Posted: 23 May 2017
Technology and business are both growing and intersecting at an increased rate. Improvements in technological fields are making retail business more complex while at the same time offering several advantages. Staying on top of new technology is key in any industry and understanding current terminology is highly important. Current terms include but are not limited to:
Are a new method of interacting with customers. When integrated with a POS display a proximity sensor detects the presence of a customer and the display can then ‘respond’ in a number of ways. It can show a slideshow or play a video for example.
Are an example of limited artificial intelligence and are being used by several businesses including retail. These Internet based computer programs take the form of a back and forth conversation and are commonly used to guide the sales process, provide a better customer experience, serve as an interactive FAQ, improve response time, allow for scaling, keep queues down, and serve as the first line of communication.
Covers all aspects of the interaction between a customer and a business. This includes all stages of the purchase from planning to finish and all the emotional states a customer moves through. Managing how customers react to your business is highly important and forges positive customer business relationships.
Modern technology provides lots of useful data. Better insights can be gained to improve the customer experience by understanding how shoppers interact with retailers through the processing of data into analytic reports. Analytics offer key advantages in e-commerce and now businesses can access this same information in traditional retail.
Is the implementation of digital technology in a POS / POP display. Small screens can display relevant production information, advertisements, coupon codes that are scannable via phone, and even digital payment systems to allow customers to purchase items without having to go through a checkout.
Allows you to update and automate product pricing in real time. This allows retailers to stay competitive and focus their time and efforts on other key areas.
Referred to using kiosks in your store to allow customers to make purchases for home delivery of goods you no longer physically have in stock at that retail location. This saves space and allows you to sell more items by cross-selling, selling an item you are not stocking, and gives you another chance to make a sale or retain a customer.
First coined in 1999 in the broad sense this term refers to physical devices with network connectivity and the ability to share information. IoT is moving beyond smart devices such as smartphones and moving into internet enabled appliances. This technology provides feedback and response to owners. In a retail setting, for example, a customer could walk into a store triggering a mechanical response such as a pleasant smell or music.
Your OMNIchannel is the integrated approach your company uses to serve its customers. This includes everything such as your physical store locations, website, phone sales, apps, and any other way you interact with customers.
A type of staffless grocery store. This smart store is in the prototype phase and uses an app to automatically process payments removing the need for cashiers or checkout lines.
Companies such as eBay are experimenting with 3D displays to allow customers to ‘try on’ clothing in a virtual setting. Such technology is likely to become more widespread to make shopping for clothing online more convenient.
Virtual reality and augmented reality these terms refer to two different reality augmenting concepts. VR replaces what your eyes see with something completely different and often requires a headset (examples include HTC Vive and Oculus Rift). AR adds virtual imagery on top of the real world. For example map markers or digital signage or ads placed on a wall via AR glasses. Automotive manufacturers Audi and Ferrari are currently testing virtual showrooms. This allows you to create entire showrooms and completely change them via computer and AR allows you to combine ads with hands on real life experiences.
Technology is advancing in all aspects of modern society as people become more connected to digital services. By embracing such technology brands and retail stores extend their reach to customers and makes their shopping more convenient. For retail businesses, this is of chief importance as e-commerce continues to grow and expand. The important takeaway is that several of the convenience elements that e-commerce has can be combined with the advantages traditional retail offers to create a superior shopping experience.