Change keeps accelerating along with technological advancement. Because of the disruptive developments in the retail sector, there is an opportunity for significant innovation in brick-and-mortar and digital storefronts, which will impact both small and large businesses. Here are a few of the changes the sector is through.
The impact of new technologies on the retail industry can't be ignored with increased competition among retailers, brands, and online stores. It has become vital for them to survive. Using artificial intelligence and machine learning technology to evaluate customer behavior will create a more accurate assessment of the product's value and influence.
Hence, extended reality has been gaining much traction for some time. And undoubtedly, it will have a significant impact on the retail ecosystem as it significantly changes customer experiences, as well as business models.
Extended reality is an umbrella term for encapsulating virtual, augmented, mixed, and everything in between. With so many interactions of realities coming together, shoppers' experience will only accelerate.
And this datafication of behavior and implementation will serve customers better, improve selection and purchase power, increase satisfaction and loyalty and reduce fraud.
Customers would be able to view products in their homes or at the store, or they would be able to experience what it is like to use a product before buying it. These technologies would be used with new technologies to provide more personalized, interactive, and immersive experiences. Imagine an electric car with a display where you can test drive without living in your house. With extended reality, consumers can devour adventures from their couch.
The advent and growth of big data and AI have unleashed a new era of analytics requiring decision expertise. The retail industry is replete with data from transactional details to consumer behavior patterns.
"Decision intelligence augments data science with social science, decision theory, and managerial science. Its application provides a framework for best practices in organizational decision-making and processes for applying machine learning at a scale" -
Decision intelligence allows retailers to make effective decisions based on consumer behavior, online shopping habits, etc. It will enable the business to not only learn about their consumers deeply. Still, it will also allow them to design solutions in a way that creates an excellent experience for the customers.
Because there is so much data, so little is made out of it. The focus should be on what brings the most results and how it should be best implemented. Their combined use will positively impact all aspects of retail –– supply chain management, inventory management, and so on. It can make sense of big data and help make better and more intelligent decisions.
3D Printing has been around for decades and is now making its way into the retail space with various 3D printers used by people and stores. 3D printing uses additive manufacturing, a process by which objects are built up layer by layer by the deposition of material.
Its popularity is already rising and being used to build better products. Moreover, it uses rapid prototyping of solid objects from a digital model or other input such as photos or diagrams. 3D printers have been used in aerospace and automotive industries, but only recently it has become accessible to people.
While there is no shortage of technological advancements affecting retail and other ways we engage and interact with our environment. Thanks to its ability to be formed in whichever way we like made possible by an additive manufacturing process offering a personalized shopping experience. Brands can build products unique to each individual hence increasing customer satisfaction, recalling value, and encouraging customers to return for future purchases.
Fast-evolving technologies are everywhere. There is no denying that many of these technologies are fundamentally changing the retail environment. Micro-cloud computing, robots, 6G, 5G, VR, AR, and MR are just a few technologies helping brands give their customers more individualized experiences.
Technology, especially in the post-COVID-19 era, is enabling brands to change their course in the face of novel and unexpected circumstances for the better.