By Rick Chavie, VP, Marketing Retail and Hospitality Solutions, NCR Years ago, the relationship between the shopper and shopkeeper was dramatically different. Retailers knew their customers’ preferences, and customers trusted their shopkeepers’ knowledge of products and prices. Today, consumers are less loyal, time-starved and digitally empowered. Technology gives them access to limitless product information and shopping alternatives, making hunting for the best value simple. The retail landscape also has changed. Retailers have spent billions of dollars to know the consumer better, utilizing highly targeted data, CRM systems and software that claim to predict the future. Ironically, despite advances in technology, we don’t know customers as well as we did 50 years ago. Part of this challenge lies in the way consumers now shop across channels using many different technologies. They research and compare prices online, read peer reviews on social networks, and make purchases when, where and how they choose. This empowerment is forcing a polar shift in the way retailers market to consumers.