Retail Technology Trends to Watch

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Retail is still undergoing a major transformation as the physical and digital worlds both collide and complement each other. Retail firms are increasingly embracing technology for the very obvious intention of overtaking less developed rivals, attracting new customers and gradually rising revenues.

Shopping in-store brings a lot of complaints, most critically from poor stock availability followed by poor customer service and receiving a voucher or special offer for a product that was not available when they visited the store to redeem it. However, there is a similar frustration with online shopping, where many experience delays in the delivery of the item they purchased and others complain that the product they received was not as online.
So what do shoppers expect the future to bring? For one thing, they expect technology to play an increasingly bigger role in the in-store experience.

Take a closer look at Technological trends that will affect the retail sector in 2021

1. Machine Learning:- With the arrival of data science and machine learning, many retailers are looking to automate processes and use big data to improve processes. The machine learning approach to building accurate demand forecasts makes it possible to predict the number of goods to be purchased in the future on the basis of past data. It is capable of improving customer and supplier relationship management, optimizing logistics and manufacturing processes, and conducting smart marketing campaigns.

2. Smart Mirrors:- Fitting rooms are a must-have component of clothing shopping, but customers detest them. In a survey conducted by Body Labs, 46 percent of consumers found hate to try clothes in the fitting room. Neiman-Marcus’ Memory Mirror aims to solve this problem. This mirror is actually a camera and screen which records a video to provide a 360-degree view of how a dress looks on. It also provides a comparison of how a shopper looks in two different dresses. Zara has deployed smart mirrors in one of the stores, that read RFID tags on clothes that have been pulled from racks and provide similar types of clothes.

3. Augmented And Virtual Realities:- AR has been around a while, Lacoste, American Apparel and Uniqlo have opened virtual showrooms and fitting rooms to allow customers to test products in virtual spaces. Ikea is using an app named, ARKit:-which is used to encourage customers to visualize what new furniture will look like in a room while moving their phone cameras around in real-time.AR technology allows users to play with merchants’ products and see how they would look and fit in a room or on themselves

4. Checkout-Free Stores:- Many customers spend a lot of time waiting for their turn to come in the queues. Amazon Go is a new kind of store with no need for a checkout. That means you’re never going to have to wait in line when you shop at Amazon Go. Sam’s Club also introduced a self-checkout app.

5. Voice-Enabled Shopping:- Voice-based communication has earned much attention, but a new way is through a visual search for new products by consumers. Voice-enabled shopping is faster, as we can speak more wards than we can type, isn’t it?. Amazon’s Echo device appears to have an early lead in this market. Retailers including Dunkin ‘Donuts, Domino’s and Starbucks have created Skills for Amazon’s Alexa that let buyers order items from Echo and other Amazon-based devices. The boom in voice-activated systems has been driven largely by companies like Amazon and Google with their Alexa and Google Home products.

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