Exploring the next holy grail for retailers, the theatrics of technology!
Various technological advancements poised for growth when touch-free alternatives gained momentum during the 2020 pandemic. While businesses across sectors were floundering to survive, retail, like many others, embraced technology with gusto. And, apart from the ambiguity that surrounds our current situation, one thing’s for sure – this ‘new normal’ is here to stay.
In this article, we’ve decoded retail tech integrations that were dancing on the edge before 2020 but have now taken centre stage; ready to know what lies ahead of you?
Digital transformation defined the past year, but it just scratches the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the future. As a retailer, you must keep evolving your model to stay relevant and successful. Building smart systems tailored to the need of your brand, can help you manage stock flow, make calculated decisions, and solid predictions. Such inventory management addresses some major concerns of retail, including waste, spoilage, and even theft.
Shoppers will return to the pre-pandemic routine but with a changed perspective of ‘touch.’ Customers are now accustomed to the ease of eCommerce and the marvels of Augmented and Virtual Reality. Right from a simple ‘try and buy’ feature on your website to offering a 360-degree view of a product, technology can be used to provide immersive experiences online. Additionally, supporting contactless payments guarantees a competitive edge in the post-COVID world.
As we dive into 2021, with 5G in the pipeline, mobile applications will prove to be a powerful tool to tap into a wider tech-savvy audience who prefers its seamless experience over a site. While generating traffic, an app allows customer personalization and engagement, cue to those custom messages and push notifications you can use to remind them of offers, arrivals, or wish lists.
Chatbots/ Artificial Intelligence
Now, more than ever, customers rely on chatbots for prompt and easy communication. Wonder what’s in it for you? This 24/7 service will improve buyer journey both before and after sale; it lowers cart abandonment with minimum human intervention. Furthermore, the actionable data collected through artificial intelligence can prompt many crucial business decisions.
The key to being smarter, more efficient, and reducing costs lies in the large amount of data you’ve always had access to, but rarely analysed. Such examination of data can help you understand consumer behaviour, personalize shopper experience, and promptly address their needs. Additionally, future-readiness is another aspect that predictive analytics covers; by understanding patterns of the past, you can easily decode and predict possible trends of the future.
To sum it up, we’ve only begun to explore the potential of technology in retail. With big retailers promising no lines and no checkouts, and the experience of ‘shopping on the go,’ wider adoption of robotics and automation is next on the cards.