Category: Retail Tech

Retail tech is the integration of technology to enhance or streamline retail experiences in brick and mortar or e-commerce sites.

Consumers draw a fine line between “cool and creepy” for some retail technologies according to polling by RichRelevance in 2018. Customers were most comfortable with the idea of “robots guide you to specific products within store aisles upon request” with 48.4% of customers saying it was cool.

This likely isn’t shifting any boundaries for consumers because it is the same process they are used to asking store associates for help, just an AI robot instead.

Among the unpopular technologies was wearables, customers were asked their feelings about “clothing includes sensors/tracking devices that allow retailers to track you in exchange for a discount” in which 75.8% of respondents considered this creepy.

This isn’t shocking, as consumers tend to favor technologies that enhance their in-store or online experience, rather than sense a breach of privacy to benefit the company.

Here are 3 areas of focus in retail tech according to the National Retail Federation’s annual “Retail’s Big Show” in 2019:

1. Cloud Computing

Starbucks partnered with Microsoft at the show to display how the Internet of Things could benefit a company like Starbucks.

A giant like Starbucks could use cloud computing to update all devices simultaneously with corporate changes while having the ability to aggregate sales data to better understand peak times and popular items.

Starbucks said the incorporation of cloud computing will help with “beverage consistency, waste reduction, the management of energy consumption and predictive maintenance.” 

2. Supply Chain’s Impact on Returns

As the influence of e-commerce continues to grow, consumers are returning more items.  

Building a network of convenient warehouses with efficient processes to convert the returned item into a sellable good.  In the fashion industry, the longer the item sits in warehouses to be returned, the lower the likelihood of reselling becomes.  

Unlike returning a bottle of shampoo that will not fall out of favor, fashion is so trend based that the lag time before the returned into is restocked online, the higher the likelihood it won’t resell.

3. Digital Store Shelves

In an effort to save time and money in updating items price changes or promotions, many stores are adopting digital shelving that way prices can be updated seamlessly particularly in the grocery industry with such large price fluctuations.  

Kroger has taken this one step further to work with Microsoft to connect their shelves to the Kroger Scan-and-Go mobile app that will allow customers to map out their grocery route.

Going digital will also mean increased advertising space for brands to utilize.  

The contribution of the on-demand economy is retail technology too far reaching not to discuss.  The on-demand economy is based upon real-time delivery in a society that largely seeks instant gratification.

Examples of on-demand platforms include transportation like Uber or services like GrubHub and InstaCart.

Opportunities for nearly instant retail experiences leads even more consumers to e-commerce retail platforms, demanding fast free shipping.  

To learn more about the growth of the on-demand economy and retail technology, read the following articles:

How Technology Is Changing Retail Online 

How Technology Is Changing Retail Online 

Technological advancements have made a huge impact on the world of e-commerce in recent years, transforming the way consumers interact with brands and purchase products online. Customers can now browse the internet from their mobile devices, personalize products and even use augmented reality to determine if an item will look good in their home. Businesses …

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4 Negative Impacts of Retail Technology on Society

4 Negative Impacts of Retail Technology on Society

You’ve probably heard a lot about the positive ways retail technology will impact society, but people often don’t bring up the disadvantages of those changes. Let’s look at some of the negative impacts of retail technology so that you can have a balanced perspective. 1. It May Discriminate Against People Who Don’t or Can’t Use …

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3 Ways PropTech is Revolutionizing the CRE Industry

3 Ways PropTech is Revolutionizing the CRE Industry

The commercial real estate industry has historically been associated with seedy brokers, false information, and limited options. Today, however, tech startups and digital tools for real estate (dubbed “PropTech”) are revolutionizing practices and helping to change consumer attitudes towards CRE. The resulting changes are simplifying commercial real estate processes and allowing growing businesses to find …

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3 Ways Retail Intelligence Affects You

3 Ways Retail Intelligence Affects You

Artificial intelligence is making an appearance in nearly every industry. In healthcare, AI systems can sort through patient data faster than human workers, and can even assist with robotic surgery. In business, it can increase sales, detect fraud, track patterns and even predict future sales trends. AI is also beginning to make an appearance in …

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5 Retail Technology Solutions Consumers Can Look Forward to in 2020

5 Retail Technology Solutions Consumers Can Look Forward to in 2020

Retail experiences are changing, some for the better and others, well, not so much. This is largely a reaction to the evolving demands of the average consumer. Many shoppers now conduct a bulk of their purchases online, relegating retail and in-store experiences to more of a demo or showroom session. People often visit a store …

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6 Retail Technology Trends Poised to Shape the Consumer Experience

6 Retail Technology Trends Poised to Shape the Consumer Experience

The retail sector is changing rapidly, thanks in large to the introduction and adoption of new technologies. Here are six tech trends that will shape the consumer experience of the future. 1. Visual and Voice Search Gone are the days when your only search option used text — at least, those days will disappear soon. …

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Best 6 Sites for Online Grocery Shopping

Best 6 Sites for Online Grocery Shopping

Today’s on-demand economy is changing how consumers and businesses interact, even when it comes to grocery shopping. Since half the on-demand users are millennials, it’s safe to say the trend of online grocery shopping isn’t going away. As more retailers offer online shopping and quick delivery, it can save you both time and money to …

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The On-Demand Economy: What Is It, and How Does It Affect Us?

The On-Demand Economy: What Is It, and How Does It Affect Us?

The on-demand economy is changing the way consumers and businesses operate, making instant gratification and convenience a great expectation among consumers. Harvard Business Report shows the on-demand economy bringing in 22.4 million consumers annually, who spend $57.6 billion overall. The trend is also clearly here to stay since half the on-demand users are millennials, who …

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Apps to Help You Save Time and Money at the Grocery Store

Apps to Help You Save Time and Money at the Grocery Store

Although some people may cook vegetarian fare while others profess a love for bacon while preparing meals, one thing we all have in common is the need to shop for groceries. However, this necessary task often isn’t one people particularly look forward to, because it can be time-consuming and costly. Keep reading to learn ways …

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5 Apps to Make Holiday Shopping Hassle Free

5 Apps to Make Holiday Shopping Hassle Free

The holiday shopping season is almost here, and proactive people already have a head start on the procrastinators. You’re still not feeling in the holiday spirit, and you certainly aren’t ready to start checking items off your gift shopping list. Thankfully, there are several apps that may help you have an attitude more akin to …

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