Technological Advancements in the Retail Industry
The retail industry is one of the highest revenue generators of all sectors globally. The retail business has transformed tremendously and is continuously evolving its services to make its process robust. Bygone are those days when the consumers had only one option, which is to go to the nearest physical store; physically shop from there. But with the inception of Industry 4.0, technology has made a tremendous paradigm shift of the entire business world globally. Every industry including the retail sector is embracing the digital transformation; in their process to increase their efficiency and make more revenue.
What are the technological advancements in the retail industry?
Internet of things (IoT):
Internet of things (IoT) is a technology that connects billions of devices that interact with each other to share information. The retail industry can make the most of this technology to design and execute engaging and innovative shopping experiences. Furthermore, many retailers use the Internet of Things in various aspects of their business. Beacons are one of the small device’s technologies where IoT is used which integrates Bluetooth Low Energy and transfers the data continuously. This information is picked by a smartphone and transferred to a cloud server which can be used to target content to a specific device.
This technology can be used immensely in inventory management with the use of RFID guns and smartphones. Retailers can assign each product with a unique RFID tag which will help; spot the location, size, color, or process of the product. The retail cashier can scan the RFID tag during billing to reduce the product automatically from the stocks. Moreover, during the inventory, they can move the RFID guns in the aisle to automatically calculate the stocks and understand; the product shrinkage and pilferage. These RFID tags will give a detailed overview of the product journey; right from the manufacturer to sales to returns and exchange.
Cashier-less retail store:
The recent pandemic surged the world; which led the retailers to find new solutions to perform their business. For instance, retailers are looking for an opportunity that helps to deliver a contactless shopping experience for their customers. Implementation of the best cloud-based point of sale software will help retailers deploy the system; on the customer’s phone. This software will help the retail customers to scan the products, bill, and pay for them through their phone to ensure contactless delivery.
Facial recognition integration:
Facial recognition is one of the powerful tools that businesses; can use to enrich the customer experience and secure the business process. This technology can help retailers increase online sales while selling face accessories or make-up products. For example, retailers that sell sunglasses or lenses can integrate facial recognition on the online sales platform so that the system can capture your face and customers can check how does it suit their face? Furthermore, the retailers can implement a facial recognition app; to grant access to the areas where only authorized personnel is allowed like the warehouse. The facial recognition feature; can be used to identify loyal customers by face to give rewards or loyalty bonuses.
Delivery and store robot’s assistants:
Automation is taking over every industry and has immense potential to reform the retail process. The retailers can create robots that help consumers shop and recommend products based on their purchase history or preferences. Additionally, retailers are also exploring the possibility of advanced robots to automate the delivery process, which they can use in the warehouse to process online orders.
Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are changing; the business paradigm and are robust technology. Implementation of AR and VR will help retail businesses to create a live simulation for products that cannot be tried physically. For instance, products like camping tents; cannot be experienced at the stores with the assistance of AR and VR retailers can make more sales.
Voice assisted stores:
Voice-assisted technology is another invention of the 21st century that has immense potential to simplify the process. Retailers can implement this technology in their customer service departments to automate the process and answer customer queries. Additionally, voice assistance will help to improve the customer experience and guide them through the shopping process.
Retailers can use artificial intelligence (AI) in their process to analyze business reports and customer preferences. Artificial intelligence will help the retail business owners to personalize the customer shopping experience based on their preferences; to create a loyal customer base.
Technology plays a crucial role in the success of any retail business and will evolve the business process in the future as well. Additionally, technology can help the retail business owners to make the most of their resources and increase the revenue to increase the profit margin.