Thanks to smartphones, humans have shorter attention spans than goldfish. All the new retail technology coming out will hopefully help combat this issue.
According to a study by Microsoft, the average human being has an attention span of eight seconds. This is a sharp decrease from the average attention span of 12 seconds in the year 2000.
For businesses, this means they have 8 seconds to create an engagement with a customer before they lose interest.
Engaging and connecting consumers through technology is one solution retail companies are working with. As 2019 nears, retail companies should be considering these latest retail technology options.
AI, or artificial intelligence, is human-like or intelligent behavior exhibited by computers and machines that are “trained” by data to make autonomous decisions. Artificial Intelligence can process enormous amounts of data from multiple sources to identify solutions and/or opportunities.
Right now, retail is using AI to power things like heat maps. This shows where and when customers are moving around your online store. Heat maps help businesses because they’re able to see what parts of the store work and what parts need some help.
Another use of Artificial intelligence in retail technology is pricing. A store like Amazon has vast amounts of pricing data and sophisticated pricing applications that allow them to rapidly respond to changes in consumer demand and competitors’ pricing.
AI can level the playing field by offering applications that adjust prices automatically based on non-store data and competitors’ pricing. Virtual assistants will be available for retail technology soon and will help enhance the customer experience even more. They will give customers recommendations for certain products and accept payments as well.
According to Deloitte, over a third of major brand leaders are using AI to improve business. One of the major developments in the AI movement is cashier-less stores. Amazon Go, an automated grocery store in Seattle, eliminates checkout lines and cashiers.
Augmented reality (AR) is an interactive experience of a real-world environment where the objects that reside in the real-world are “augmented” by computer-generated perceptual information. Sometimes they’re augmented across multiple sensory modalities, including visual, auditory, haptic, somatosensory, and olfactory.
What used to be a far-fetched solution in retail technology, is now expected by 75% of consumers in the near future. Augmented reality is completely changing shopping experiences.
Being in a store packed with people can deter you from trying on products. Some brands are currently looking to us AR to allow customers to virtually try on 3D products.
Others are using this retail technology to see how furniture or décor items would look in a customer’s actual home environment.
Beauty retailers could use Augmented reality to so consumers how they would look with their makeup on instead of using one of their samples at the counter.
For example, Sephora has a mobile application where users can virtually sample makeup in real time. By using filters on their selfies, users are able to see which makeup products they like before they buy.
Consumers feel more connected to products they can visualize on.
Blockchain has emerged as an exciting new, technology retail trend across the industry. It is used for securing online payments and for speedy transactions.
Blockchain will also allow complete transparency between retailers and customers.
This gives retailers the ability to prove that products are responsibly sourced, ethical and adds a new level of trust to the brand-customer relationship.
In other words, customers are able to identify more information about the products they are considering to buy thanks to the blockchain.
This new retail technology gives physical stores the opportunity to level the playing field with online retailers.
A recent Walker study found that by 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator. Today’s customers will expect companies to know their individual needs and to personalize the experience to meet those needs.
Biometrics are biological measurements – fingerprints, facial recognition, and even certain demographics – used to identify us, and their impact on retail analytics is popping up in surprising ways.
Biometrics in retail would work by collecting a consumer’s data (shopping habits and demographics) online. Once a consumer walks into an actual shop, they are identified using facial recognition or a ping from their smartphone.
Their shopping history and preferences are immediately beamed to a sales associate’s tablet, which arms the associate to provide a personalized shopping experience. Not only does this help your shopping experience, but it also helps prevent theft and credit card fraud.
Many companies are also working on authenticating payments through fingerprint or iris scan.
Voice searches and voice assistants have piqued users’ interest over the years. According to Gartner, about 30% of all searches will be done without a screen by 2020 and 50% of all searches will be voice searches.
Retailers need to integrate voice-activated assistants into their platforms so consumers can shop and buy via voice. One strategy includes accepting orders from digital assistants likes Google Home and Amazon’s Alexa.
The top priority for companies who adopt this strategy should be voice search optimization. This means adapting any existing SEO with voice search.
Being able to adjust prices many times a day is an incredible way to engage customers. Retailers have the ability to update in-store pricing for specials like an online store.
During the slow times of the day, businesses can leverage retail technology for instant in-store price adjustments. Then they can use social media or text to send out campaigns marketed to local customers.
This retail technology includes sensors that help grocery stores immediately identify food which is soon-to-be expiring and automatically mark those prices down. These sensors will be synced with consumers smartphones to help guide shoppers around the store. This will let customers shop at a much faster rate.
Some stores today use “beacons” which are small sensors that are placed around a store.
If a customer has their Bluetooth enabled then the retailer is able to see how long users are in their stores, what they pick up, as well as offer personalized discounts based on that information. The makeup store Sephora uses beacons to offer users a map of the store and offer promotions.
Acting On Retail Technology
To make a customer experience memorable, business will have to invest in retail technology to differentiate themselves.
There will be more meaning and engagement for a shopper who sees a retailer can address their needs and expectations in new, delightful ways. Be sure to learn more about our proprietary software bizlitix that provides you with retail technology plus a host of other features.