According to recent research, keeping up with emerging tech is the modern retailer’s biggest challenge. And with new, more advanced technology cropping up every few months, it’s no wonder.
Staying tech savvy is crucial for keeping your business afloat in these rapidly shifting times. Customers expect the latest advancements—and if you don’t offer them, you can bet one of your competitors does.
To help you remain ahead of the curve, here are four major tech trends currently changing the face of retail that you can adopt today.
Welcome to the modern age, where shopping is a highly personal affair. Today, forward-thinking retailers are constantly tinkering with the customer experience to make it more about, well, the customer.
Data plays a large role in that personalization. Stores that really want to cater to the customer’s unique wants and needs will have to analyze not only their age and gender, but their shopping practices and past purchases, too.
Retailers can personalize a customer’s sales experience through a number of tech tools, including texting, email, social media, and marketing automation. One thing’s for sure: if you’re not prepared to make it personal, you’re not prepared to last long in this consumer-centric era.
Today’s consumers can buy products online and have them shipped via drone in a matter of hours. If you want to compete with that, you’d better up your convenience factor.
For many retailers, that means employing an omnichannel system—offering a number of different options for purchase and delivery of your products. For others, it involves streamlining the process of mobile shopping, or providing more self-service checkouts in-store. Next- and same-day delivery can also improve the convenience factor.
With a host of digital tools at their fingertips, many retailers are taking the shopping experience to a whole new level. Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) can help customers visualize how an item of furniture will look in their living room, how a piece of art piece will look on their wall, and even how a brand of lipstick will look on them.
For customers who are on the fence, experiences like that can help push them over to the side of buying, rather than abandoning their cart in indecision. Other stores are making the shopping experience more interactive with rewards, avatars, and mobile apps that can recommend products and pull up the user’s browsing history.
Artificial intelligence (AI)
If you’ve been keeping up with tech trends at all, it should come as no surprise that artificial intelligence (AI) makes the list. Many retailers are already using AI as a constantly available online sales assistant—perfect for the midnight browser—but its effectiveness can go much further than that.
In the coming years, we’ll probably see more AI working behind the scenes in operations and manufacturing—bringing greater efficiency in its wake. In fact, AI can prove useful for just about every step of the retail process, from restocking vending machines to providing business intelligence.
Staying on top of tech trends isn’t just a fun pastime—it’s vital if you want to stay relevant in the modern retail market. As you look to the future and start making tech a greater part of your business, eMazzanti can help provide vital integration support and guidance. Contact us today to learn more.