Tuesday, December 13, 2016

The Future of Retail

Emerging technology is impacting on every industry these days and the retail sector is no different. According to research, retail store formats are being overhauled and various digital technologies are integrated. 

All in the Name of Overcoming Challenges

What is the ultimate aim of technological advances? It is to meet and overcome various challenges from consumers. The emerging tech trends in retail are aimed at doing just that. Consumers these days have to deal with fast-paced lives, and their shopping experiences have to meet the needs created by this. In this increasingly demanding world, customer experience is enhanced with various technological applications. 

High-Tech Shopping

Consumers are given more options with online shopping. The popularity of social media is leveraged to achieve instant feedback and product reviews. Instead of phoning in enquiries or driving from store to store, price comparisons take mere moments. In an increasingly mobile world, access to goods while consumers are on-the-go is becoming effortless. Retailers strive to create a unique, personalised shopping experience with targeted messaging and marketing by using big data. There are drive-through pick-up locations aimed at buyers who prefer time-efficient and targeted shopping trips instead of large stock-up shopping excursions. Remote, interactive product showrooms enable shoppers to try out products at their leisure without the help of programmed sales associates. Before buying, they can now have an immersive experience. It seems like shopping is fast becoming akin to a sci-fi film.

Is It the End of People in Retail?

Despite the phenomenal developments in retail tech, all the digital dooh-dahs in the world still don’t stand up to the human touch. The human race is fundamentally a helpful bunch. We are programmed to be that way. We are also programmed to expect something in return for being helpful and this is where money comes in. Conversely, when we spend money, we expect some level of service and we have come to get used to being served. Luckily, it all works out in the end. Yes, technology is deemed a threat to many retail workers, but it should really be seen as a way in which an outstanding workforce can be even better. Retail workers can rest assured that the machines are not taking over. At least, not yet… 

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