As technology moves forward, a lot of things get improved in our everyday life. Tech developers are on the constant search for improving customer experience in stores. As in any industry, technology is also changing the retail industry by providing essential software and hardware solutions that will make your life easier and give your business the best odds for survival in this highly competitive market.
Just because of the high competition, companies have started to invest a lot of capital in improving shopping experiences by using all kinds of different methods, but mostly the use of technology.
In this article, we will go through some of the best technology innovations that are changing the retail industry.
- Augmented Shopping Experience (AR)
Augmented reality has been a big thing in recent months and people started using AR in different things such as games, shopping, construction and much more. Basically, it is the combination of virtual graphics in real life. So, you may wonder how this can be used in the real world.
Well, for starters there are a lot of companies that provide VR technology so you can try on clothes or shoes, you can also use AR technology to provide detailed navigation experience in big stores, lead them to certain products, and visualize the new furniture in your home before buying and much more.
Zara even managed to incorporate smart mirrors that you can try new clothes without changing, which is amazing.
This is a game-changer as the limitation of creativity will now be limitless and we will see different ways that companies will use AR in the retail industry.
- Omnichannel retail
Omnichannel is the way to go if you have a business in the retail industry. This means that you must provide an extraordinary shopping experience across all channels. Customers would like to see items on your website, visit your stores, look for help through their phones, save an item that they see in-store to their phone and expect to be delivered once they get home.
In other words, the retail industry would have to digitalize in order to improve customer experience. Customers now only value the whole package, so you must invest in all channels. Focusing on mobile technology is the way to go for the retail industry.
- Improved Personal Interactions with customers
One of the few ways to create loyal customers is by establishing a relationship with them. Of course, some businesses cannot focus that much on creating connections with customers due to their busy hours. However, this is where technology comes forward. With the use of machine learning, you can now anticipate customer needs before even they figure out what to ask and deliver that information autonomously.
Data is very important, in every business and in the retail industry you can use the available data to establish what your customers want, what they usually buy and establish deeper connections using that stats. For example, you can program now the system to send out gift cards to your birthday customers through email. You can also activate chatbots that can handle any situation without waiting from the customers.
- Staff-free Store
Yes, in our near future we will walk in the store get what we need and walk out. There will be no cashiers or huge cues that we will have to wait. Using technology or precisely things like RFID tags, computer vision systems, IoT devices, machine learning, and artificial intelligence, you can build a store that is fully autonomous and staff free.
All the products will be loaded automatically and people will just get them and leave the store. Once they leave they will have the total sum deducted from their credit cards. Amazon already launched its first staff-free store, and we should expect more businesses to follow the same steps.
The world is evolving faster than a horse racing in the Kentucky Derby and these are some of the ways technology is changing the retail industry. There are still many things to consider and a lot of test runs until the technology is ready for the real world, but we are on the right path for improving the customer shopping experience massively.