With the advent of online shopping and e-commerce, the traditional retail store started dwindling and is at a position where it has to adapt or perish. With buyers exposed to a wider range of choice than ever before the landscape of the retail industry is quickly changing. But that doesn’t mean that the physical store is at the risk of being wholly outdated. Like any other archaic model, the retail sector could benefit by incorporating some new and developing technologies to transform the customer’s shopping experience. Let’s take a look at some of the potential technologies:
Augmented Reality (AR) could change the browsing experience of a customer at a retail unit, allowing the buyer to catalogue and compare several products or even see products in action where previously implausible. The biggest effect would be in the clothing sector, where smart mirrors, headsets and other AR technologies could transform the way shoppers consider their choices. AR videos could, for instance, demonstrate how a shower unit on display could work in real life.
Already being implemented by retail giants like Amazon, the scan-and-go cashless check-out model could quickly catch on to speed up and streamline the retail experience. Combined with technologies like chat bots and remote voice operation, it could not only make store clerks obsolete, but also integrate customer support into the customer experience.
Analytics and Big Data
Using analytics and environmental monitoring, retailers can monitor their customers’ needs and preferences more efficiently. The time spent in different sections of a store for instance, or customer preferences and developing trends can be tracked using AI and deep learning.
With a significant reduction in footfall in brick and mortar stores, efficient delivery systems are compensating for the drop. While still in the early stages of development, drones could soon find mainstream acceptance. Dominos recently delivered its first pizza by drone in New Zealand, and Amazon has been tinkering with the technology for half a decade.