3 Important Tech Trends in the Retail Sector
As technology changes, so do people’s habits. For retail businesses, keeping up to date with the latest tech developments is key.
We are now beyond the point of having to explain why it’s important to have an online presence; these days, a website is a given, and the bare minimum a retailer – or in fact any publicly-facing company – needs to have if they want to stay afloat in a fast-changing, highly competitive global market.
However, while a website is your business’ platform to the world, what are the tools that are at your disposal for communicating your products, and convincing your market that they want to buy them from you?
The answer is an ever-changing assortment of new technological innovations that are making it faster, easier and more attractive for your potential customers to become your actual customers.
In this article, we are going to take a look at three of the most important innovations occurring in the retail world right now, and how they are changing the way people go shopping.
Unified Commerce is a new approach to running a retail business, which seeks to answer one of the main, recurring problems that customers face when seeking to make a purchase. Namely – going to a shop and finding that the item that they saw on your website is no longer in stock, or that it is in another store.
There are a number of companies that have built sophisticated software systems that aim to centralize all of a company’s stock, breaking down the walls between the stock room and the front of store, across different stores and in their online shops.
This allows customers to know exactly what store to visit to try or obtain what they want, and also allows shop assistants to more effectively help customers find it.
This is allowing companies such as French startup Proximis to empower smaller retailers with the technology to fight back against larger online retailers such as Amazon.
We’ve covered how Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) are changing marketing in a previous post. However, these two technologies belong to a broader category that sits at the crossroads of communication, marketing and entertainment, which is called Extended Reality (XR).
XR is essentially an umbrella term used to describe a merger of the virtual and real worlds. This can be something as simple as an app that allows a user to upload a picture of their hand, to see how a watch might look on it, to an entire new virtual world full of a company’s products, which users can navigate and discover, as in a game.
XR is important because the concept allows companies to broaden their horizons of how they can interact and sell to customers using the technological mediums that are available.
Today that is smartphones, laptops and VR masks, and in a decade it might be something completely new altogether.
Predictive Analytics and Big Data
This one may not come as a surprise, but it is still – and will continue to be – a major driver and influencer of how customers are interacting with the retail space as we move into the future.
The behavior of customers online has created a lot of data for retailers and marketers to use. And this has started to glean serious results in the form of AI-driven Predictive Analytics.
While shopping has traditionally been an emotional experience – we used to decide where to buy what we wanted and needed according to the relationships we formed with shop owners and brands – it has increasingly become an activity defined by convenience and price.
But that doesn’t mean that emotion has stopped playing a role in where and from whom we choose to buy products.
Predictive Analytics refers to technology that allows businesses to analyze data, and to improve their efficiency, offerings and marketing in response, taking into account a wide range of different factors, from price to location, convenience, historical preferences, emotional inclinations, and broader consumer trends.
Predictive Analytics is the future engine and oil of the online retail world, so if that is where your business is focused, you better be aware of it, and starting to use it too. .
At Bocasay, our teams of developers spread across the world Vietnam, Madagascar and Mauritius are constantly adapting to the evolving trends in marketing and online retail. Get in touch to find out how we can take your project to the next level.