With the onset of technological advancements in almost every industry globally, it has disrupted the retail industry too. E-commerce is the first thing that comes to mind when discussing the influence of technology in the retail and shopping sector. Nevertheless, technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT), computer vision, and, Artificial Intelligence have transformed each and every part of the shopping experience ranging from browsing to the checkout counter. Before diving further into the technologies that have disrupted the retail industry, it becomes important to have the knowledge of conventional shoppers have changed their buying behaviour over the last few decades. The development of e-commerce has emphasized the degree to which consumers are valuing choice and convenience. In spite of this, physical retail shops have flourished and persist to challenge the assumptions of “the death of brick-and-mortar shops”, prompted by a growing share of e-commerce sales in the shopping and retail industry. This transformation has stimulated physical retailers to grasp futuristic technology advancements in the retail industry at a much faster rate than ever.
Futuristic Technology Advancements in Retail Industry
In the order to offer a positive and valuable customer experience, retail businesses have implemented a range of futuristic technology advancements solutions. Let’s have a look at the following technologies that are impelling key changes in the retail sector:
1. Reducing the distance between physical retail stores and e-commerce
Industry examiners have consistently compared physical retail stores and e-commerce as competing platforms for the millennials and Generation Z to shop from. Subsequently, these two platforms are more complementary than they are perceived at the first glance. For high costed items such as television, laptops, and other specialized equipment, customers tend to research the features and specifics of potential items and review the customer feedback online before going out to purchase into a store to evaluate those items physically. In fact, these usual purchasing behaviours can start online where daily purchases are put into the cart for curbside or in-store purchases on a later date. This change has influenced retail businesses to ensure regularity and dependability across shopping channels, focusing online.
2. Internet of Things (IoT)
Another futuristic advancement in the retail industry is the use of IoT. IoT can be defined as a connection of billions of physical devices interacting with each other and sharing of information and data. IoT has a huge potential for the shopping and retail sector, hence, creating a path for more engagement and better customer experience. For example, the app registers the customer’s exact location. Let’s say that the customer is in the beauty products section. The app can then remind them of specific beauty brands or items that they have liked before and thus, helping to move the customers towards buying that item in-store, with a more tailored offer.
3. Artificial Intelligence
How can one not incorporate this futuristic advancement technology in the retail industry when it is such a competitive business? Moreover, in a survey done by Servion Global Solutions predicted that 95% of customer interactions will be operated by AI by the end of 2025. Customers encounter AI mostly through item recommendations. With AI, retail businesses are now capable of identifying the customer’s purchasing patterns and analysing them to provide changes in their demands. Nonetheless, AI technology is directing further transformation in technology by using other technological advancements like facial recognition, and scan-and-go shopping to achieve their full potential.
4. Voice commerce
Voice commerce is another futuristic technology advancement. With the introduction of Apple’s Siri coming into existence, this voice assistant technology has set off a spark in the industry, gained popularity, and now spreading into other technical devices like speakers. A survey stated that around 60 million of people have a minimum of one smart speaker system in their homes. For a lot of customers, research on products, comparison of prices and specifics, and also the number of purchases is just a few taps away. For example, Walmart has invested in this technology by introducing the Walmart Voice Ordering Service to their buyers. The customers can make use of any device that is operated by either Siri or Google Assistant to add items to the cart. The buyers just have to say “Hey Siri/Google, add (name of the product) to Walmart”, and voila, items are packed and shipped and delivered to the relevant customer’s chosen method.
5. Cashier-less stores
After the covid-19 pandemic, retailers found the idea of going cashier less to be more interesting considering the fact that the pandemic will stay here for a while and so do the social distancing measures have to be taken into consideration. A survey found out by examining the purchasing behaviours of the buyers, that 87% of buyers would prefer stores with self-checkout options or contactless checkout counters.
The idea of customers simply walking out of the store with their things getting scanned automatically and the total amount to be debited from their account will soon be launched in almost every store. Amazon is the first one to come up with this approach through “Just Walk Out” systems, put into operation by “Amazon Go” stores.
Therefore, this futuristic technological advancement in the retail industry will constantly challenge the boundaries of what’s feasible, to make better customer experiences in a personalized manner.
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How did technology transform the retail industry?
Futuristic technology advancements in retail industry have the ability to transform the retail industry by using facial recognition, AI, IoT, and self-checkout counters.
Does the retail industry have a future?
The retail industry has a limitless future with the ongoing technological advancements. Retail leaders thrive to make their user experience simpler and innovative, all while offering quality products.