The consumer landscape has totally changed from buying from stores to multi-use click-and-collect touchpoints. This changing consumer mindset has compelled retailers to adapt and join the technology revolution. In addition, retailers also need to consider technology and automation if they want to be a part of the growing industry and stay competitive.
Let us have a look at the main challenges faced by the retail industry today.
They are –
- To provide a safe and healthy environment to the consumers.
- Adapting to Digital Transformation for providing customers with an in-store experience while shopping online.
- To track and adjust the logistics capacity of the stock. This is crucial since consumer demands keep changing. As a result, a major shift from shopping in-store to online shopping is observed.
Some of the technology trends in retail are as below:
- Use of Machine Learning for forecasting consumer demand: With Machine Learning & available data, forecasting of customer demands becomes more accurate and easier. Data of demand forecasting aids in the planning inventory, managing manufacturing, and marketing processes. Moreover, the implementation of ML is fast, and it can handle big data with ease, giving accurate predictions, thus preventing overstocking, warehousing & logistics expenses for the business.
- Virtual fitting rooms might sound unbelievable, but as per the predictions by a market research company, the growth in augmented reality has been correct. The ‘try-and-buy approach allows consumers to try an outfit, specs with the help of augmented reality, thus giving an in-store experience to the buyer. This is garnering increased adaptability due to the pandemic wherein people have been forced to buy from home.
- Technologies like RFID Tags, Computer Vision systems, IoT devices, Machine Learning, and Facial Recognition help in providing contactless and cash-free buying experiences. A leading retail store has adapted computer vision and sensor fusion technologies, enabling the buyers to add in the cart and the sensors automatically detect the value and produce the bill amount.
- Advertising and Commerce: Not only from the consumers’ end, but technology is playing a significant role in the marketing of the services too. Alexa, Siri is the most popular when it comes to voice assistance and commerce. The ability to capture keywords and suggest relevant products using artificial intelligence is a major contributor to marketing.
- Driverless cart services for grocery delivery, autonomous delivery trucks, and drone deliveries are being tested and implemented across the Globe. The use of robotics in customer service and healthcare services has also seen substantial growth.
These trends are here to stay and grow. It is time for businesses to leverage on numerous benefits that technology provides to help them grow.