Both retail and the digital storefronts, abounds with innovations and technological creativity in the 21st century. Technology is not only changing the way goods and merchandise are sold and purchased but has revolutionized the segment.
These new upgrades and improvements have also helped retailers face the challenges posed by the pandemic situation better. Below are five ways in which the new tech is changing the retail industry, and what the future of the segment holds for us.
Frictionless and Faster Checkouts
The new tech is improving the shopping experiences in that it is reducing the friction that the transactions me be exposed to. The new automated stores are equipped with technologies including artificial intelligence (AI).
The new technology integrates with the POS (point of sale) systems as well as the back and the front end of the stores. The tech-aided frictionless checkouts reduce the shopping times for the shoppers and make the experience hassle-free as well.
The new tech has helped the retailer’s function for even greater operating hours, which culminates in greater revenue. The technology also helps these tools provide the customers the right products at the right moment, be closer to the customers, and optimize the operations.
Immersive In-Store Experiences
The in-store experiences are aided by the new technologies. Such experiences may be based on extended reality (XR) technologies that replace or enhance the view of the shoppers. The digital backgrounds combine well with the virtual production and retail methods and are backed by interactivity as well as real-time engines.
The new-age shoppers can indulge in the much larger and enthralling XR experiences while not needing any goggles, headsets, touchscreens, and controls as in the case of virtual reality. These new experiences help the retailers engage the customers better so that they stay in the store for longer period.
The new technologies enhance the conversion rates for the retailers and improve their revenues. Retail can be more fun-filled with the use of such technologies that do not require any contact.
A recent research survey indicated that there will be 150,000 or even more robots deployed at the physical and brick-and-motors stores by the end of the year 2025. The robotic shopping carts can now be found at many supermarkets.
The food robotic machines (using advanced technologies) are not only preparing but also serving delicious and healthy food (for instance smoothies). Robotics may help retailers in multiple ways.
It will improve the quality and consistency in operations and will help the retailers earn the trust of the customers. Robotics may also help overcome human errors that may be a safety concern. The increasing cost of regulations and labor may also be subdued to a certain extent by using robots in retail.
Micro-Fulfillment for Retailers
Micro fulfillment centers are suburban or urban location centers that may be much closer to the end customers. These are the automated and small-scale warehouse facilities that can help the retailers provide home deliveries and pickups in much lesser time, thereby adding to customers’ convenience and comfort.
Whenever a customer will place an order the items in a micro fulfillment center will be picked then packed automatically and will be made available for pickups in not more than a few minutes. These items may also get delivered to the end location in no more than an hour.
Indoor positioning systems
The indoor positioning systems can be used in areas where GPS functionality and systems are not available or not accurate. Ab IPS may require supporting infrastructure including the Bluetooth beacons ultra-wideband and the Wi-Fi RTT.
Target has already deployed such a system in its stores where the customers can locate the item inside the store by using the target app. Deploying search systems may help the retailers provide better and more targeted suggestions to the customers which will result in more convergence.
The indoor positioning systems are also helpful in tracking the items and the customer traffic. Search facilities and benefits provide for better production protection of assets and to provide targeted deals to the customers as well.
Technologies that were new, not more than a decade ago are now being replaced with even more functional, fulfilling, and beneficial versions. For instance, the new JDE upgrades improve the ERP systems and optimize productivity and quality of the retail operations.
These new technologies improve both the supply and demand side of operations and enhance the revenue potential of retail businesses. Retail stores should take advantage of these technologies to provide better experiences to their customers, earn their trust, and ensure that they are not left behind in their competition with e-commerce.