When Tech Meets Business – The Technology That’s Changed The Game
We now live in an increasingly digitized world, and the recent Covid pandemic has further accelerated the rate at which businesses across all sectors have had to adopt new technologies. From the increase in remote working (facilitated by new teleconferencing apps such as Zoom), to fully automated “smart” warehouses, the future certainly looks exciting. And the retail sector is not being left behind. With many bricks and mortar stores having to adapt to e-commerce approaches during the pandemic, there is an increased interest in embracing other new technologies. Read on to discover some of the innovations that are changing the retail game forever.
The New Approach To Retail
Creating a personalized customer experience is now the focus for retailers, and nowhere is this easier to achieve than in the online environment. Modern, cloud-based software allows retailers to target their selected demographics with better accuracy than ever before, as well as offering advanced analytics of key metrics that can help to direct future sales strategies. Of course, many retailers straddle both physical locations and e-commerce offerings, and there are plenty of changes afoot in-store, too.
Using VR And AR
The increasing popularity of AR (Augmented Reality) and VR (Virtual Reality) has also spilled over into the retail world. Many consumers are now familiar with these concepts from playing popular video games or social media tools, and now this technology is being deployed by creative retailers. Furniture stores such as IKEA have begun to offer tools that allow customers to see just how a product would look in their own home, and some fashion retailers including Ray-Ban let you try on their range without stepping out of your front door. It certainly looks like a perfect complement to the growing popularity of online shopping, but what about business owners who want to enhance the experience of shoppers visiting their physical premises?
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Digital Signage Drives Results
The rise of digital signage is proving to be one of the more effective tools at any retailer’s disposal. With an incredible ability to capture the attention of passers-by (400% greater than traditional signage) , dynamic and engaging digital signage can also be a wonderful marketing tool. The ability to instantly update signage with relevant offers or information makes this a major benefit for retailers looking to create buyer urgency or shift unsold stock items.
With useful analytics available, digital signage in retail can also be used to identify the best times to target your chosen demographics and boost sales figures. They also make an excellent tool for increasing footfall, with studies showing that 8 out of 10 shoppers would enter an unfamiliar store on the basis of seeing such signage.
Perhaps best of all, using digital signage can also help retailers to offer a personalized shopping experience, right in the store. Adopting digital signage trends by linking digital signage to QR codes and social media accounts, stores can offer personalized discounts and run contests that encourage their visitors to engage with their brand, helping to build precious loyalty. Their presence also helps to reduce the perception of wait times, ideal for avoiding customer frustration during peak busy shopping periods.
The Future Could Make Use Of Facial Recognition
As well as being a useful tool in the struggle against shoplifters, retailers could soon be discovering that facial recognition technology can aid in further improving the customer experience. By identifying individual shoppers, stores can tailor their experience, directing them through digital signage or customers’ cellphones to products or services that they will likely be interested in. Whilst this will need to be squared with privacy and data protection regulations, it’s not hard to imagine this kind of experience reaching our stores before too long.
Embracing New Technology Pays Off
It’s clear that investing in these latest innovations is a smart move. In a recent study by McKinsey, it was found that retail businesses that adopted digital technologies saw 3.3% greater TSR (Technical Sales Representative) compared to those that didn’t. And the myriad different technologies available means that there is a solution that can work well for any kind of business, from small independent stores through to giant e-commerce multi-nationals.
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