FREMONT, CA: Of course, retailers are already making major investments in tech: Wal-Mart alone has spent over 10.5 billion dollars on IT and tops the list of the world’s greatest technological investors. However, many retailers struggle to meet an extremely digital customer base’s requirements and expectations. Surely the best way to fulfill consumer promises is technological integration. As “traditional” dealer experiences continue to be disrupted by online and mobile shopping, retailers rely on new technologies for customers to delight, bring them to stores, and eventually succeed in the multi-channel environment.
A WorldPay survey revealed that more than half (55 percent) of Americans expect Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Realities (VR) to be so popular soon as smartphones, whereas almost 70 percent believe it will soon be mainstream. AR and VR offer endless opportunities for creating immersive experiences in the store. The “Virtual Artist” app from Sephora is an excellent illustration of facial recognition technology that enables consumers to try a virtual makeover with the “try on” lipstick, eye shadows, and other beauty products. Consumers can save and name different looks to view the used product combinations. Likewise, online color tools on hardware shop websites have increased, enabling homeowners to virtually test color paints. The online tools have been designed to help people from an aspirational image to find the right paint palette.
Brands often look for inventive and unexpected ways to connect with customers. Luckily, the growth of Big Data and machine learning has led to a new era of prediction analysis that allows retailers to know their customers ‘ attitudes and actions. Chatbot technology is a logical step for retailers to deliver online or mobile customer service at a more personalized level. Chatbots can make advice by using predictive analytics and AI power based on past purchases of a customer, help to find items in shops, and even place orders.
Because of the increase of the Internet of Things (IoT), retailers can serve more quickly and accurately to their customers. IoT will be significantly affected by customer-specific operations as well as back-office operations in the commercial sector. One way retailers can provide customers with real-time inventory information to make their brick and mortar stores more convenient. A combined effect of IoT, mobile apps, RFID tags, and other technologies can achieve this.
The first thing that retailers need to do is deliver a truly customer experience. However, retailers need to handle the next technology generation, which is all about having an adequate network base, to take advantage of these benefits.