Shopper behaviour and expectations have changed. Stores need to evolve to meet consumer demands, and the influence of technology will only increase as retailers seek to connect with shoppers.
In the year ahead, we expect the much more sophisticated retail technology trends include:
Grab, scan and go: With a smartphone in every pocket and the expansion of advanced barcodes and imaging technologies for scanning products, faster alternative checkout methods will continue to grow across the retail sector.
Some retailers already offer in-aisle checkout. Whereas others, such as Amazon gained attention for its vision of grocery shopping without the checkout.
It’s no question that other retailers will seek shortcuts for shoppers also. It’s one step closer to the cashless society that has long been rumoured.
Augment Reality: The huge, recent investment in augmented and virtual reality technologies, combined with a proliferation of affordable glasses and other viewers, has found its way into the retail sector.
Introducing tech which enables products that can be visualized wherever shoppers want. 'See' your new sofa in your living room. This will require powerful imaging technologies and enhanced products that can be scanned and saved for later viewing at home.
Robots: Expect to see more robotics in retail. Robots don't tire or earn overtime, making them great for roaming aisles to automatically track inventory, perform pick-and-pack duties in distribution centres, and maybe even make last-mile deliveries to a doorstep.