Technologies Advancing The Retail Ecosystem In 2020
The Retail Industry is going through a lot of changes – the advent of new ways to enhance customers’ shopping experience has completely changed the way the retail industry used to work earlier.
As per a report, a lot of retailers closed their stores in 2017, much faster than the great recession of 2008. A major reason being the rise in online sales and the retailers hesitating to adopt the new technologies.
Todays’ consumers want to minimize their time in making purchase decisions while the retailers want to minimize the cost spent on supply chain and operations. This is where the need to adopt new technologies comes into the picture.
Technologies Used In The Retail Ecosystem
The retail industry has drastically changed in the last 10 years – so as the buyers! Today’s millennials expect more personalized and unique communication and shopping experience. And the key to excelling in this competitive market is to leverage as much out of the technology as you can.
Did you know?
By 2022, 20%-25% of the Indian workforce in the retail sector would be deployed in jobs that have radically changed skill sets
That’s the only way to get these proactive buyers into your stores. Creating a flawless user experience is not easy but the following technologies are making it possible for the retailers.
This technology helps the retailers in assisting their customers in a better way. Be it a mall or an educational institute, hospitals or factories or any industrial building, wayfinding kiosks enables the consumers in navigating these large spaces in a detailed and smoother manner.
Not only this, but it also helps the retailers in targeting customized offers along with the push notification about recent discounts and promotions to the consumers on their simple click on the store from the directory.
Thanks to the internet of technology that have enabled the retailers to do a lot more with shelves other than just placing the products on them.
Nowadays, retailers are installing sensors on stores’ shelves that help them in accessing precise data and knowledge about consumer behavior. These analytics helps them in retargeting ads for the products which their consumers have looked at previously. Besides, they can also offer a complimentary product at a discounted price or a free trial.
To add more value, these smart shelves highlights consumers’ specific needs and products which they picked up but did not buy. Such information can be utilized effectively by the retailers to alter their marketing strategies and pricing.
AI & Robots
Robots have increased the ratio of personal conversation with potential customers like never before.
With artificial intelligence being integrated into robots, retailers are using it more to guide their consumers to specific products, necessary information and to track inventory. These robots are also highly preferred in packaging, shipping and delivering the products.
You might be aware of interactive mirrors as they are being used in fashion and lifestyle stores on a large scale. But are you aware of the other benefits that they bring to the table?
Interactive mirrors allow the consumers to see how the products will look like on them. These mirrors enable the consumers to have a real-time experience of seeing different looks on them thus helping them in making better decisions. Not only this, based on the consumers’ behavior and their likes, the mirror also recommends different looks and products which results in better revenue streams for the retailers.
As the retail industry is progressing, a lot of changes are happening simultaneously. Kiosks like self-service have been adopted by the retailers to cut down the labor costs and to encourage the consumers to shop and check out independently without standing in the lines. This not only saves time but also creates a hassle-free shopping experience for the customers.
Mobile and online payment options have transformed the retail industry and e-commerce market. Though the older generation is still a bit hesitant to adopt this technology, the younger crowd have adopted it completely and that’s what the retailers are targeting at.
One of the most popular technologies – voice ordering technology are more convenient to the customers in the era of smart home industry where it takes just a command to lock the doors or switch on the lights or order food.
Retailers can reap out a lot of benefits out of this technology by developing algorithms that can recognize the voice commands from the consumers.
Transforming The Retail Landscape
Reaching out to your consumers
Retailers are looking to interact with their consumers wherever they are – right from social media to the physical world via online marketing to offline customer service inquiries.
This can be achieved by the adopting technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, cloud technology, user experience and internet of things.
Industry experts keep talking about data and but this is the high time when they start using it across their real work challenges.
Retailers need to use technologies like the internet of things, radio frequency identification, machine learning etc. to connect data with their real-time tasks. Scenarios like customer orders within a store, trucks/ships making deliveries, inventories’ tracking, and fast pace shopping trends can easily be tackled every day with the help of these technologies.
This will help them in creating a customer-centric and flawless shopping experience.
Augmented reality, virtual reality, and mixed reality
Augmented reality, virtual reality, and mixed reality are the talk of the market. There would be rarely any brand which is still untouched by the impact of AR, VR or MR.
It has revolutionized the way the retail industry used to work by delivering unique, personalized and beneficial user experiences to the consumers like never before. Though a lot of retailers are still in the adoption phase, they are quickly and easily catching it and appreciating the benefits reaped out of it.
Approaching data and analytics
With the consistent increment of the data that retailers capture, they will need to reconsider their approach to analytics to analyze the insights and share them internally.
For small businesses, solutions like Google Analytics will play a major role in finding values in the data. For large enterprises, retailers will need to look for solutions that will enable them to leverage out of the insights without violating consumers’ privacy.
Retailers will have to pull out the right information from consumers’ data providing them an exceptional user experience without leaving them threatened behind.
The Bottom Line
With time, technology will keep changing and retailers will keep adopting the changes to survive in the market.
Though the new and innovative technologies are exciting and extremely beneficial, retail industry experts must not forget the basic, old and conventional tools such as POS, email marketing software, customer relationship management tool as they still play a major role in various cases.