The COVID-19 pandemic shook the entire world to its core. Among all the industries that suffered, retail tops the list. The disruption, however, also helped digital and physical storefronts to be innovative. Let’s find out how technological advancements in retail can impact small businesses and larger enterprises alike.
Trend 1 – Indoor Positioning System – Not Just for the Store Maps
Indoor positioning systems have been around for quite some time now. They help users navigate the indoor areas where the GPS is inaccurate or unavailable. However, there are several other applications for this technology.
Installing IPS Systems in the Stores
Installing in-store navigation solutions is considered quite beneficial. Hardware is the first step. It is necessary to have the correct infrastructure in place, be it WIFI RTT, Bluetooth, or ultra-wideband.
Target implemented Bluetooth IoT lights at many locations. When the guests shop using the Target app, they receive a map to find their position inside the store and the products they need.
IPS systems can do so much more than help people shop. The data on where people shop inside the store has three advantages:
- Item Tracking- RFID retailcan track items but within a short-range. When used together with IPS, they offer more detailed information on the location of the items on the sales floor. This improves asset protection and lets one easily return moved items to their correct locations.
- Targeted Suggestions- When people are in a specific part of a shop with its official app, the IPS system can track them wherever and provide them targeted suggestions on different deals on their cell phones. This enhances the conversion rates.
- Customer Traffic Data-The data on where people are inside the store is useful. It can safeguard user privacy and let the entrepreneurs decide where to keep certain items. The data could also be a cherished bargaining chip when negotiating with the vendors on how much they must pay to include the product in a high-traffic area.
Trend 2 – Augmented Reality for Workers and Consumers
Augmented reality shopping has become the new normal in 2022. Enhanced navigation, virtual fitting rooms, and other AR experiences are spreading throughout the market. This bridged the gap between brick-and-mortar shops and digitized e-commerce stores.
- Trying Before Buying- The experts offering the best RFID healthcaresystems said augmented reality lets you try a product before buying it. You can see how you look in a dress, how a piece of furniture looks in a house, etc. The ‘try before buy’ technique is executed by Target, Sephora, Ikea, etc.
- Helping Retail Workers in Other Chores-Augmented reality devices let retail workers visualize the shelves before organizing. The 3D planogram serves as a guide for the overall setup procedure. The workers can also create zones for out of stock items, damaged items, etc.
Trend 3 – Automation and Robots in Retail
Robotics has many applications, such as inventory management, delivery, and customer service.
- Autonomous Delivery-Autonomous delivery has become popular in 2022. Grubhub has successfully rolled out food delivery robots to the college campuses. Drone delivery is also explored. UPS Flight and Verizon announced that they would leverage 5G technology for improving drone deliveries in Florida.
- Inventory Management-Specialized hardware can at times help inventory management. This works in areas where shelf-mounted or ceiling cameras do not work. Robotics automates identifying misplaced products and alerts the workers when certain products are running low.
- Customer Service-Last year, Hyundai introduced DAL-e, a robot that creates automotive showrooms. The robot greets customers and lets them find the vehicle they wish to purchase. The robot utilizes facial recognition and artificial intelligence to ensure the customer is wearing a mask. It also advises them about safety rules.
An essential part of providing new technologies into a retail store is the vendor and the business relationship. They collaborate to create solutions that assure the success of a product.
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