Technology is changing the way the world works, and the world of retail is rapidly changing to keep up. Retail is facing new challenges from Amazon and other e-commerce sites, so any potential advantage must be utilized to survive. One of these advantages is technology and some of the exciting possibilities it offers retailers. Retailers will have the options of advertising using interactive technology like touchscreens and displays, Quick Response (QR) codes, Near-Field Communication (NFC), Beacons, tablets, and more.
- Screens and displays have gone digital. This allows retailers several advantages over old-school displays, such as reducing costs and improving your customer experience by letting customers experience products and brands more vividly. For example, a display could show customers how particular garments were modeled on the runway.
- Another exciting development is virtual mirrors featuring Virtual Reality (VR) technology. This will allow customers to see how they look in different garments, colors, or sizes all without trying any physical items on. There is even talk of AI helping to optimize your “best outfit.”
- Another new way of reaching customers with media and content are QR codes. These are rooted in the Japanese automotive industry and the concept of just-in-time manufacturing. This means retailers have the potential of having more accurate and up-to-date manufacturing and inventory information if they implement QR codes in their supply chain. QR codes also allow customers to scan products with their smartphones which can lead them to URL links for ads, ticketing options, product information, app downloads, and more.
- Tablet use is also emerging in stores, both used by customers and salespeople. Customer tablet use can help reduce costs, and improve the customer experience (think tablets for entertainment at restaurants). Use by salespeople can help improve efficiency as well as give supportive/additional customer information that could help during a sale.
- Retailers are also using NFC and Beacon technology to reach customers. Using NFC technology, a customer can hold their smartphone to a product and view customized rich media, receive special targeted offers, share specific experiences, and even make purchases. Customer use of NFC can also be beneficial for retailers wanting to gather customer data.
- Beacon technology uses bluetooth technology to track when customers enter a store or are near. Retailers can use beacons to send targeted, relevant messaging and offers as well as direct them in-store to products.
Retailers are waging a battle against Amazon and e-commerce. They need to do everything possible to give customers an in-store experience that can’t be matched online. Some of the technology discussed like interactive touchscreens and displays, QR codes, tablets, NFC, and beacons can be implemented to help give retailers that edge over online shopping. Reach out to learn more about how TechStak can help you find and hire the right tech pros to evolve your business.
About the Author, Sean Walsh
Sean is a Digital Marketing and Brand Communication Intern at TechStak. He has over four years of experience running and growing corporate social media platforms. Sean is a lifelong lover of the latest technology and gadgets. He attends the University of Michigan-Dearborn and will soon graduate with a Bachelor of Business Administration focused in Marketing.
Image from Professor Philipp Rauschnabel, POS Technologies, 2017, University of Michigan-Dearborn.