Global marketing research firms have ubiquitously called the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic an unexpected catalyst for tech adoption’ in the retail industry. While the retail industry’s increasing reliance on technology over the past few years goes unsaid, the challenges posed by the pandemic will invariably accelerate the rate of adoption of new technology and tools.
Even after lockdown restrictions are eased, convenience along with safety and hygiene regulations like social distancing, contactless shopping, etc., will necessitate a new approach and retailers will have no option than to rely on technologies for frictionless services and experiential shopping experiences.
We have listed 5 cutting edge technologies from around the globe that promise to be unfathomably beneficial in the post COVID-19 retail scenario.
Apps find a mention in this list because they are ubiquitous and can prove to be the easiest way for retailers to offer experiential shopping experiences. “Post the pandemic apps are going to pay a big role in retail. People today like and want to shop smart. They will come to the mall particularly and shop for whatever they want to, and apps can supplement the whole shopping process. They can select the products through the app from different stores, making the whole process faster, safer and seamless,” says Arjun Gehlot, Director, Ambience Mall, New Delhi.
Retailers can also pick a lot up from shopping apps like Ubamarket, that has revolutionized the way people shop during the COVID-19 pandemic. Apart from unique features like pre-made shopping lists, in-store satnav and cashier-less checkout, the app also helps consumers check stock levels from home, as well as check length of queues in a particular store.
Apps can also be used to geo-target consumers and present them with more accurate and relevant advertisements and offers.
2Amazon Just Walk Out
Amazon launched its newest technology Just Walk Out much in the in the veins of Amazon Go cashierless convenience stores. Featuring an amalgamation of modern technologies like cameras, sensors, computer vision techniques and deep learning, the proprietary allows retailers to automate operations including purchase, check-out and payment. Amazon Just Walk Out lets consumers avail checkout-free shopping without the involvement of Amazon accounts. The e-commerce behemoth has also launched a website outline the modus operandi of the technology and FAQs.
3Smart Building Solutions
Although the technology is yet to pick up in India, Smart Building Technology holds tomorrow’s key to energy efficiency, cost reduction, optimization, and productivity. Smart Building Technology banks on IoT to share information between connected systems to optimize performance as well as automate processes.
Apart from that SBM holds immense benefits for retail – right from tracking and monitoring assets for efficiency, generating heat maps of footfalls, information on shopping habits, to determining the optimal sales strategies for the best same-stores-sales metrics to theft security. Connected systems ensure that store managers have access to all this information in a single location.
4Product Data Management
While data has become a fundamental part of e-commerce, managing this data, and utilizing it to one’s benefit is progressively getting harder. Integrated online and offline trading system and multi-language, Omnichannel environments and multi-store set-ups all have exceptionally complex information management needs.
PDM assures data integrity in all these environments and systems through a unified virtual location for data storage and management to yield enhanced data quality and accuracy, which in turn can boost purchase decision. A well-aligned PDM system helps in better visibility, enhanced consumer sopping experience, empowers staff and boots productivity as well as sales.
AI has been a boon for the retail world and its holds the answer to its post COVID-19 future. AI has immense applications within retail and promises to empower both brands and retailers to transform themselves, make informed decisions and drive profitability. AI can aid the entire retail value-chain to gain efficiency and improve agility at every stage of operations, including supply chain, marketing, sales, and customer outreach. It also holds the answer to one of the most important issue in the retail industry during corona time – clearing inventory. In fact, AI can also assist retailers in complying to new safety and hygienic norms in stores post COVID-19. Recently, a New Delhi based AI-driven computer vision SaaS venture called Wobot Intelligence has developed a unique full suite, plug-and-play, hygiene tracking solution that can be plugged into existing cameras to ensure an organization’s hygiene compliance.