In 2023, almost every industry will be tech-driven. From automated software and applications to artificial intelligence, tech has disrupted every sector, and retail is no different. The emergence of eCommerce has changed buying and selling patterns. Likewise, AI, computer vision, and data analytics have massively improved the shopping experience for modern-day consumers.
Tech innovations also promise to provide an incredible customer experience. The live chatbots are available 24/7, answering queries and questions around the clock. Similarly, autonomous assistants have taken over all repetitive tasks, optimizing productivity levels. These evolutions are encouraging retailers to integrate tech and improve operational efficiency. Besides driving profitability, technology can improve workflows and business processes.
It is time retailers find ways to leverage technology and connect with consumers through innovative ways. If you are unsure about the role of tech in the retail industry, let us show you the ropes. Here we have outlined six ways technology has revolutionized the retail sector.
1. Seamless Inventory Management
Have you heard of an inventory control system? As managing inventory is becoming complicated due to rising demand, retailers prefer automating this process. It enables retailers to determine which products they have in stock, how many they sell, and inventory received by suppliers. Now, the question is, how does this system work? It comes with a bluetooth scanner integrated with the inventory management software.
Every time the fulfillment officer scans the product, it enters the system that enables tracking. The software also updates the database. The software will update automatically if the stock moves from the warehouse to the store. All in all, your store performance will be a click away. You can select different products and view prices, margins, dates sold, and UPCs. It will allow retailers to create categories with various classifications, helping with business reports.
2. Frictionless Checkout
Frictionless checkout is all about offering a shopping experience where friction is reduced to a minimum. Simply put, transactions must be easy and fast to encourage impulse buying. For this, retailers must rethink their processes and adopt new technologies to provide a secure and quick checkout option. A patented system, OASIS, can now build and operate automated stores. It has different APIs integrated into the retailer’s front-end and POS systems.
As a result, customers can tap and pay through their cards or mobile wallets, enabling cashless transactions. Retailers can also extend operating hours and optimize store operations. Likewise, it provides more convenience to consumers, making their shopping experience time-saving and straightforward.
3. Predictive Analytics
Truthfully, managing demand levels in a volatile and fluctuating economy can be arduous. However, keeping track of demand and supply is primary in ensuring customer retention. Luckily, tech innovations have enabled retailers to anticipate demand through predictive analytics.
As customers have different shopping options online, those platforms collect data through artificial intelligence. They also use AI to manage logistics and stock levels. How about you deploy AI algorithms to complement the stocking routine? AI will identify purchase trends and analyze them to anticipate changes in consumer demand. Accordingly, you can purchase stock, avoiding surpluses.
However, most retailers believe this technology comes with a hefty price tag, but that’s not true. There is no need for extensive investment or technical expertise. You can integrate this technology using cameras and a well-trained AI algorithm. It will allow retailers to anticipate demand and ensure customer walks out of the store satisfied.
4. Key Differentiator – Personalization
Previously, retailers personalized shopping experiences by sending customized emails. But now, they can go way beyond this. Artificial intelligence and omnichannel journeys have allowed retailers to adopt a broader perspective of what customers want. Accordingly, they can determine what products to offer and when. That way, customers will see personalized ads and get recommendations based on past purchases.
If a customer bought a mobile phone a few days ago, you could recommend mobile accessories like headphones, chargers, phone cases, etc. Further, you can use AI to provide personalized discounts to customers by enabling push notifications. You can send discount offers when a customer is nearby your retail outlet. When a customer is nearby, a tempting discount offer will be enough to bring them to the store. That way, you can influence purchase decisions while differentiating them from competitors.
5. Facial Recognition Tools
The concept of loyalty cards was popular amongst retailers, but unfortunately, it is no longer effective. Now, retailers want to know their customers inside out to provide a personalized shopping experience. However, they don’t have the luxury of recognizing every customer that comes through the door. Here, facial recognition software can come in handy. It can scan different reference points across a person’s face to identify their unique face print. Identifying consumers through this software will help your sales team respond to customers’ needs.
Furthermore, this technology can enable loss prevention. Unlike your security personnel, the software can spot the shoplifter accurately. It can also compare faces against the database of known shoplifters to enable theft prevention. You can streamline security and save your business from unexpected losses.
6. Autonomous Assistants
Sci-fi already painted a picture of a world being operated by robots. That vision has almost become a reality – thanks to autonomous assistants. They have built-in 3D scanners that help recognize products and lead customers to those products by navigating the score. In addition, they can also answer questions relating to price and product quality. If the assistant doesn’t know the answer, they will start a video conference with a sales representative.
Furthermore, retailers can utilize autonomous assistants in the supply chain to check and identify stock. They will gather data to improve customer experience and optimize store layouts. Amazon has already started using robots to move stock around the warehouse for order fulfillment. In turn, it led to a drop of 20% in operating costs.
Technological advancements have changed the way customers interact with retail brands. Similarly, it is transforming the way retailers run their businesses. The emergence of artificial intelligence and machine learning has given access to autonomous assistants. It has allowed retailers to automate operational process flows and boost efficiency. The savvy applications and software solutions provide real-time access to data, enabling retailers to make more apt decisions.