The shopping bag has long been the universal symbol of the retail industry. But the new age of hyper-connectivity and emerging consumer trends mean that lugging a bundle of bags through a shopping mall may soon be a thing of the past.
Online shopping was one thing, but the Internet of Things (IoT) is shaping the retail industry in ways no one could have predicted a decade ago. Here’s what the future of retail looks like—soon coming to a store near near you!
IoT: A Network of Convenience
IoT has been one of the hottest buzzwords surrounding retail for some time now, but for the unfamiliar, here’s what you need to know.
IoT is the catch-all term for a network of interconnected devices, appliances, vehicles, and other items that use machine-to-machine (M2M) connectivity to communicate with each other and maximize customer convenience. Already in play with devices like Amazon’s Alexa, IoT is opening up a world of possibilities where hyper-customized, on-demand services dominate the landscape.
A Look into the Future
With automation taking over the world, what will the future of retail look like? New developments are already giving us some hints.
DIY retail will rule the day. Amazon Go, Amazon’s newest experimental convenience store, is striving to allow shoppers to pick up and pay for purchases without ever reaching for their wallet or waiting in a line. The clothing company Bonobos already utilizes a system where you pick out items in a physical store, only to have them shipped straight to your door once you leave. And the start-up company Bodega made waves last year when it showed off a five-foot-wide pantry box stocked with non-perishable items that would unlock through an app and replace your local convenience store.
Ultra fast delivery will also mean these purchases arrive in a hurry. Automated warehouses where orders are received, packaged, and shipped by robots are already a reality, as are deliveries by drone. And Amazon is pushing hard to be able to provide deliveries in as little as 30 minutes.
The startup WePlenish and Amazon’s “Dash Button” provide the best examples of the ultra-convenient lifestyle consumers will soon come to demand. These features ensure you’ll never run out of essentials like coffee, toilet paper, or cereal by giving you containers that automate your inventory and restock items on their own.
Prepping for the New Wave
If you’re a business owner, this rapid acceleration into the age of automation might seem concerning. But with a bit of expert guidance, you’ll find there are a heap of positives to look forward to.
A comprehensive system that links your devices so you have the fast and accurate coordination to boost your point of sale is sure to be a boon to your business—if implemented correctly. The retail IT specialists at eMazzanti can help. To stay ahead of the curve and meet the new wave head on, get in touch today.