One example of an area of the world economy that has been particularly impacted by digital technology is the retail industry. As one of the largest industries – with revenues measuring well into the trillions – any improvements in efficiency are likely to result in massive savings and increased profits for companies. Because of this, the retail sector is one of the first to adopt new technologies.
Over the last few decades, transformative technologies such as barcodes, digital stock control, online shopping and more have resulted in enormous changes to the retail landscape, both for businesses and consumers. And many more digital advancements are currently having a similar or even greater impact, reinforcing retail as one of the most forward-thinking, dynamic industries on the planet.
Almost no area of the retail industry is untouched by digitalization, and those that aren’t are predicted to change with the help of various emerging technologies. Here are a few examples that are starting to be used in retail, or are set to be in the near future.
Internet of Things (IoT)
The connectivity enabled by IoT technologies is already being used to great effect in retail, although it has not yet been deployed widely. For example, ‘smart shelves’ use sensors to recognize when items are removed and automatically send a signal to be replenished. These smart shelves have even been used to eliminate checkouts entirely – something which is likely to become more common in the future.
AI-enabled chatbots are already being used by many companies online to reduce reliance on customer service staff while often enhancing the customer experience. In the future, it is possible that similar technology will be used in physical stores to replace or assist retail staff, such as in self-service machines.
Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR)
These types of technology are not yet widely used. However, many predict that as more and more physical stores are replaced by online stores, AR and VR may be used to help people experience products. This would be particularly useful for fashion, where customers could virtually try on clothes.
Running a successful retail business involves keeping up with an incredible array of products, trends, types of customers and more. This means that companies, especially those operating on a large scale, can benefit hugely from accurate data analysis. Technology such as advanced machine learning can help to gather relevant information, then to predict and inform future trends and strategies.
Many digital technologies with the potential to transform the way you do business are perfectly accessible today. The simplest route for most companies is to adopt new software. Recent software products make it entirely possible to implement powerful and targeted technologies such as AI, IoT connectivity and enhanced data analytics into any business.
At Eaglera, we specialize in helping to guide companies like yours through their entire digital transformation. Our expert consultants will work with your team to identify key areas of improvement, recommend the perfect technology solutions, then work alongside you throughout the implementation phase and beyond to guarantee the best possible outcomes.
Don’t get left behind. Get in touch with the Eaglera team today to start planning your digital transformation.