Retailers around the world are experiencing a seismic shift in their industry and the competition is fierce. These four trends will reshape how they sell and market to their customers, and it's up to you to stay ahead of the curve.
Shopping, online experiences, and customer expectations have all changed in the digital space. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the industry has been turned upside down, leading to unprecedented technological advances.
For us to continue moving forward in the years to come, it's important to determine the technology trends that guided us through 2020 and 2021 and will guide us in the years to come. Below are four key innovations in the retail industry which have drastically impacted consumer behaviour and has ultimately
Due to the fears and restrictions surrounding in-person shopping, E-commerce has surged during the COVID-19 pandemic. To boost their online sales processes, business owners have optimized their e-commerce platforms.
Because of lockdowns and health risks associated with the pandemic, retail stores are closing at a record rate in 2020. Companies from small to large scale have all been severely affected by these, some even lead to retrenchments and business closures.
Retailers are in high demand for fully integrated POS and e-commerce solutions offered by SaaS providers. As in physical stores, retailers must have solutions that enable them to sell products online efficiently, integrate systems, and satisfy customers.
There may be a need for something more than just an online and in-person option. Eventually, the e-commerce and POS integration will need to be synchronized between these two domains. During and after the pandemic, this will make it easy to integrate online and offline transactions, inventory, and promotions across all in-person locations and online stores.
The pandemic and the incessant rise of technology have also paved the way for augmented reality to be a new trend. Many users have used this feature to try on new clothes and things, with a whopping record of 100 million consumers using it by 2020. Customer conversion rates for AR engaged users have increased by 90%. In 2021, augmented reality will have a significant role to play in the retail industry.
The use of augmented reality in virtual fitting rooms is one of the most fascinating innovations in the retail industry. With public health mandates during the COVID-19 pandemic making it more difficult to manage the try-before-you-buy concept, augmented reality is in a unique position to help consumers make choices about products.
While many other retailers suffered losses during the flu pandemic, other companies saw great success with the use of augmented reality technology in 2020. Smartphones will help customers "try on" their products like jewellery and cosmetics through virtual fitting rooms. Leading brands have opted to try this out, giving opportunities to their patrons to be on the hot releases and sales that they have virtually. With the fast development of mobile applications as facilitated by software developers, consumers have increasingly become more adapted to these new trends, making it a standard whenever they shop.
With the rise of data science and machine learning, personalisation plays a critical role in retail success. These technologies are essential to the ability of personalisation to make automated suggestions to consumers.
As technology trends continue to develop, consumer desires will be key. Machine learning can adapt to each user's shopping experience based on their purchase data by using consumer purchase data to build shopping profiles. Since e-commerce stores allow for greater personalisation, they have traditionally had more success with personalised shopping.
However, small to medium businesses are not far behind. By utilising Bluetooth Low Energy and RFID technologies for data collection, retailers can enhance retail personalisation by utilizing minimal amounts of power and power consumption.
Businesses that collect customer data must take care to protect customer privacy. Keeping in line with privacy protection laws can work to a business' advantage as consumers may feel more comfortable trusting them and be more likely to return to the business.
Personalised services provided by chatbots powered by natural language processing have proven to be a boon for e-commerce websites. Using chatbots to communicate more effectively with visitors, offer deals, make recommendations, map out the website, and track orders, businesses can save a great deal of money.
With social distancing still relevant for protecting public health in 2021, cashier-less and staff-free stores are an important retail trend to consider. Aside from the notable impact of the pandemic, consumers have been keener for convenient, remote shopping experiences. This has forced stores and most businesses to opt for deliveries and online payments saving them from the hassle of going physically. With the advent of social media and its integration into these several platforms, conversing with salespeople or bots have become possible.
In order to accomplish this goal, RFID tags, computer vision systems, machine learning, and IoT devices can be used. Customers can reduce the use of touch in stores to reduce cross-contact in the future. With smartphones, consumers can scan barcodes and QR codes to find out more information without touching the items directly.
Throughout 2020 and 2021, COVID-19 proved to be an incredibly challenging event for the retail industry, but technology has made great progress and improvements. Several technologies such as machine learning, data science, computer vision, augmented reality, and more have made progress possible in the face of 2020's challenges.
If you are looking for a way to fully integrate these new developments into your company’s system, schedule a 20-minute expert consultation with our team to find out more.