Coping With Immense Technological Changes
The retail industry is undergoing a massive transformation unlike anything we’ve experienced before. This seismic shift is being driven by advances in new retail technologies. Our basic shopping needs have not changed much in last decade but consumer behavior has transformed significantly in last five years. One of the challenges retailers face is the ability to keep up with changing consumer behavior which requires ability to implement advance retail technologies on a wider scale.
The bottom line is that retailers need to evolve to new technology strategies at a much faster pace. To remain competitive in this cutthroat and evolving landscape, it’s imperative that retailers embrace the right technologies and implement them to provide the compelling consumer and shopping experiences.
Technologies giving competitive edge in the retail
We will see evolution and large scale adoption of Platform-as-a-Service technologies to deliver new services to consumers. They will also be used to optimize store operations, logistics and supply chains. We can expect to see these grow rapidly. Many companies are overhauling their existing systems to seamlessly connect physical stores, online shops and marketplaces with customer service and warehouses in real time.
Rapid and sustainable innovations.
Today innovation is expensive and can a take long time before retailers can realize any benefits and value. We will see innovation and new technologies come not only internally from the retailer, but also from the vendors themselves, large, small or start-up. This trend will evolve into innovation from consumer crowd sourcing. Retailers need to convert consumers into innovation drivers for their business. We live in a “consumer first” society where the consumer is the king.
Retail stores of the future.
Stores will look different and will require new developments from supply chain to store operations technologies. This will have a direct impact on how consumers shop, whether it is in stores, online, or a combination. Stores, in turn, will get smaller and the supply change will have to adapt to the consumer. Industry titans such as Apple and AT&T are already making this a reality. AT&T’s flagship store in Chicago is a case in point. AT&T uses state-of-the start technology – e.g. sound effects, motion sensor displays, and mobile POS systems – to create a unique experience for their customers.
From machine learning, augmented reality to m-commerce and advances in personalization, new technologies will need to cater to the consumer beyond basic personalization. The power in the marketplace is shifting from the retailers to the shoppers. To remain competitive, retailers will have to learn to cater to that control and provide the convenience beyond personalization. Shoppers have the power of technology in their hands and they have lot more options with the shopping experience they prefer.
Overcoming challenges to make job easier
We hear a lot of noise around us about different technology buzzwords like Big Data, Wearable Technology, Machine Learning, Internet of Things, and so on. Enterprises need to make sure that these buzz words are not clouding their judgment on business strategy and prioritization. They all provide value when aligned with the company strategy and vision and delivered through test and learn cycle.
At the same time, we’re hearing a lot about cool shopping technologies, but they’re not quite hitting the mainstream yet. For many retailers, implementing these newer technologies within the confines of older IT infrastructures and legacy systems is a slow, painstaking process. Eventually, retail systems built from the ground up will be the faster, more efficient way to get these new technologies out into the mainstream.
The biggest challenge for retailers is how they’re addressing the fine line between personalization and privacy issues. It's going to take a lot of work and will become worse before it gets better, but retailers can dispel by building trust and delivering the compelling experience that personalization can provide.
Media Partner : CIO Review | B2B Online 2020
CIO Review Press Releases : CIO Review | One Stop Systems
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