7 Popular Retail Technologies in 2018 to Consider

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Technology in the retail industry continues to change rapidly. As a retail business owner, you must be able to race against these changes so that you are able to survive in such a high level of competition in the industry. Even though the future of the retail industry cannot be accurately predicted, at least you can get a good picture of what will happen in the next few years by looking at the currently popular retail technology.

Keep in mind that you don't have to have all the retail technologies mentioned in this article, but some of the following technologies are worth considering.

1. AR & VR

Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) is increasingly popular among people retailer this year. Both of these technologies are considered capable of presenting customer experience which is great and also attracts more visitors.

VR allows shop visitors to enter the "other world" or pseudo reality and make them appear to be there, while AR presents various additional visualizations in actual reality, usually in the form of images, text, moving objects, and others.

Some retailer who use these two concepts are Amazon, IKEA, Zara, and Adidas. Zara provides an AR application that allows visitors to get visual information about the price of clothing and even see how the clothes are worn by the models just by focusing the camera smartphone they are in certain areas within the store.

Adidas carries a theme that is no less exciting through VR. Producer sportswearThis multinational brings experience in-store on their website through a video that shows the atmosphere of their store in 360 degrees. Customers can even see detailed information about their products and directly buy the products they want through the video.

2. Shipping Tracking

Now many e-commerce companies have made it easy for their customers to track the status of sending their own orders through the application. If in the past only shop owners could track couriers, now customers can too. This is one of the best strategies to improve customer experience.

3. Search via Voice

Consumers tend to choose the method of shopping that they think is the most practical. One of the shopping methods currently most favored by consumers is voice-based shopping. Through applications such as Google Home, Amazon Alexa, and HomePod, consumers only need to mention or request the product they want and then get various references in seconds.

If you want your store to be referred by Google Home, then the first step to take is to improve your SEO. Check out the following video to learn it.

4. BOPIS

Although ecommerce is increasing, physical stores are still in demand by consumers. According to a survey conducted by TimeTrade, 85 percent of consumers prefer shopping at physical stores rather than will. However, most of them do not come directly to the physical store to shop. Usually, they look for the products they are aiming for will first, then buy it at a physical store.

At present, many retail stores are utilizing this phenomenon by adapting the BOPIS (Buy Online, Pickup In-Store) strategy. They allow customers to buy products on their website and pick them up directly at their physical store. Some retailer who spearheaded these tactics include Target, Lowe's, Walmart, Nordstrom, and The Home Depot. This year it is estimated that 86 percent retailer will implement this strategy.

5. Self-Service Kiosk

Now it is not only cafes and restaurants that provide this technology, but also various retail stores. Use self-service kiosk intended to provide a more satisfying shopping experience for customers. Using this retail technology, customers can check availability, find the right size or color of the product, and even make payments by entering credit card data. So, there are no longer long queues at the cashier.

6. Cloud POS

Cloud POS is still one of the most popular retail technologies this year. This system not only helps them speed up the process checkout for customers, but also stores important data such as customer credit card details more securely. Staff do not have to rely on the cash register, because they can manage payments using smartphone or tablet even when electricity is out. This system is also a affordable option for small retail entrepreneurs.

7. Marketing Automation

Now more and more retailer who realize how significant automated solutions are to the efficiency of their business activities, including marketing. The more customers, the more complex campaign that must be run, because customers have different characteristics and preferences.

oftware marketing automation allows retailer for segmenting customers and making campaign targeted. Campaign can be customized and adjusted to customer preferences, as well as newsletter. Retailer can also give trigger to send campaign based on actions taken by their customers, for example; Amazon sends e-mail about product recommendations to their customers after they buy similar products.

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