In Retail
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5 Technologies Revolutionizing Retail


echnology plays a pivotal role in shaping the way businesses operate, engage with customers, and drive growth. From immersive retail experiences to faster deliveries, innovations in retail technology are revolutionizing the industry, reshaping consumer experiences, streamlining operations, and opening new avenues for engagement and service.

Here’s a look at five technologies retailers are leveraging to stay ahead of the curve and meet the evolving needs of their customers.

Artificial Intelligence for Personalized Customer Service

AI technologies are transforming various aspects of retail, from personalized product recommendations to demand forecasting and customer support. By analyzing vast amounts of data, AI-driven tools can help retailers predict purchasing behaviors, tailor recommendations, and provide personalized shopping experiences. AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants are becoming increasingly sophisticated, capable of handling customer service inquiries and providing shopping assistance 24/7, elevating the level of personalized customer service.

As more retailers experiment with AI, 58% of shoppers said that generative artificial intelligence has already improved their online shopping experience, according to an Adobe survey. Two-thirds of shoppers said they want brands to analyze their previous purchases and other customer information to tailor the shopping experience to their needs. Among the top generative AI use cases consumers look forward to are automating product filters based on customer needs, creating customized items, summarizing product reviews. and customer service chatbots. 

artificial intelligence
AI-driven tools can help retailers predict purchasing behaviors, tailor recommendations, and provide personalized shopping experiences.

Robotics for Greater Productivity

Retailers use robots throughout their businesses to increase operational efficiency, streamline processes, and improve the customer experience. In warehouses, robotic automation is streamlining the picking and packing process, significantly increasing fulfillment speed and reducing human error. Companies have introduced robots to automate inventory tasks and track stock levels, ensuring products are in the correct location.

Retailers foresee up to 70% of routine tasks to be wholly or partially automated by 2025, according to a study conducted by Incisiv in collaboration with Verizon Business. The use of robotics for tasks such as cleaning and inventory audits is predicted to double in that timeframe for specialty and department stores. With robots taking over certain tasks, some retailers anticipate that they will shift store employees toward more customer-facing responsibilities and assist with business operations. 

Augmented Reality for Immersive Shopping Experiences

Augmented reality (AR) unlocks a variety of opportunities for retailers, helping them elevate the in-store buying experience and bring online shopping to a completely new level. Augmented reality can make the brick-and-mortar experience more personalized, immersive and efficient for retailers and shoppers alike. From virtual fitting rooms to AR-powered apps that allow consumers to visualize products in their own homes, AR technology not only enriches the shopping experience but also aids in reducing return rates by helping customers make more informed decisions.

Walmart is expanding its augmented reality offerings by enhancing its virtual try-on makeup experience to now include hair color products. The retailer also recently launched a Optical Virtual Try-On service. Customers can virtually try on frames and purchase prescription eyewear online through the Walmart app or directly on Walmart’s website. Walmart uses 3D data and advanced algorithms to create a digital twin of eyewear frames, resulting in an enhanced experience.

Walmart's new augmented reality offering allows customers to virtually try on frames and purchase prescription eyewear online through the Walmart app or directly on Walmart’s website.

Social Commerce for Increased Customer Engagement

Social commerce platforms enable retailers to sell products directly within social media channels. Features like shoppable posts, live streaming, and influencer partnerships capitalize on the power of social networks to drive sales and engage with customers in a more interactive and immersive way. Social commerce is fueled by the significant amount of time that consumers spend on social media. Social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok are expanding their capabilities to become modern digital storefronts, enabling retailers to explore new sales channels and reach more customers. 

TikTok is partnering with integration platform-as-a-service provider Celigo to let retailers streamline their TikTok Shop operations using Celigo cloud-based technology. The TikTok Shop Connector by Celigo solution is designed to keep data current and synced across various applications, including product data management, order management, fulfillment, and accounting. The application also provides retailers operating TikTok storefronts with access to automated insights to help drive informed decision-making, adapt to consumer behavior, and improve business operations.

Delivery and Fulfillment Automation for Faster Deliveries

Retailers are increasingly implementing new technologies and strategies to elevate their last-mile delivery operations and provide faster and more efficient delivery and fulfillment services. These include the use of autonomous vehicles and drones, locker pick-up points, and automated fulfillment networks.

To facilitate same-day and next-day deliveries, retailers and logistics companies are investing in micro-fulfillment centers. These are small, strategically located fulfillment facilities that minimize the distance to the end consumer, reducing delivery times and costs. Delivery management technology is helping retailers manage their delivery operations more efficiently, lower operational costs, and enhance the delivery experience.

Innovations in retail technology are reshaping the way businesses operate and engage with customers. By leveraging new technologies, retailers can create compelling and personalized shopping experiences that drive growth, increase customer engagement, and foster customer loyalty. Embracing these technologies not only benefits consumers but also positions retailers for greater operational efficiency and competitiveness in the evolving retail landscape.

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