Over the past few years, technology has evolved rapidly, and its continuous change can be felt in pretty much every industry – especially retail and transportation. The retail giants leading the race need to make sure that they stay focused to remain relevant.
This advancement in technology has also brought around a change in customer behaviour, with them now expecting their orders to arrive in mere seconds and refusing to settle for less than same-day shipping. Making sure to be on the lookout for reliable retail enterprise software as well as the newest and most promising retail trends is important, as innovation is what drives change.
Below are some of the biggest digital trends that retailers should be aware of in 2018.
Immersive Shopping Experiences
Leading retailers are starting to make use of Augmented Reality (AR) in their marketing campaigns. It is becoming an increasingly popular technology as it allows the lines between online and offline channels to become blurred, and gives consumers a hands-on experience anytime/anywhere. IKEA is currently one of the companies that are putting AR technology to use. They recently released an augmented reality application that enables their customers to visualise what potential furniture would look like in the comfort of their own home.
The way in which consumers buy items has been revolutionised by mobiles in recent years, people are no longer afraid to make purchases via them. In fact, 34% of all online purchases are now made via mobile devices. Typically, consumers use their mobiles to make purchases on the go or they’ll look up an item on their phone whilst shopping in a store. A recent piece of research found that 82% of shoppers admit to consulting their phones before they’re about to purchase an item in-store. What’s more, younger consumers are omnipresent and use apps on mobiles such as Instagram and Snapchat to find inspiration for fashion decisions.
Edge computing is a method of optimising cloud computing systems by performing data processing at the edge of the network – near the source of the data. This reduces the communications bandwidth needed between sensors and the central data centre. So, for devices such as drones or smart traffic lights needing to call home for instructions or data analysis, they can perform analytics on themselves, stream data and communicate with other devices to accomplish tasks. It has yet to gather momentum behind it, but it is predicted to become increasingly important to retailers in upcoming years, as by moving closer to the origin of data and getting up-to-the-minute information, productivity and ROI could be increased greatly.
Integrated End-to-End Suites
Most retail software providers focus on only one aspect of a retailer’s needs, which can make the whole process of selecting companies to work with quite daunting, as it can be a stressful and time-consuming process due to compatibility issues. But with advances in technology, there are now more fully integrated suites available, which are the best way to get the omnichannel data visibility needed to outpace the competition.