the future of retail

TECH IN RETAIL: 2020

The Indian retail sector is expected to witness significant changes in the new normal. Contactless shopping is expected to be on the rise with consumers avoiding crowded stores and preferring lower exposures. Retailers can expect lesser shopping sprees, however, there will be more planned purchases as opposed to impulsive buying. Retailers will have to adopt technologies to close the gap between the digital and physical worlds.

Top retail tech trends in the pipeline

  • Prescriptive analytics will finally take over predictive analytics 
  • Check-out free experiences will be refined
  • A mobile-first will become mandatory 
  • Voice search and personal assistants 
  • IoT will bridge the gap between the digital and physical environments 
  • Stores will grow as fulfillment centers for digital channels 

Retailers have pushed investments in the IT sector due to ERP implementation and eCommerce management. The stack can be segmented into 5 major business areas.

The whole pandemic has got businesses reconsidering how they invest in digital because the way customers and businesses will interact will drastically change in the coming years. Businesses should reconsider how they communicate with customers overall.   

Retailers need to invest in tools & technologies to stay ahead of the competition. These tools don’t simply reduce your overhead and improve your planning but they have become essential tools to help retail businesses thrive and grow in the market.

When you normally go to a store, you try out a piece of clothing, you see if it fits and then decide whether to buy it or not. However, post the pandemic people are a bit apprehensive to try out clothes others have tried. Retailers might start installing virtual mirrors. Essentially when you stand in front of a mirror pretending that you’re wearing the particular attire you choose. 

With fewer number of employees expected to be in retail stores, retailers are expected to start deploying robots at every stage of the retail chain. 

An effective example is SoftBank’s robot – Pepper. Pepper, with the help of computer vision, can easily detect human emotions and engage with them in multiple languages. It can play music, dance, and take selfies with customers to light up their mood. 

Another example is LoweBot, developed by Lowe’s innovation lab. This robot is able to understand multiple languages and help consumers effectively navigate stores.

As the retail industry hits “reset” and charts out an entirely new shopping journey, retailers need not only make shoppers feel safe but have to constantly innovate & enhance their experiences.  

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