In current times, people are more interested in the digital transformation going around instead of the changes in the offline market industry. Although businessmen do not differentiate between offline and online, they certainly want the best outcomes for their business in any case. This brings us to the point that how rapidly retail technology is changing especially the post pandemic period. People’s lives have changed drastically along with the way people would do business. It is not the same old strategy that will work now as norms like social distancing and staying at home are to be followed by people living in pandemic affected areas. Some trends have created huge buzz in the retail industry and many business brands are benefiting from them, in some way or the other.
Few trends are discussed below:
POS System( e-commerce friendly system):
Business brands are utilizing the various e- commerce platforms to set up their business and earn revenue. The SaaS providers of an ERP solution meant specially for retailers had shared the monitoring of the ever increasing demand for a completely integrated POS and e-commerce. Retailers have a choice to sell online which is no worse than in the physical stores. There are business brands that have multiple sales channels which comprise both brick and mortar and e-stores which will need to synchronize both online and offline transactions. Therefore, e-commerce and POS integration will become the only solution during and even after the pandemic.
Evolution in Machine Learning:
The essential question on the minds of most retailers is going to be how the pandemic will affect demand of customers and what shifts can be pre- predicted. Although many retail owners are looking for utilizing big data and being able to forecast demand that is powered by machine learning algorithms which became a powerful method for customer optimization and supplier relationship management, logistics and manufacturing processes and in running smart marketing campaigns. Unlike the traditional methods of forecasting, the machine learning methods are easier and faster to implement. Therefore, the ML based demand forecasting is applicable in today’s reality.
Augmented shopping experience:
In a 2019, predictions report, Gartner indicated that by 2020 upto 100 million consumers will be expected to use augmented reality in their daily shopping experience. Indeed he said it right. There is a hike in demand for AR systems due to isolation during Covid-19 pandemic. The consumers can easily interact with products online in a modified way, by the try before buying approach. It makes shopping a convenient and happy experience for the buyer who would desire to return for availing more offers. Even before the pandemic, certain brands have begun to implement AR in their shopping centres by embracing virtual showrooms and fitting rooms for customers to try products being in a virtual setting. Recently, IKEA and Amazon have started to use AR-kit based apps to help consumers in powerfully visualizing what the new furniture will look like by shifting their phone cameras around the room.
As we are aware that AI is rapidly advancing in every industry. And we are introduced to Alexa, Siri, Bixby, MIcrosoft Cortana and also Google home assistant. There is no requirement of opening up any screen based application for interacting with voice-assistants, as these applications can very well understand your speech and react to the sound of the user’s voice. The novel concept of voice commerce is very close to e- commerce. These voice recognition technologies are utilized to drive sales through the mere use of voice assistants. Thereby, instead of typing in information about the product, the customers simply use the voice assistant to speak about the product.
In the end, it is noteworthy that retail technology has advanced with the digital era. It was a much needed change to bring more comfort and ease for consumers as time passses by.