Machine Learning, Chatbots and Big data ruled the retail technology trends last season. While personalization and robotics are among other trends in news this year, we bring to you some rather interesting tech trends to watch out in the retail industry.
Platform Style companies are the future of the retail industry and offer diverse experiences and products to consumers across an unprecedented number of channels. They incorporate a rich array of new technologies and data that maximizes their strengths at present while expanding their horizons to offer products and experiences across boundaries, channels and different stages of the customer’s journey. The following technologies can rule 2018 and help companies adopt the future-ready platform style:
Artificial intelligence (AI) enabled customer service
According to a recent Zendesk study, 42% of B2C customers show purchase interest post experiencing good customer service, while 52% stop purchasing due to a sub-par customer service experience. AI enables real-time self-service for customer service platforms, as the combination of Machine Learning algorithms and Natural Language Processing (NLP) software allows customers to interact with chatbots and accomplish minor service tasks themselves without relying on a human resource.
Digital receipts for offline stores
E-receipt for products purchased is a new concept that is gaining popularity. They are convenient, offers the same benefits as of that a physical receipt, and are also less likely to be misplaced as customers can store them on their hard disks as long as they want.
Augmented reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR)
Customization and Personalization are the two impactful goals in the retail industry. AR and VR help in achieving them.
AR aids customers and simplifies their shopping experience. This technology enables the display of information when products or stores are viewed in images or through a smartphone’s camera, as seen on software like Google Lens. It also helps customers find their way to reach desired product within a store, by bringing up the store layout after recognizing it. In short, AR helps customers make informed decisions while purchasing by helping them find the available products and enabling access to more detailed product information.
VR helps customers to visualize and gauge an idea about how the product will look and feel once it is put into use. By simulating reality, customers can tell how an article of clothing would look when worn, or how a painting might look on a wall. This reduces the return percentage of retail products and increases customer satisfaction.
Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)
This conventional use of this technology was to combat theft and loss. However, it is now slowly been used for in-store insights, which was a pressing issue for brick and mortar retailers.
Robots are expected to be a useful resource both in front of the store and in the warehouse. Compared to the human alternative, robots can work tirelessly around the clock and without errors and are steadily becoming less expensive. This would add immense value to performance and productivity.