The Retail Industry is on a transition mode from being product centric to customer centric, with retailers leveraging innovative and adaptive technologies to reach out to the customers and retain them permanently thereby adding value to the business. This has resulted in retail technology transcending from ‘aspiration to expectation’, wedging itself securely between the consumer and experience to create an everyday experience…….
The Indian Retail industry is being considered as the fastest growing business domains in the world and technology is being utilized here to create a definitive parameter of growth and success. However with the constant changes in the sector of technology the application too needs to be in the constant mode of evolving or up gradation in order to be in the forefront in the global scenario. The other aspect is also how innovative ideas can be put to use to stay ahead of competition amongst competitive brands by creating the right value proposition to the discerning consumers.
Simply put, technology is beginning to create and play a very important role in the management of complex retail operations all over the world. Because of the notoriously thin margins of the retailers, anything that goes wrong in the retail supply chain can chip away profit margins. Therefore, the right technology fit can make a huge impact on retailer margins. To stay ahead in the game, retailers are taking the help of technologies to lead the way in changing two aspects: their points of sale and points of supply.
According to popular research, the customer experience will overtake price and product as they key brand differentiator by 2020 and 86% of the consumers will pay more for a better experience in the overall transaction process. The challenge in serving the modern customer for most retailers will lie in bringing the right balance between technology and humans. Retailers with the foresight to understand the potential of technology without getting lost in its complexities, and merging it with human interaction, have always been able to grow faster and bigger.
As per Accenture Study’ in 2019 titled ‘The Future of Retail is closer than you think: Retail technology Vision’ 2019’, retail leaders are not bracing for the change that new technologies and changing consumer demands will bring to the industry. They are embracing it by actively looking for opportunities to grow for markets of one. In doing so, they are changing retail’s traditional competitive strategy from buying in quantities and selling it efficiently to consumers to enabling consumers to buy exactly from the retailer they trust.
The study goes on to say that 82% of the retail executives believe digital demographics are becoming more important and powerful way to understand consumers.
80% believes that digital demographics give them a new way to identify market opportunities for unmet consumer needs.
71% believes that digital demographics are expanding the number of ways they deliver products and services.
Retail Technology Trends 2020
The dawn of e – commerce have dealt a huge blow to traditional retail and have completely redefined the dynamics of the business – that is until retailers discovered the advantages Omni Channel and Phy – Digital retail.
Big Data and Analytics Simply put, Big Data drives towards a better consumer experience. The customer experience is more important as ever as retailers struggle to differentiate themselves in an increasingly challenging market. But how retailers implement that customer experience is shifting from a purely person to person basis approach, to something much more automated – but when done right, those automation tools, supplement and enhance the human approach, delivering a vastly superior, and much more personal, customer experience.
For Retail, the analytics and data upside is in demand forecasting and supply chain planning. In addition, better inventory visibility, through a combination of data and systems as well as sensors, to monitor in – stock and out – of – stock (On shelf, in warehouse, in transit) will continue to enable flexible transformation.
Blockchain Technology Blockchain makes retailers more efficient. Now what is blockchain?
Blockchain is a modern technology and a structure that stores transactional records, also known as the block, of the public in several databases, known as the “chain,” in a network connected through peer-to-peer nodes. Typically, this storage is referred to as a 'digital ledger. Every transaction in this ledger is authorized by the digital signature of the owner, which authenticates the transaction and safeguards it from tampering. Hence, the information the digital ledger contains is highly secure. In simpler words, the digital ledger is like a Google spreadsheet shared among numerous computers in a network, in which, the transactional records are stored based on actual purchases. The fascinating angle is that anybody can see the data, but they can’t corrupt it.
Machine Learning & Artificial Intelligence
Machine learning is an application of artificial intelligence (AI) that provides systems the ability to automatically learn and improve from experience without being explicitly programmed. Machine learning focuses on the development of computer programs that can access data and use it learn for themselves McDonald's Drive through Smart Voice Assistant. H&M's Assortment Planning using Artificial Intelligence. Pepper Robots, the New Choice of Nestlé to Sell Coffee Machines.
AR & VR The retail industry is one of the biggest industries on the planet and a critical element in the backbone of the global economy. It is also the perfect training field for the emerging technologies implementation, making it an ideal place for Virtual and Augmented Realities to show their worth.
The reason for such openness is simple - Retail is also one of the most competitive fields of the economy. It is common knowledge that no matter how niches your market might be - you have to fight for the place under the sun, you have to persuade customers. That makes retail business particularly interested in finding new and more elaborate ways of engaging customers and establishing new brands.
Retail business needs to be competitive and to be such; it tries every new technology on the block. It is hit and misses but when it hits - it hits hard. Concurrently, this helps to establish new technologies and fit them into the business model. For example, just a decade ago such thing as Smartphone notification seemed futuristic and now it is a norm. And that was not in the least because of the many things that were added to the customer experience in online and offline retail.
How Does Augmented and Virtual Reality Retail Shopping Work?
Retail, especially retail's marketing area, seems to be a perfect environment for the Virtual and Augmented Reality solutions implementation. The reason for that is simple - as you know, one of the biggest roadblocks in implementing AR & VR solutions in practically any commercial field is the lack of the proper business model to keep it afloat as a standalone product. In retail, however, the situation is a bit easier.
The thing with retail business is that it doesn’t need VR & AR solutions to be profitable, it's the customer experience that matters. It is about building brands associated with quality, care and a wide range of options. Virtual and augmented reality can help to do just that, reshaping the industry to fit the latest trends and stay modern.
Also, the demand for both augmented reality and virtual reality shopping already has been created by the marketing specialists and you, as a retail business man or woman, can ride the waves.
Internet of things (IOT) & Cloud Software
The Internet of Things (IoT) involves the internet-connected devices we use to perform the processes and services that support our way of life. ... The worker can use a cloud computing service to finish their work because the data is managed remotely by a server. IoT is used for improving the customer experience. They will want good service, accurate information, quicker delivery, and so on. ... By implementing IoT solutions, retail organizations are able to solve a lot of problems customer experience. Such problems may be caused by inefficient data analysis or collection.
What exactly is M Commerce and what are its applications in the modern retail Industry? M Commerce can be defined as any electronic commerce activity conducted over a wireless network through mobile devices. It includes activities such as buying and selling of goods, provision of services and information, online transactions etc.
Alongside changes in technology and consumer shopping habits, retailers’ investments in mobile channels are contributing significantly to m-commerce growth. From marketing and social media to apps and mobile-friendly websites, retailers across categories are implementing strategies to reach consumers via their phones. Though these investments are clearly driven by consumer demand, there is another incentive to pushing mobile: data. By engaging in loyalty programs, social media or retailer apps, consumers are sharing a wealth of information about their profiles and shopping habits. This, in turn, enables retailers to better understand their consumers and tailor products and offers to individual shoppers.
Thus technology is a game changer in the Retail Technology and thus it is benefitting many companies and customers. It is essential that companies stay up-to-date with changing technology and ensure that they are utilizing all technology that is available to them. Technology is not only making jobs easier, customers happier and businesses more accurate, it is also saving companies time and money.
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