Technology is changing the way that customers are interacting with retail and brands. Retail is facing emerging trends like smart objects, being “always” connected with the internet of things (IoT), and finding new ways to reach segmented consumer markets. These tech trends may be shaping how the retail store of the future works and looks for consumers.
Stores are becoming more “smart.” This means that stores are starting to take advantage of technology to automate store processes to improve their customer experience (CX). Smart objects include carts that can give voice directions to items in store and mirrors that use augmented reality (AR) to show how products look on customers without ever putting them on. Other examples of smart objects are robots to restock inventory, price tags that are easily updated, shelves that can give accurate inventory numbers, as well as lights and thermostats that can be easily updated and controlled for specific reasons.
Retail is using technology to become more automated and always connected to customers. Signs are connected to the IoT and are easily updated with new deals or prices. Inventory can feature Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology to give accurate inventory levels in real-time. Along that same line, sensors can monitor the quality and age of perishable items. Customers will be able to use the IoT to get product info by scanning bar-codes with mobile phones or wearables. Customers will also be able to use their mobile phones or wearables to call for assistance or check store inventory levels.
Retail is also becoming more personalized for customers. Stores are beginning to segment customers, and are realizing who their core customers are. Beacon technology can be used to send personalized digital coupons to target these core customers when they are in proximity to the store. These coupons will be based on your shopping history, which will also be used to give you product recommendations. Amazon is even experimenting with contactless and automatic checkout based on facial recognition software.
Advances in technology are changing the way customers are interacting with stores and brands. Smart objects, connected objects utilizing the IoT, and personalized content for customers are literally changing the way stores operate and look. If Amazon’s cashierless store is deemed a success, retailers will need to adapt or risk being left behind. 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, E-Tailing & Retailing, 2017, University of Michigan-Dearborn.