The future of retail eCommerce businesses is being transformed by technology at breakneck speeds, and you don’t want to be left behind!
However, new technologies can come with some serious challenges if your business isn’t ready to adapt to them. Hence, it’s essential to learn about those new technologies and how they can affect your bottom line before they become the industry standard.
According to a recent survey, 74% of consumers say they prefer to shop online and buy products from e-tailers. The future of retail e-commerce businesses is here, and it’s looking bright!
With more and more businesses making significant investments in online retail ventures, there has never been a better time for entrepreneurs who want to start their own eCommerce business. Here are just some of the new technologies that could very well change the way you do business forever.
Retail Technology – An Overview
Retail Technology- The Beginning of a New Era
What makes me most excited about the retail eCommerce business in 2021 is technology. Digital technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), automation, and augmented reality (AR) promise to transform retail businesses in many ways.
So, where do you go from here? The future is now; if you haven’t started experimenting with new technologies yet, then now’s your chance.
These innovations enable retailers to be more efficient. Still, they can also provide new avenues for consumers to shop and interact with brands, which increasingly drives consumers’ purchasing decisions.
In-store shopping can now be made faster and easier with frictionless checkout experiences and automated stores, items can be delivered faster and cheaper with micro-fulfillment centers, and customer experiences can be enhanced with robotics and immersive experiences.
As a result, if you want your business to stay relevant over time, you’ll need an eCommerce software solution in addition to a physical one.
Emerging Trends Shaping the Future of Retail Ecommerce
#1 Food Robotics
One of the advanced technologies that are reshaping retail is robotics. According to ABI Research, over 150,000 mobile robots will be used in brick-and-mortar stores by 2025. Walmart and other prominent retailers are already utilizing robots.
Blendid is an excellent example of robotics technology in the retail sector. In this case, it’s food robotics. They provide contactless, autonomous food robotics kiosks that produce and serve healthy, delicious smoothies using innovative technology.
#2 E-Commerce-Friendly POS Systems
E-commerce has flourished as a result of the limits and worries surrounding in-person purchasing during the COVID-19 outbreak. As a result, entrepreneurs have been encouraged to improve their e-commerce systems in order to boost their online sales.
Unfortunately, due to the pandemic’s lockdowns and health dangers, a record number of retail stores were closed in 2020. However, certain retailers, such as Walmart and Target, had excellent earnings last year.
A SaaS provider for merchants discusses the growing need for a fully integrated POS and eCommerce solution. Retailers require solutions that enable them to sell things online with the same level of efficiency, customer satisfaction, and system integration that they do in their physical stores.
It is possible that having both an online and in-person option will be insufficient. During and after the pandemic, they will be able to integrate better online and offline transactions, inventory, and promotions across all in-person locations and online retailers.
#3 In-store Tech
The variety of technology available for use in retail businesses is astounding. They include anything from QR codes to Amazon Go’s automatic checkout.
HYPERVSN is one such example of this retail technology trend. This British company creates cutting-edge products for the retail and entertainment industries, such as 3D holographic display systems.
They have two primary products: a ‘Solo,’ a single device that can produce a hologram up to 75cm in diameter, and a ‘Wall,’ a collection of Solo devices that can be used to build an immense hologram.
#4 Virtual Fitting Rooms
Gartner predicted that augmented reality would reach 100 million consumers by 2020, and they were right. The consumer conversion rate for AR-engaged users increased by 90% in 2020.
In 2021, the potential of augmented reality in the retail business cannot be underestimated. Virtual fitting rooms are one of the most exciting augmented reality advancements in the retail industry.
Since “try-before-you-buy” is more challenging to handle while adhering to public health regulations during the COVID-19 epidemic, augmented reality is in a unique position to help buyers make product decisions.
Where many other retailers suffered losses due to the pandemic, Sephora enjoyed significant gains in 2020 thanks to its use of augmented reality technology.
Customers could ‘try on’ their jewelry and cosmetics with their smartphones by using virtual fitting rooms. Virtual fitting room technology is also used by other companies like Kendra Scott and Etsy.
#5 Micro Fulfillment
Micro-fulfillment is the concept of setting up small-scale, automated warehouses in easily accessible urban or suburban locations near the end-consumer.
Fabric – An American-Israeli firm that uses robotic technology to develop, build, and operate small-scale, micro-fulfillment solutions.
Their modular platform may be put at the back of existing businesses, allowing retailers to offer curbside pickup and home delivery in under an hour.
And that’s not all; local Fabric micro-fulfillment centers are used by e-commerce businesses that don’t have actual locations to provide same-day delivery services.
#6 Robots and Autonomous Vehicles
In 2021, robotics and autonomous technologies began to demonstrate their utility in the retail industry.
Safeway, a supermarket operator, is pioneering a new driverless cart service that will deliver goods to homes in the area. Also working on an Uber delivery robot is Serve Robotics, formerly known as Postmates X. Walmart plans to introduce completely autonomous trucks for delivery orders this year.
This year has also seen advancements in customer service robotics. In January, Hyundai debuted DAL-e, a robot, in a showroom in Seoul. Customers are greeted by DAL-e, who assists them in finding the ideal automobile for them. When clients do not have face coverings, DAL-e can automatically identify this and encourage them to put on a mask.
Inventory management is another application of robotics in the retail industry. SmartSight, a machine that can locate lost products on shelves and inform personnel when certain things are running low, relies heavily on computer vision and machine learning.
#7 Voice Commerce
Artificial intelligence and natural language processing will continue to progress in the coming years. Google Assistant, Alexa, and Siri are the three key frontrunners in the consumer voice assistant market, and each has made advancements to serve users better.
Their utility has surpassed what was previously feasible because they do not require a screen; all they need is the ability to recognize your voice.
The voice commerce trend is proven to have considerable promise for the retail business, with more than 77 million homes in the United States likely to have smart home devices by 2025.
Smart mirrors and smart displays, among other IoT devices in consumers’ homes, can help communicate product content non-intrusive and valuable.
It’s possible that screens aren’t even required. Smart speakers that support voice commerce need to hear the customer’s voice and reply appropriately. Customers may use voice commands to find things and even make transactions.
Walmart’s Voice Ordering service is an excellent illustration of how this technology may be put to use. They can place orders entirely by voice by asking smart speakers to add things to a cart. These things can then be made available to Walmart employees for pickup.
In general, the future of retail appears to be exciting and bright. Brands are getting more competitive, implementing ways to help businesses become more efficient and customer-focused.
The parameters that will define the new retail landscape will be excellent services, engaging in-store experiences, a high level of personalization, and automation.
If you’re ready to adopt these technologies and make your goal of providing additional value to your clients, A retail software development company in India is the ideal partner for you. It can provide you with retail software development services.