Crowdsourcing platforms enable retailers to quickly gather customer data through social media surveys, as well as paid survey sites such as SwagBucks. Since the surveys are largely operated online, retailers can easily gather real-time data insights and put them to work.

“The future is human-centric,” said Mr. Nekaj. “It’s all about participation and the ability to co-create via an increasingly connected world. This new way of doing things (crowdsourcing, crowdfunding, co-creation, collaboration and open innovation) is challenging established business models and how companies work across the board.”

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