technology that are revolutionizing retail

Advances In Technology That Are Revolutionizing Retail

The world of retail is changing at an unprecedented rate. Retailers are adapting the way they are working partly to deal with new challenges and partly so that they can take better advantage of new opportunities.

Here we look at some of the latest technologies they are tapping into and reveal what the future holds for retail and its customers.

Shop Floor Robots

Robots are finally starting to appear on shop floors. They are taking care of the following tedious and time-consuming tasks:

  •   Sweeping and cleaning floors
  •   Dealing with spills and breakages
  •   Checking stock levels
  •   Delivering cases of products to shop floor staff for restacking
  •   Providing a touch screen help point
  •   Acting as an additional checkout at busy times

This all frees up shop floor staff so that they can spend more time assisting customers face-to-face. Something that studies show customers value.

Customer Service Innovations

Customer service tasks take up a lot of workers’ time, but there must be someone available to do this type of work. This current state of retail survey reveals people want better customer service. They want to have their problems and questions answered promptly. Something that chatbots are getting good at doing.

Natural Language Processing has been used to create extremely effective chatbots. Provided they are put together well they can answer most questions and solve most problems without the intervention of a human being.

Initially, customers were not keen on them, but they got used to using them online. Now that the accuracy of chatbots is improving, people are also more accepting of them.

As a result, as well as running a traditional customer service desk, stores are increasingly installing touch screens customers can use instead of queuing. If you want to learn more about how chatbots, NLP, and AI work and how they are being used, you can do so here.

Process Automation

The more automated things are, the less likely it is that something vital will get missed. So stores that use automation tend to be far more efficient and cost-effective than those that don´t use it.

Plus, to be able to automate something, you must look extremely closely at how a task is done. Often, while you are carrying out that step-by-step analysis you will realize that you have been doing things wrong.

The way tasks are done evolves and how things are done is rarely reviewed and updated. As a result, unnecessary steps are left in place, for years. Something that wastes a lot of time and resources.

So, it is not surprising that retailers are automating as many of their processes as possible. Large retailers have been using software to manage their inventory and the reordering process for many decades. Now, virtually every small retailer is doing the same.

Increasingly retailers are automating their warehouses. It is no longer unusual for robotic pallet trucks to unload and load lorries. Or for most of the picking process to be carried out using systems that do not require pickers to walk the entire warehouse to assemble an order for a store.

Augmented Reality Shopping

All stores have a finite space, which means they can only carry so many items. This is a big problem because modern consumers want as much choice as possible. To get around this issue some retailers are using augmented and virtual reality technology.

As you can see here, the fashion industry is leading the way in doing this. Clothing stores are increasingly using smart mirrors that enable customers to try clothes on without having to put them on.

In the past, they would have selected an item off the rack, popped it into a slot, still on its hanger, and stood in front of the smart mirror. At which point they would get an image of themselves wearing that item.

Now, retailers are taking things a step further. They are offering the customer the chance to browse through a collection of clothing images, select items they like, and try those on in front of the virtual mirror. This means that people can try items on that the store does not actually stock.

If they like what they see they can order the item by touching a few buttons. Then, either have the item delivered to their home or workplace. Or, if they prefer delivered to their local store in time for them to pop in on their way back from work.

The Future Is Bright For Retail Tech

As it becomes more difficult for retailers to recruit staff and overheads rise we can expect to see the industry using even more technology.

Similar Posts