New and exciting technology is capable of changing just about every industry out there, including retail. Retail is always on the cutting edge of new technologies as they have a lot of competition and have to fight hard for your dollars. Companies have spent big bucks on retail technology, and look for that to continue.
But what are the next big retail technologies to watch out for? Well, it is hard to predict exactly what will become huge, but here are four exciting retail technologies you should watch out for in the coming months and years.
A smart beacon can be a potentially great way to capture the attention of a customer. For those unfamiliar, a smart beacon will work with Bluetooth and can basically alert a retailer when a customer is nearby. This means the retail will be able to instantly and directly communicate with the customer.
For example, they could send customers discount codes or coupons when they notice the customers are near the store, which will entice them to go inside. This can also be a valuable marketing tool to see which promos work best, and what time of day they are the most helpful.
While this is not a totally new technology, we feel that it will take a major step forward next year, especially in the world of retail. While a few companies (like Ikea) have taken advantage of augmented reality, there are still many opportunities in the industry. This is because it can let someone “experience” something, without ever having to have possession of it.
Augmented Reality could potentially be huge for online retailers, in particular. Many customers like to see or visualize a piece of furniture, a shirt or a TV before they buy it. If AR (or virtual reality, for that matter) takes off, many online retailers will let people “test out” products before they buy them, much like in physical stores.
Retail Store Digital Signage
Signage is absolutely key in retail, whether they are large signs on stores or small kiosks inside of a store or mall. However, with technology advancing, we can no longer simply use the same old signs we have for decades. Digital signage is the way of the future.
There are different types of digital signage software out there that can change the game when it comes to retail. They can be indoor or outdoor kiosks (with store info, maps, details, hours, FAQ and more) or even through glass. While we see these in some stores and restaurants, we think they will really begin to take off in the coming year.
While the idea of retailers using machines or robots isn’t new, as many factories and supply chain systems use them, 2018 could be the first year we begin to see many retailers using robotics in the front end of their stores. Perhaps cashiers or shelf stockers could become obsolete due to robotics.
Also, robots could be placed around the store and essentially be an easy way for customers to locate different items or ask about store policies or coupons. While this won’t happen overnight, there is no doubting that robotics could come into play in retail sooner rather than later.
If you are interested in even more technology-related articles and information from us here at Bit Rebels then we have a lot to choose from.