Top technology trends in retail and how they can grow your business

Lindsey Peacock

As consumer's expectations evolve, retailers are under increasing pressure to change with them. Retail customers no longer only shop in-store or online—they are engaging with brands in multiple places leading up to their purchase.

Whether you have a physical storefront, an online store, or both, your customers are likely checking out you and your products both online and offline. According to one recent study, 82% of shoppers check their smartphones before making in-store purchases and another 45% consult reviews before buying items.

As a result, multichannel selling has become a crucial strategy for retailers to enhance the customer journey (and increase your bottom line in the process). Retailers with two marketplaces for selling (think an online store plus a pop-up shop) generate 190% more revenue than those with just one.

It’s apparent that adding the right technology to your in-store retail experience positively impacts the business. But with new technologies launching regularly, it’s difficult to discern what tech makes sense for your needs. What are the best technologies to generate more revenue and create a seamless experience for customers across all sales channels? Let’s examine a few tech solutions more retailers are leaning on to make their multichannel dreams a reality.

Innovative Retail Technology Enhancing the In-store Shopping Experience

To create a more cohesive shopping experience across all online and offline sales channels, retailers are leaning on emerging technologies. From in-store analytics tools to AI-powered personalized shopping experiences, technology trends are making multichannel sales more attainable for today’s retailers. And we’re rounding up the top trends empowering retailers to enhance the customer experience while improving their bottom line.

In-Store Analytics Working Together With Ecommerce Metrics

Up until the last few years, ecommerce stores had a leg up on physical retail when it came to in-depth analytics. Ecommerce platforms have long offered metrics on customers and products, including daily traffic numbers, top referrers, and average cart value. And while point-of-sale systems offer solid insight into in-store sales numbers, measuring things like foot traffic has proven challenging. But thanks to technologies like Dor, ShopperTrak and AdMobilize it’s simpler for retailers to track, analyze, and sync up their in-store data with their online sales metrics.

  1. Dor Dor is a high-tech people counter that helps retailers make more data-driven decisions about their stores. Check foot traffic for all your doors from any device to adjust staffing levels, track conversion rates over time, and integrate with ecommerce platforms to sync up all your data points, including your point of sale.

  2. ShopperTrak ShopperTrak is a tool that offers analytics and visitor count data. ShopperTrak creates customized reports to get a deeper understanding of conversions from marketing efforts, foot traffic numbers over time, and overall sales. You can also check out visitor behavior through handy heat maps and charts, helping retailers adjust their store layout or displays to maximize sales.

  3. AdMobilize AdMobilize uses artificial intelligence software to count visitors and crowds in real-time. Not only does it help retailers measure foot traffic, but the software offers demographic data on visitors like gender and age range.

With these analytics tools, retailers can get a deeper understanding of their in-store customer behavior and accordingly make well-informed business decisions.

These technologies help retailers enhance the customer journey and create a more cohesive multichannel selling.

Interactive Shopping Experiences

Part of creating a cohesive multichannel customer journey is to incorporate digital experiences into your physical store. Experiential retail, which immerses store visitors in a branded shopping experience, is one of the top ways more retailers are luring in curious customers. PSFK’s “Future of Retail 2018” report showed that 55% of the 400 retail executives surveyed will spend part of their marketing budgets on in-store experiences by 2020.

But many in-store shopping experiences need an upgrade—which is where several new technologies have emerged. From Nobal’s interactive fitting room mirror to Tulip’s personalized product recommendations to NewStore’s mobile POS that processes sales from anywhere in your store, retailers have a wealth of high-tech options to engage customers once they’ve crossed the threshold.

  1. iMirror Nobal’s iMirror offers an interactive digital experience in your fitting room. Integrate this interactive mirror with your point-of-sale and inventory management system so that customers can order items directly from the fitting room. They can also search for and request different sizes and colors or get out-of-stock items shipped directly to their doorstep.

  2. Tulip Tulip, another handy tool, is helping retailers provide more personalized in-store service to exceed customer expectations. Store employees can use the company’s Retail Clienteling App to deliver completely tailored messages to loyal customers. In addition, staff members can pull up a customer’s order history to make personalized recommendations, marketing messages, and more via email or SMS.

  3. NewStore NewStore is another multi-faceted tool that offers some features similar to Tulip. NewStore’s software empowers store associates to personalize engagement with customers; staff can process a sale from anywhere with the mobile point-of-sale system; your store can offer more convenient fulfillment options for customers such as buy online and pick up in-store.

Using these high-tech solutions in-store is a step toward keeping shoppers more engaged and making purchases quick and easy, whether it’s in the fitting room or anywhere else on the sales floor.

Dor
AdMobilize

Utilizing Artificial Intelligence In-store

AI is another powerful tool retailers are leveraging to improve the customer journey. Solutions like Slyce and Chatter offers brands a high-tech way to engage with customers to break down buying barriers and garner their feedback.

  1. Slyce Slyce uses AI to allow customers to take a picture of a product in real life and immediately find similar products for sale. Neiman Marcus, which implemented this visual search AI into its app, saw an increase in app usage and customer engagement and satisfaction. Wanda Gierhard, Neiman Marcus CMO, said “search results 95% accurate,” and the tool garnered Neiman Marcus plenty of attention in many media outlets.

  2. Chatter Chatter, on the other hand, makes it simpler to engage customers for feedback. Rather than sending your shoppers a boring survey, they’ll likely ignore, Chatter uses AI to engage customers in a conversation via text message. Once a customer leaves your store, they can trigger Chatter with an NFC tap, QR code, short code number, or CRM event. The AI converts the real-time text conversation into actionable feedback for retailers.

The retail industry is replete with innovative technologies that can help engage customers in new ways, and Slyce and Chatter are owning the artificial intelligence sector.

Emerging Technology for Retailers to Follow

With more digital native brands moving into physical retail, there’s more pressure to create a unified consumer experience from online to offline, and vice versa. More retailers are accomplishing this by incorporating technology into the physical space and creating a high-tech in-store experience.

These technologies help retailers enhance the customer journey and create a more cohesive multichannel selling. Having more than one sales channels creates a better customer experience — which ultimately leads to more sales.

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