Future of Retail – & What Lies Ahead
As the year 2018 draws to an end, the retail industry has faced lots of ups and downs to say the least. With digital transformation still on the rise, to say that retail stores everywhere are not feeling any turbulence would be very unlikely.
However, that does not mean we can’t be hopeful. In fact, smart entrepreneurs are known to embrace changes in the business world instead of rejecting them, thereby growing their presence evermore. And with 2019 just around the corner, we can expect a lot more developments to both brick-and-mortar, and the online store.
Now, we wouldn’t want you to step into the new year blindfolded – let us take the wool out of your eyes, and prepare you for the oncoming future of retail:
Retail – Down to the Core
For any retail store, data is integral: it helps them connect with their customers on a practical standpoint.
Well, imagine if you could build that connection on a deeper level – so deep, you know your customers better than they know themselves.
Fortunately, that’s exactly where consumer connection is heading: retailers all around the world have realised that the better they establish relations with their customers, the better. Various technologies have already sprung up which use emotional data, eye-tracking, DNA and more to offer a whole new level of personalisation.
From POS systems that send out personalised ads, to Walmart filing a patent for an invention that lets them analyse the emotional state of shoppers as they walk around the store, the technology is only evolving!
An Automated World
Algorithms, smart devices, cognitive intelligence – it’s time to make way for automation. Retailers have finally accepted that they can’t do everything on their own, and that they need some help from machines.
In fact, automated functions has proven to do the job better than humans, which is a plus point for both retailer and consumer. Not only have efficiency levels skyrocketed, but it also improves the quality of a customer’s journey through a store – everybody enjoys the modern flair technology brings.
Although there was the fear of job displacement running rampant initially, it has subdued now; if anything, most consumers expect automation in their customer experience. Today’s leading influencers and market drivers – or better known as prosumers – have shown this kind of commitment in a Prosumer Report that 80% of Chinese prosumers look forward to automatic refrigerator refills.
The two kinds of technologies that have quickly picked popularity is AR (Augmented Reality) and AI (Artificial Intelligence). AR has helped simplify in-journey processes that often bug out the customer. For example, IKEA’s Place App lets you see how different IKEA products would look in your home – without you actually buying them. This kind of projection technology has changed the face of homeware shopping.
AI has in fact revolutionised almost every business front – in fact, we have discussed what AI has in store for inventory management here.
POS System Revolutionised
Legacy systems are dying out – and for good measure. For too large a price, they give limited features. That spells death for a retailer; what they’d need is every kind of management system integrated within one comprehensive, intuitive POS solution.
Well, that kind of POS solution has already entered the market, and it is flourishing in Pakistan. POS terminals in Karachi like Oscar POS have revolutionised the point of sale with features like inventory management, customer relationship management, employee management – and more – all wrapped in a simple, easy-to-use system.
And that’s not even the best part – it also offers a Quickbooks integration for you. That way, you don’t get to miss out on some state-of-the-art accounting benefits.
We can’t leave customers hanging in all this – in fact, they get to enjoy their own benefits through a mobile POS system like Oscar – fast transactions, an active loyalty program, and an overall memorable experience are just to name a few!
If we included every single new addition to the retail industry, then this article would not have ended. Simply put, “same old, same old” is no longer applicable for the retail industry. Thanks to advancing technologies and ever-changing customer behaviours, retailers are left to constantly adapt, and make the most of whatever they’ve got.