6 Technology Trends That Are Reshaping The Future of Retail

The Retail Industry Keeps Moving Forward with Technology

The digital transformation of the retail industry keeps moving forward, reshaping the entire shopping experience as it goes. Not even a pandemic and its subsequent economic effects could stop it, thanks to several technological advancements and trends that are redefining what retail businesses can be and do.

None of them would be possible without the help of retail software development companies like BairesDev, putting all of their experience and expertise into the design of a whole new concept for retail. Much of that design plan involves several key trends and cutting-edge technologies that are already among us and that are playing a significant role in the process. Here are 6 of those trends.

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    Demand Forecasting Through Machine Learning


    Artificial intelligence has already established itself as a major ally for all kinds of industries - and the retail sector couldn’t be the exception. There are plenty of forms AI can help a retailer, but the one that’s emerging with the most power is machine learning to aid with demand forecasting. This means using sophisticated AI-based algorithms to predict future fluctuations in customer demand.

    These results are possible thanks to the combination of data from various sources, including POS information, market data, economic factors, and seasonal factors, among others. By analyzing all that with machine learning, companies can better predict where the customer demand is heading and identify patterns to make more informed decisions.

    With those insights, retailers can better plan for the future, optimizing the supply, logistics, and manufacturing processes. Those insights also work great to create marketing campaigns that address shifting demands, enticing customers to increase their shopping expenditure.

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    Increasingly Customized Shopping Experiences


    From quite some time now, the world has been immersed in a trend that’s driving it towards more personalized experiences. That’s especially true for the retail industry. It aims to provide a tailor-made experience for each of its customers, addressing their particular wants and desires and trying to anticipate its needs. Demand forecasting through machine learning is just one of the expressions of this trend.

    The other dominant expression of the customization in the retail industry is product and service recommendation. Again, machine learning is responsible for analyzing a set of variables to provide suggestions based on each consumer’s habits, preferences, and interests. Such a process allows algorithms to create increasingly sophisticated shopping profiles that offer better and more personalized offers over time.

    The customization of the retail experience exceeds the product recommendation engines that are common in most online retailers. It also encompasses chatbots and intelligent assistants that provide customer service and support in ecommerce platforms and websites.

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    Immersive Shopping Through AR


    One of the biggest challenges of online shopping always was the inability to try the products before buying them. Though that’s not possible with certain products, the truth is that technology is bringing a solution for some cases that will surely boost the online shopping experience’s popularity. That solution’s name? Augmented reality.

    Through the use of AR, retail brands can offer their customers the possibility to check products in a more immersive and realistic way than they could ever do with pictures. There are plenty of examples already available, with certain retailers offering apps where consumers can see how a particular piece of furniture would look like on their homes or how their rooms would look with a specific paint color.

    The best thing about this trend is that a seasoned retail software development team can work on an AR solution that can run in many modern smartphones. Thus, retailers of all sizes can already jump into this trend that promises to revolutionize how we shop online.

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    Seamless Store and Ecommerce Integration


    When people think of online shopping, they think about completing the whole transaction through an ecommerce platform and then waiting for the product to arrive. Yet, that’s just one of the possibilities online retail can offer. There’s also the possibility of going from the online platform to the real store (and vice versa) to complete the transaction.

    This means more than just “buying online and picking up at the store.” It involves using the whole retail ecosystem to sync online and offline transactions. It means pushing offers for visitors to physical stores that can be completed online, a combination of the data coming from online and offline channels for better customer profiling, and an improved inventory tracking across the whole system.

    Such integration provides excellent benefits for both customers and retailers. The former can be sure that they’ll always get the most personalized shopping experience, allowing them access to exclusive promotions that can suit their interests. The latter can maximize the number of transactions by multiplying the number of micro-moments where the customers have a purchase intent.

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    Cashier-less Stores


    A while ago, Amazon surprised the entire world by introducing Amazon Go. In this cashier-less physical store, people could go, pick up the products they wanted, and leave without having to interact with anyone.

    The store is equipped with sensors and deep learning algorithms that scan the products that each customer picks up and adds them to a virtual cart associated with an Amazon account. Once the customer leaves the store, the list is closed, and the total is charged to the associated account.

    This trend provides customers that go to physical stores with an increased comfort level, as they don’t have to carry money or cards with them while also relieving them from long lines in the cash registers. This model can be further developed with the inclusion of an app that can read barcodes and QR codes, so people don’t even need to pick up things to learn more about them (such as price, ingredients, origin, and more).

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    Voice Shopping


    People are already used to having Siri, Alexa, Google Home, and other virtual assistants to aid them with everything, from checking the weather to listening to music. It’s only natural, then, that those voice assistants are also offering customers the possibility to shop for things just by talking.

    Thus, voice shopping allows customers to talk to a virtual assistant and search for products that can be later added to a virtual cart. After completing the cart, the customer needs to place the order and wait for the retailer to deliver the items. That’s yet another way in which technology can enhance customers’ comfort.

    Naturally, there are still some challenges around this kind of shopping, as we all like to look at things before buying them. However, voice shopping seems to have a good start with retailers like Walmart, which allows customers to shop for groceries and other items just by using their voice.

The Future Of Retail Is Already Here

These are but some of the tech trends that are already reshaping the retail industry. As we move forward, the tech offering regarding shopping experiences will get more sophisticated and refined, thanks to the increasing presence of technologies like AI, AR, the Internet of Things, and even blockchain. It’s just a matter of time before our shopping experiences are entirely revolutionized.

We should know – BairesDev is helping retailers from different countries create the technologies that will bring that revolution. Our expert team of retail software developers can work with all kinds of brands, both big and small, to create new experiences that will make customers feel like the future is already here. Contact us today to learn how to help your retail business and bring it to the 21st century!

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