Retail: A vision into the future

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In the present age of concentric shopper expectations meeting technology advancements, the global retail industry is in the eye of a profound retail tornado. In fact, technology is adding a new dimension to consumer products while redefining retail strategies. This, in-turn, is giving rise to an ecosystem of unique business intelligence, from the basics of warehousing to store floor, in both online and real time. Retailers are progressively harbouring the principles of technological assistance to create a memorable shopping experience, keeping revenue generation and cost reduction into contention. Here are three emerging trends where retailers are revolutionizing the ecosystem:
Progressing with ‘Phygital’
While online and mobile commerce have transformed the shopping experience, the main revenue remains in brick-and-mortar with 91 per cent of all retail sales coming from there. Subsequently, merchants are wisely investing in improving the customer journey through providing a digitized avenue to in-store experience- ‘phygital’ to put it mildly. The obsoletion of human supervision on mundane tasks, provides the workforce with time to craft strategies in building up consumer traction. This streamlines shopping journey for consumers, and allays pain points that have long bedevilled store associates, like tracking down inventory. Retailers are relying on the shift to ‘phygital’ upgrades to churn out an unprecedented, real-time picture of the actual inventory in the store — whether it’s on the shelf or in the back room, alongside upgrading customer experience.
The Personalization Push
Presently, retailers are also adopting the use of technology to personalize the shopping experience. According to a recent survey, 75 per cent of stores will not only know when specific customers are in the store, but will also be able to customize the store visit for them by 2021. Retailers’ personalization goals are centred on timing; location and other interaction points, to customize shoppers’ store visits. To aid that, retailers are taking assistance of location-based technologies and entrenched big data outlets to gather insights. These insights are then utilized to entice consumers at their defined moment of need. The goal to generate tangible, actionable insights on shopping habits and buying patterns is facilitated. Smarter merchandising and marketing decisions, like boosting inventory levels of hot-selling products or measuring the effectiveness of displays, are based on these vital information, empowering retailers to tap into the elusive ‘consumer mind’.
Adapting to a Multichannel Shopping Landscape
The path to purchase has taken a further complex turn, amid the ever-burgeoning growth of online and mobile shopping. This makes inventory accuracy, which is foundational in retail, an imperative part of sales strategy, as products from both brick-and-mortar and digital channels flow through the pipeline. Retailers are swiftly implementing technology solutions to amplify merchandise visibility throughout, from the moment inventory is shipped from the warehouse and received in a store’s back room to when it’s stocked and replenished on the sales floor. A survey states that out-of-stock merchandise is the focal reason of customer dissatisfaction today. Incidentally, the same ‘out-of-stock’ product is available for lesser price at another retail store. Thus, retailers are feeling the pressure to achieve omnichannel proficiency more acutely, believing the integration of physical and digital selling channels to be essential in the entire ecosystem .This rise of ‘Onmnichannel’ is providing retailers with touch bases to lure in consumers through the purchase cycle, leading to repeated consumption
The makeover of retail operations platforms is critical to handling the deluge of products travelling through the retail supply chain from both physical and online streams. The retail requires to facilitate this, post which stability and mutually-benefitted transactions can take place.

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