be reminded to buy the brand they like. They will do it anyway. Amazon Fire has a great feature to scan barcodes. They should focus on that, bringing it into their Amazon apps for iOS and Android.  This type of app could help people not only reorder, but also know what they have in their pantry at all times.  It could be like your own personal inventory system you can call up at the grocery store. Now that is something I could use on a daily basis. 

Leading Brick-and-Click Retailers Winning in Mobile – PracticalEcommerce

Large multichannel retailers are using mobile commerce and mobile apps for in-store sales. Although trend-tracking firm comScore recently ranked Amazon and eBay as the top two mobile-savvy sellers, there is strong evidence traditional retailers are using mobile to help boost sales both online and in-store. Full Article

My Thoughts: According to our Shopping Index, which analyzed shopping activity for more than 100 million shoppers, mobile traffic is up 33% since last year. The Index also found that average time on site was 9.6 minutes for mobile shoppers. This means retailers should continue to invest in mobile to keep up with shopper expectations and provide better tools and experiences.