Top 6 Trends in Retail Technology to Watch For in 2022
The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic two years ago rattled businesses worldwide. However, with disruption comes tremendous opportunity for innovation in physical and digital stores. It is critical to understand how technology improvements in the retail industry might affect large and small organisations.
1. PoS Systems and Ecommerce
In addition to selling items in physical locations, many storefronts now provide buy online, pick up in-store, same-day delivery, and online shipping. With so many new methods to order items, point-of-sale systems must be intelligently updated. How does a client ordering a product online affect the store’s sales floor quantity in the database? Is it true that putting a product on hold for a pick-up order reduces the number of items on the sales floor? All of these are concerns that a sophisticated POS system has to answer.
The key to establishing a successful point of sale system is to have a unified and integrated system that interfaces with other technologies the business uses instead of only having systems to handle both online and in-store transactions. Integrating online and offline transactions, inventory, and promotions across all in-person locations and online businesses is one of the most critical challenges that software developers strive to conquer.
2. Indoor Positioning — Not Just For Store Maps
One of the most common indoor positioning applications is to create maps and floor plans that are helpful for customers as they walk around the store. However, developers should consider new ways to use indoor positioning as technology advances. For example, smartphone sensors can determine if a phone is on the sales floor and within a range of products, displaying a discount offer, a pop-up coupon, or a product overview. This can be a great way to increase impulse buys and boost the bottom line.
3. Artificial Intelligence
This retail technology trend is still in its infancy, but many experts are forecasting that it will significantly impact the retail industry within the next five years.
IBM developed an AI computer called ‘Watson’ to answer questions and solve problems. Watson is being tested in retail settings, and it can assist store associates by answering simple questions quickly and accurately. Still, it can also learn over time to conduct tasks like restocking shelves and order placing.
Consumers may soon have the option to use voice-activated searches powered by AI to improve their shopping experience.
In addition to helping customers, AI can also be harnessed to increase the efficiency of workers. For example, AI can perform tasks like restocking shelves, placing orders, and providing product recommendations.
4. Voice Recognition
Along with the expansion of artificial intelligence enters the era of voice recognition technology. In the past, businesses have sought to put voice recognition systems into place for customer service purposes. Customers would call a company, speak to an agent, give them their phone number, then the agent could call them back. Now, that same process can be done on a smartphone via chat app or text. Voice recognition technology is transitioning from the call centre to the smartphone. More and more companies offer apps where customers can call in and leave a message.
5. Omni-Channel Retailing
Omni-channel retailing is an integration of online and brick and mortar stores at its core. This trend is already beginning to take place, and many businesses are already involved with it.
Omni-channel retailing is especially important for businesses with a physical store presence and an online store presence. This can be any business, from a small mom and pop shop to a large nationwide retailer. For example, suppose a consumer purchases a product on a company’s website with the intent of picking the product up in-store, the business must be able to manage the order to ensure that inventory is available. In that case, the product is not in the process of being sold to another customer, and the customer does not need to wait for their order to be fulfilled. The key to all of this is a unified system for tracking the inventory available across all platforms the consumer uses.
6. Big Data Analytics
As the amount of data businesses collect grows, so does the need for big data analytics tools. Now, at the point of sale, consumers generate data points as they shop when they use credit cards, redeem rewards and scan product barcodes. Data collection is no longer just about product and consumer purchases, but all activities are part of the big data, including social media and shopping habits. The data collected by businesses can be used to learn more about their customers and what they need and want. Trends can be identified, and factual information can make better-informed decisions.
However, businesses that do not use advanced analytics tools to analyse their data could find themselves in the dark. For example, large retailers have already gathered a wealth of information about their customers and business operations. They know what areas of their businesses are profitable, which products are selling well, and how to improve their operations. In addition, they also know what their competitors are doing and where they need to focus their resources to stay ahead.
The retail industry has transformed over the past few decades. The challenges and opportunities that lie ahead are only growing. With the emergence of digital technologies, artificial intelligence, big data analytics, and advanced analytics that organisations use to assess and process data, the retail industry has become more competitive and profitable.
These challenges and technological advancements all provide tremendous opportunities for businesses in the retail industry. The business leaders who can navigate all of these changes, integrate different technologies, and create new opportunities for their organisations will set themselves apart from their peers.
Easitill offers quality EPoS for retail shops in the UK. We understand the demand for comprehensive business practice to meet consumer demands, and we can guarantee that our EPoS is up to the task. We also offer different EPoS for various fields aside from retail. Contact us today to learn more and with help in choosing an EPoS system!