Technology Shapes the Retail Industry's Coming Trends
Posted: Jan 24, 2018
Retail shopping has gone through some tough times over the past year. 2016’s BRP Digital Commerce Benchmark survey held some foreboding results. For example, survey says: no more duct tape omnichannel and that further streamlined and seamless processes are still needed. Tales of store closings permeate the news, which doesn't bode well for the local neighborhood stores. Retail sales continue a march towards existing exclusively into the online realm at a record pace. Retail companies won't go away as people do need to buy merchandise from somewhere. The brick-and-mortar version of the classic retail department store, however, may become purely a creature of the past.
With greater emphasis on online sales, technology's integration into the retail industry continues to expand. The addition of new technological components may save retail giants from folding up. Technological advancements capable of improving shopping experiences and making sales easier would certainly be appreciated by customers. Retail consumers may find it valuable to look at the various new tech trends hitting retail.
Image Searches and Visual Apps
Scores of different apps arrive with incredible frequency on the retail market. None of this should come as a surprise since various apps make it much easier for someone to make a purchase. Apps also add another layer of convenience since they can be accessed via a smartphone.
One of the most interesting apps to emerge, an app concept that continues to grow in popularity, would be the visual search app. This type of image recognition app allows for taking a photograph of merchandise and running a search through a particular retail catalog. The simple concept taps into advancements in technology in order to make finding desirable merchandise even simpler.
The Big Data Explosion
Big data surely will make a big impact. The growth of big data and its integration into information-technology networks continues to expand in all sorts of different industries. Retail soon will feel the full value of big data in the coming year.
Big data allows for compiling enormous reserves of information. Businesses can do a lot with the information they acquire, but only if they are able to utilize the information effectively. Big data management systems make this result possible.
Case in point, a retail store could come up with an incredible marketing campaign after determining the main wants and needs of its customers. The informational resources allow for examining pinpoint-detailed market research analysis. Better marketing researching should lead to sales figures improving. Effective marketing research could even deliver various messages to those who would react most positively.
Artificial Intelligence Further Expands
Artificial intelligence continues to grow in sophistication and practicality. This means more artificial intelligence programs shall find their way into the retail world. Both the owners of the businesses and their customers should appreciate all the benefits that come with the AI experience.
An artificial intelligence system that employs facial recognition to help customers check out their products could prove very helpful to the cause of keeping brick-and-mortar stores alive. Keep in mind, the cost of running the traditional store becomes too much to bear when customers don’t patronize the establishment. The inclusion of facial recognition artificial intelligence programs could cut costs by reducing the number of employees the store must rely upon. Lower overhead could forestall the closing of the store.
Scaling Down to Save the Industry
The retail industry knows it cannot operate today as it did in the 1980's. People's shopping habits are different. The growth of the internet and the arrival of new technology changed things dramatically. As such, retail stores may become much smaller in scope.
Marketing more to smaller, niche customer bases may be necessary in order for brick-and-mortar stores to exist. Online catalogs can remain expensive since the product would be shipped from warehouses. The shipping may be done by drone, another technological advancement. Retail stores, however, might need to be much smaller to save on rent and other expenses. Smarthome for business technology could be installed to cut costs even further. Changes on the horizon remain unavoidable.
Damien Justus writes in the business, home improvement and real estate spaces, and is very passionate about health, cooking, diet plans and anything that has to do with staying fit.