We’ve survived Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, as we now head into one of the busiest times of the year for retailers (both online and of the brick and mortar variety) and all the services that support them: cloud providers, analytics services, mobile payment companies, and more. Over on GigaOM Pro, our analysts are taking a look at the bigger picture: what’s the future of the shopping experience, what’s the next big thing in connected gadgets, and more.
Note: GigaOM Pro is a subscription-based research service offering in-depth, timely analysis of developing trends and technologies. Visit pro.gigaom.com to learn more about it.
Cloud: Unlocking big data’s potential with search
Search engines like Google and Bing are already household names. But enterprise search, a mature market in its own right, has maintained a lower public profile. As companies across the tech, financial, and heath industries increasingly turn to big data to manage their business, there’s a growing need for tools that merge big data with powerful search capabilities. Pro analyst Paul Miller identifies the key opportunities and challenges in this emerging market, and provides an overview of what existing IT providers and open source communities are already doing to address these needs.
Connected Consumer: Appcessories: the march toward a smartphone-controlled world
As smartphones continue to proliferate the market, the rise of appcessories – devices that can either be controlled by or exchange content with a smartphone or tablet – has been quick to follow. Pro analyst Ross Rubin takes a look at this broad category, which includes everything from speakers and headphones to smart alarm clocks, thermostats, and quantified-self monitoring devices, and analyzes how manufacturers are innovating at both the product design and API levels.
Mobile: How Dish Network and Google could take aim at carriers
Pro analyst Colin Gibbs analyzes the recent news about Google teaming up with Dish Networks to roll out a wireless service next years, which could leverage Dish’s LTE spectrum with Google’s considerable financial resources, Android platform, and smartphone manufacturing capabilities. Neither company has experience serving as a mobile operator or in building out the necessary infrastructure to get a network up and running, but this joint venture could still disrupt the wireless market.
Social: Holiday shopping raises social commerce questions
David Card looks at the numbers from this year’s Black Friday to discern if mobile and social – two closely-watched buzzwords – truly had an effect on the annual shopping frenzy. While mobile accounted for 16% of Black Friday sales, it’s still a little early to make any declarations about overall channel shifts in shopper behavior – especially as more retailers have shifted their marketing tactics from a “cyber Monday” to a “Cyber week.” But as we dive into the final (and most active) shopping period of the year, Card identifies a few unanswered questions and potential trends to watch out for, particularly in social commerce – a proving ground for the likes of Groupon, Facebook, and hundreds of startups.