Explore 2018 Highlights for Retail Industry

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The retail industry is undergoing a radical shift as consumers are becoming more and more aware and interested in knowing what value they are getting out of a purchase, then simply concerned with what to buy. This means it’s not enough anymore to sell high-quality products with absolutely no information on the product background or history. Therefore, in order to better satisfy customers and outsmart the global competition, it’s imperative for your small or medium-sized retail business to embrace new trends hitting the industry.

According to the latest survey by https://www.ibef.org/industry/retail-india.aspx, India is expected to become the world’s third-largest consumer economy, reaching US$ 400 billion in consumption by 2025. The jargon “Evolve-or-die“ will be adopted by most of the retailers as a principal thumb rule because the size of modern retail in India is expected to double to Rs 171,800 crore (US$ 25.7 billion) from Rs 87,100 crore (US$ 13 billion) in three years driven by omnichannel retail.

This blog brings before you the top trends of the Retail industry as emerging technology platforms to be witnessed by retailers:

Virtual/Digital assistance will be the new shopping companion– Not to worry if your best friend ditched you at the last moment for a shopping spree. You now have a new buddy who is going to stay by your side always. The market is already flooded with digital assistances like Siri, Alexa, and Cortana by Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft respectively. And there are more to come from Nokia, Samsung, and IBM. Soon they are going to help in preparing a shopping list and drive voice generated purchases.

Omni-channel retailing will take over– In order to be a top retailing brand, it calls for your presence over different channels of selling, i.e via the physical store, online, mobile, and over social media. The trend of omnichannel selling is becoming a craze with the millennial for greater ease of buying, exchange, billing, and return experiences. For selling via, social media, mobile, cloud network and obtaining complete synchronization amongst each one of them is crucial in order to have real time visibility into every channel.

Robotics for advanced shopping experience– By the end of this year, we may expect real robots taking charge of retail stores, probably into supply chain management, into store aisles, and checkout counters. Robotics will be employed to improve merchandising, supply chain, marketing strategies, product promotions, e-commerce, store operations decisions and also to track customer shopping and behavioural analytics.

Drone delivery will be the new trend– In a step ahead to eliminate the dependencies on human labour, drones are playing an active role in making dedicated short-term product deliveries. Retailers are in a mad rush to offer another level of customer convenience as drones allow same day shipping, and because free shipping is old and boring; the name of the new game is ‘speed’. Though drone deliveries are fast, reliable, and economical, they have a major drawback of covering a limited area i.e. in the coverage range of their radio frequency. Drones are best suitable for short and multi-frequency deliveries.

Digital convergence will lead the transformation– Actual trials and the fit check was the only factor that kept shoppers away from online shopping. Now imagine you digitally trying the dress that you wish to purchase, using your exact, 3-D image for the look, fitting, and complete effect. It uses the front camera of your mobile phone or tablet to capture your virtual image and can be deployed for trials of apparels, eyewear, accessories, and footwear. It is now being installed in a number of stores and the number will keep increasing. You may instruct your personal shopper for size, colour and style preferences via voice command. This technology is certainly going to revolutionize the shopping experience and will be instrumental in boosting the brand image of your retail store.

Anti-fraud tools for a safer digital environment– Soon after the trend of digital payments took off, a considerable threat to customer’s confidential information and account details were ever looming. In order to prevent it, new age anti-fraud tools are deployed to identify fraud signals and patterns with the help of artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities and offer customers peace of mind for any kind of online transactions. Tools such as digital signatures, combination passwords, OTPs, and cache patterns are installed in the retail store servers to not only eliminate chances of frauds but also detect signals well in advance and curb cybercrime.

These are some of the biggest and most influential trends of the year 2018, but there may be more popping up soon in the retail world. Know more about Retail Management software, and drop in your views and concerns. We will reach you shortly.