The retail industry is changing at a rapid speed. As consumers shift their spending habits toward digital mediums, retailers have looked to establish a competitive edge—and give customers more reason to shop with them.
Over the next decade, several emerging technologies could play a key role in retail’s future. Keep an eye on these tech trends:
Personal Data To Play a Central Role in Most Brand Experiences
Many brands have already begun to integrate big data into everyday shopping. However, the next ten years will see it merge with other technologies (outlined in this article) to deliver truly personal, in-store experiences. Take store terminals and devices. Once they become aware of in-store interactions, marketing materials will be able to reflect individual shopping histories.
Internet of Things (IoT) Devices Will Change the In-Store Experience
Picture the scene. You walk into a store and receive a personalized notification on your smart device. It includes coupons for items you regularly buy there. You might also pull up an app to check which specific items are in stock, browse similar brands, or see a pricing history for each product. Nearly eighty percent of retailers describe the provision of omnichannel experiences within their stores as “mission critical.” IoT devices provide the most straightforward way for retail businesses to communicate with brick and mortar customers, based on their personal data history and location.
Augmented Reality Will Help Customers Make Decisions
Augmented reality is similar to virtual reality. However, it doesn’t completely replace the real world, it adds details that supplement real-world vision. In the context of retail and shopping, holding your phone up to products could reveal their price, inventory details, or directions to other complementary items. Imagine walking into your favorite clothing store, holding your phone to a shirt, and then seeing a lifelike recreation of you wearing it. Augmented reality will change how shoppers interact with products…and provide them with more information before they make a buying decision.
Mobile Wallets Become Hassle-Free Payment Method of Choice
Could mobile and digital wallets become the preferred way to pay for purchases? We think so. In China, the market for digital payments and mobile wallet transactions has already eclipsed $5.5 trillion. While western countries have been slower to adopt the technology, the convenience of being able to pay for every purchase with your smartphone will eventually eclipse the reliance on other mediums, like debit and credit cards. With Amazon debuting their cashierless shopping experience in Amazon Go, it is clear that smart devices will play a critical role in the future of payment processing.
A.I. Will Limit Interactions and Order Daily-Use Items
In the near-future, A.I. could rapidly change consumer shopping habits. Running out of everyday items like milk or bread could become a thing of the past. A.I. would simply recognize the situation and automatically place an order to re-stock them. They would then be delivered to your doorstep…and you wouldn’t even have to leave your house.