The pandemic had a significant impact on the retail business. However, need is the mother of invention. As a result, we have seen a rapid growth in e-commerce in the last two years, simply because more retailers have gone online. In the United States, online sales reached $870.78 billion in 2021;
this figure would have been reached by 2023 if ecommerce had grown normally without the epidemic. It was, however, devastating for those who did not adapt quickly. Face-to-face service was impossible due to the quarantine. As a result, retailers who remained offline suffered significant losses.
Retailers must evolve and innovate, and the best way to do so is through technology adoption. So, here are some technology trends that will help your retail business succeed.
Internet of Things (IoT)
IoT refers to devices that gather, analyze, and act on their own without the assistance of any human. Devices such as sensors, chips, tags, and many more help all kinds of businesses by providing real-time data. Retailers can use these devices to:
Frequency identification tags (RFIDs), for example, help your team know all the information needed about your products: availability, quantity, color, size, type, and many more. Sensors, on the other hand, help in knowing what is there on your shelves and what’s missing.
More business insight:
IoT helps you with gathering data and providing accurate information about what’s selling and what’s not, your best seller, and more. Also, with Iot, you can know how much customers are spending in your store on average. All this data helps you identify weak spots and empower them. This allows you to grow and set new objectives.
Improve Customer Experience:
You can use the data collected by the IoT to understand your customer’s behavior. Using devices like iBeacons helps you understand your customers more by collecting data. This tool sends notifications to customers in the store or nearby, providing recommendations and offers based on their shopping behavior. These tools will not only improve the customer experience; they will boost your sales as well.
Tracking goods and security:
Adding trackers to your products will assist you in knowing where they are, and how fast it was delivered. Also these trackers can prevent theft.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
AI is all about data collection. AI saves you a lot of money and time. People are using AI in ways that are impossible. Retailers can use AI is:
Chat bots can help retailers quickly respond to customers’ messages on their website or in their online store. Also, the conversation will be personalized based on the customer’s data. Using AI for customer service will help you save money and time on employees and equipment.
Based on data collected and analyzed from the website, online store, social media, or even the store’s system (POS), AI gives accurate predictions on future demands, sales, and more. These predictions help in making offers, removing or adding items, adjusting prices, or whatever decision you make.
Data analyzed by AI gives you accurate information about the customer’s preferences. For example, you have a clothing store. On your website, customers are searching for certain sizes, colors, types, or brands, and based on this real data, you can add, remove, make, or even get these to fulfill these demands.
Grab and Go systems:
AmazonGo is a great example of this system. With no cashier or long queue, customers go into the store, scan their E-wallet, then grab what they want. The sensors know what they grabbed, and then just leave. And Amazon will automatically charge them. This system, and other systems such as scan and go, offer the best customer experience. Many bakeries, restaurants, stores, and more are using this method not only to create the ideal customer experience, but also to save money and time.
Virtual Reality (Augmented Reality)
These technologies create the best shopping experience for customers. Try before you buy is a method that saves time and effort for customers. By using VR, clients can try on different customs without really trying them on. Not only clothes, customers can see what other items will look like in their home, such as furniture, electronics, and more. Stores such as Ikea, Target, and Sephora are using this technology.
Other tools like AR navigation help customers find the products they desire by following a simple map on their smartphone. Retailers can use this app to give recommendations, provide offers, or send notifications.
Drones and robots for delivery:
It is not science fiction, it is a reality. Retailers are now using robots to deliver goods to clients. It is a faster and more efficient way of delivery.
Technologies such as Starship’s Robots, Tortoise’s Safeway cart, Verizon’s Drones, and more are the new trend of delivering products to customers.
It is easier to sell to an existing customer than to a new one. When loyalty applications are integrated with customer data analysis, retailers may promote not only broad, but also personalized promos that boost the percentage of returning customers while also providing retailers with crucial data about their regularity, consumption, and cart mix.
How to employ all these Technologies!
The first step is to be fully aware of what you have and what you need. Identifying your needs is essential before adopting these high-tech solutions. Getting professional assistance is always a wise decision. A reliable professional that provides IT solutions for retail will assist you in determining your needs and provide the best tools that will help you achieve the best for your business.
Retail business is challenging, it faced a lot of issues in the past and it still does. But technology is helping retailers to achieve their goals by creating new innovative ways of doing business and interacting with customers. Using the right tools can improve the productivity of your team, create an ideal customer experience, boost sales, and achieve all your business objectives.