The new technologies still continue to reshape the retail industry in interesting and unexpected manner. The conversational commerce was fairly unknown by the year 2016 when it entered in the retail market, but since last year, the sector has taken major steps into conversational commerce with new solutions by using artificial intelligence and chatbox for interacting with the customers. The retail industry is highly powered by digital technology. A huge number of outlets are closing their doors as the traditional retail industry is in crisis. According to the reports of Fung Global Retail & Technology, around 6,985 bricks and mortar stores were closed in the year 2017. This was more than twice as many as closed in the previous year - 229% more to be precise. Reshaping retail steps out the driving cause, recent trends and consequences of the transformation in retail triggered by the technology. A stronger focus on retailers by using the data collected from customers for identifying and launching new products and services with traditional divisions between the product, retailer and brand has broken down.
Technology Reshaping Retail Industry
As per the trends the physical retailers are aggressively developing online channels for competing with purely digital players, a shift is seen in the opposite direction to increase the highest growing outlets in their sector. According to the study of Zebra around 72% of the retailers plan to invent their supply chain with real-time visibility which enables the process of automation, sensors, and analytics. Based on the retail presentations and new technology solutions, the industry is betting big on radio transparency identification technology to reinvent the process of the supply chain. Retailers are already creating a significant investment in tech such as Walmart spent more than $10.5 billion on IT companies in the year 2015, top on the list of world biggest technology spenders.
The journey of shopping has been rewritten due to the economic and technological shifts in the market. What was first transactional in nature is instead focusing on relationship building? These shifts have taken the plethora of store closings thus giving an increase in the notion of impending retail apocalypse. In recent years, the talk of Amazon has dominated the industry gatherings but at National Retail Federation’s Annual Show, the internet retailer’s behemoth was largely mentioned only in hush tones. The floor of NRF in 2018 gave a glimpse of the ways by which technology is reshaping the retail industry in the coming years (2020):
Every consumer is clearly communicating with the retailers that they need a more personalized shopping experience. As per the reports of Accenture, 56% of the consumers said that they would be more likely to shop at a store or website that they know by the name. About 58% of the consumers said that they would like to buy when the retailers recommend them to purchase.
According to the reports of MarketsandMarkets, the retail spending on an analytic solution could top $8.64 billion by the year 2022. Retailers are highly investing in predictive analysis, and are particularly incorporating the solutions of artificial intelligence technology and the machine learning capabilities for maximum growth.
Ways of Technology in Retail Industry
In recent years, the retailers have been counted among the organizations hardest hit byte cyber attackers. As per the reports of Trustwave Global Security in the year 2018, the retail industry has suffered a lot more data breaches than any other industry in 2017 that accounts for 16.7% of the incidents.
Some of the biggest and new technologies that are reshaping the retail industry are described in detail as below:
It may seem to be strange to start off with the list of robotics because the reality is that the robotics technology has become fairly compliance in the ratio industry or at least in the supply chain. There are several retailers and other brands that are making this migration sometime for Amazon, which has now been around 45,000 robots working in a warehouse and other aspects of supply & logistics & shipping industry.
Robotics in Retail Industry
According to the stats, Hudson’s Bay Company recently committed to expanding its use in robotic fulfillment system. But this year, they are bound to see the use of robots in retail to expand beyond the supply chain. A huge number of retailers have already experimented with the robotic device in their stores.
For an instance, it seems 2016 was the year that took drone delivery as ready to take off, then the feds case some doubt about it over the whole sector saying that they might not get around to finalize the regulations governing drone delivery for another few years. So, what is there reason to stay excited about drone delivery in the year 2018?
Drone Delivery in Retail Industry
For one, there are companies who contuse to advance their drone delivery projects, and some may even be ready to edge their way out of the lab for expanding into larger pilot programs. While Amazon, was once called as the first successful drone delivery company in the year 2016 in U.K. it continues to be active on the drone delivery fronts by filling and earning patents.
After a couple of tough years, the adoption and the use of EMV chip cards and payment terminals started to take off in the year 2016. But, no sooner did the industry see progress using the EMV fight in store fraud and then it realized that it has a much bigger and broader security problem on its hands, e-commerce fraud.
Ecommerce Anti-Fraud Tools
Later in the year 2016, the sector saw a couple of payments companies like MasterCard and Stripe, that started to address the problems with new anti-fraud tools which leveraged the artificial intelligence & machine learning capabilities for identifying the fraud signals and patterns, and potentially predict the fraud before it happens.
As we know that, Blockhain technology is essentially sharing edging technology which allows the companies and their partners for managing and tracking the complex digital transaction accurately as well as security storing the digital values or objects which are involved in those transactions for the further easy process.
Walmart is one of the first retailers who have planned an international blockchain implementation as it looks to impose better tracking of its pork and produce transaction in China. The future of digital currency bitcoin is bit harder to predict even though most retailers have allowed their customers to buy things using bitcoin.
If you have made the acquaintance of Apple Siri, Amazon Alexa & Google Home or Cortana, then you must be aware that this is not a new trend, but one that will have the much greater impact this year than ever before. Our lives & shopping activities are soon going to overrun by virtual or as some say, digital assistants.
The assistant from Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, and IBM are already among us, but there are much more to come in 2019 from Nokia & Samsung. Never to be outdone, Google’s plainly named assistant last year has announced that it is expected to gain new capabilities throughout the year as Google looks to challenge Amazon in this space.
With the combination of extensive desk and field research, the interviews with leading retailers, technologists, customers and the experiences of practitioners in these areas will help in reshaping retail and will help & inspire the store retailers for making the required information now to win in the new consumer-driven world. It's now or never for leading retailers to rethink about their marketing strategy, what constitutes their product, a store and even a customer in this next era of retail. All they need is a backup from these technologies to reshape the retail industry in digital sector.