Technology innovations that fuel retail industry growth

Bharti RetailTechnology innovations in retail industry are reshaping buyer behavior and their shopping journey.

In fact, 36 percent of US online adults think retailers should offer personalized experiences using technology that facilitates real-time experiences, says a new research from Boston Consulting Group.

When done correctly, personalized content offers a boost to retailers’ revenues. The research suggests that brands that integrate proprietary data and advanced digital technologies to create personalized customer experiences are increasing their revenue by 6-10 percent annually.

Amazon Go, a store concept that uses technologies including computer vision, algorithms and sensor fusion to automate purchase, checkout and payment, is one such example of personalized shopping.

Microsoft is working on technology that would eliminate cashiers and checkout lines from stores, in a challenge to Amazon.com’s automated grocery shop, Reuters reported.

The software giant is developing systems that track what shoppers add to their carts. Microsoft has shown sample technology to retailers and had talks with Walmart for a collaboration.

Artificial intelligence is expected to revolutionize and improve customer service. According to a recent report by ResearcherAndMarkets.com, artificial intelligence in retail market is estimated to be $27.238 billion by 2025 from $712.6 million in 2016.

Adeptmind is one of the companies that use the concept of artificial intelligence to give retailers a search engine that eradicate the ‘no results found’ message when it comes to consumers.

Adeptmind recently partnered with Decathlon to improve its online customer engagement, create a better shopping experience, and improve sales. This makes the products easier to find, ultimately evolving the shopping experience of consumers.

Retailers agreed that chatbots have the potential to improve customer service and guide interactions. The chatbot market has seen explosive growth since 2015. This human-like conversation platform, powered by Artificial Intelligence, can help customers get quick access to the information, address queries, resolve issues and even to help the user shop.

Technavio says the market share of chatbots in the retail and ecommerce industry will grow at 38.56 percent by 2021, with ecommerce giants like Amazon, Alibaba, Walmart and Flipkart already adopting the technology in a big way.

Alibaba recently launched a smart customer service chatbot powered by artificial intelligence (AI) that retailers use to customize their individual virtual-storefront operations.

Named Dian Xiaomi (store assistant), the chatbot was inspired by Ali Xiaomi, an AI-powered chatbot by Alibaba in 2015. The Dian Xiaomi chatbot addresses problems and can quickly match solutions, boosting efficiency and the overall customer experience.

Augmented reality (AR) and Virtual reality (VR) are also reshaping the retail industry by making it more efficient. According to a research from Sonar (J. Walter Thompson’s proprietary research unit) 80 percent of consumers are more likely to visit a store offering VR and AR technology.

AR and VR let shoppers not only view digital representations of products, but also learn more about what they’re buying, see additional options and get instant recommendations.

Having already entered augmented reality, IKEA is now exploring a way for shoppers to learn more about its products in virtual reality. Using the IKEA app on phones, customers can select from a range of different furniture and try it on for size. The app automatically scales the furniture based on room dimensions so you can see if it fits the room.

The interactive nature of VR impacts consumers on a deeper level, closely aligning purchasable products to deliver exciting experiences which makes them more likely to buy and share.

Digital transformation in the retail industry creates new services for customers, new kinds of engagement into what customers want by more closely meeting their needs.

Yadawanka Pala