Emerging technologies are changing the face of retail operations and commerce. Digital world is continuously posing threat on retail industry as the customers are getting engaged with their mobile phones and expect more convenience.
To meet the expectation of digital consumer, retailers are trying to find out innovative solutions that may improve the efficiency of retailers and customer get more convenient services. So that retailers can compete with e-commerce and grow sustainably in competitive and complex environment.
To survive in dynamic and digital age, retailers are redefining their business, changing the culture, opening new format of store, building omni-channels etc.
Below are the recent trends and technology driving innovations in Retail Industry
Retailers are using robots to simplify shopping experience of customer at the store, keeping the shelves updated. Amazon uses robots to streamline its store operation, inventory replenishment and in other use cases. Retailers are also using robots to support customer service, handle customer queries.
Retailers are using virtual assistance to provide seamless experience to customers. Big companies like Apple, Samsung, Amazon and many other are developing their own digital or virtual assistance to help customer in many ways such as guiding customers while shopping in locating the products which customer are looking for and providing detailed information about the product etc.
Few big retailers are using smart and interactive mirror in their store that can totally transform the shopping experience. for example, the smart mirror will tell about different dress and accessories that will suit to a person and if customer want some other color they can tap the mirror. This will send a request to the back-end person and he will then assist the customer. These mirrors are sensor based and make retailers job easier.
A research shows that these mirror saves customer shopping time and retailers effort on each customer. Integrating these mirrors with company website will reduce sales opportunity loss in case of unavailability of merchandise at the store.
Retailers now a day using automatic replenishment system (ARS) to reorder the inventory and replenish it. ARS is a software that enable retailers to automatically reorder the inventory when it reaches below the minimum level of inventory maintained by them. It reduces storage cost and ensures availability of inventory at right time.
Block chain play significant role in retail supply chain management. Supply chain management using block chain improves logistics management, inventory management, vendor management. Block chain reduces the time and save cost of warehouse management and avoid mishandling of inventory. It simplifies payment to vendors and suppliers.
Implementing augment reality in customer experience, retailers are taking a move ahead to enhance customer in-store or online shopping experience. The augmented reality app helps customer to virtual try products before buying it to check whether it would suit to them or not. This technology attracts mostly the attention of younger audience. It enhances customer engagement and experience as well.
Digitalige data management
Increasing customer engagement with mobile phones and online channels encourages retailers to know about customers. Effective data management helps retailers to understand customer behavior, trends and patterns, improve product life cycle by modifying and innovating products as per customer's needs, customer loyalty management and efficient operations management.
There are other technologies like using data analytics retailers can do more with data, omni-channels will serve different needs and provide convenience to customers. Improving visual merchandise at the store will also have significant impact on customer's shopping experience.
So. Investing in technology helps retailers in many ways such as saving cost and time, reduce effort and deliver seamless experience to customers.