Fashion retail industry software provider Detego has published research that identifies seven top technology trends in retail over next year.
The first is mobility. Customers are now expecting a faster service in store. “Spoiled by the speed of getting information online, the customer now expects the same service in a store,” said Uwe Hennig, CEO of Detego. “This trend will mean even more mobile devices – such as tablets and smartphones – being used by sales personnel to provide information on individual articles at the point-of-sale (POS).”
The next is ‘digital fitting rooms’. “Interactive systems and ‘magic mirrors’ in fitting rooms can collect information on customer preferences and can recommend suitable items to customers accordingly,” said Henning. “The customer can communicate directly from the fitting room with store staff who can support the buying and decision-making process, not to mention access other, complementary ranges of items online.”
According to Detego, RFID is here to stay too. These give more retail – time insights and availability and as such is expected to dominate the market in 2017. “The use of more RFID readers will also help improve both customer service and back-office functions, speeding up inventory procedures and in-store processes with real-time information,” said Henning. “New forms of mobile interactions will increase due to digitised customer cards via smartphones, just as mobile payments will be used more extensively.
“The implementation of fixed-reader infrastructure and real-time analytics opens up completely new opportunities for retailers to gain deeper insights into their in-store operations and how to actively manage them.”
Omnichannel retailing is expected to continue its strong growth in the opinion of Detego. “The integration of all channels via technology, as well as digitalisation in the store, not only ensures a successful customer journey with services like click and collect, but also reduces over-stocking and generates additional knowledge about the customer,” said Henning.
A stronger grip on analytics is set to be another key trend in the next year. “Up until now, a customer entering a store was often an unknown entity with regards to their buying intentions,” said Henning. “Reliable analytical data will allow bricks-and-mortar retailers to use similar customer profiles to those typically used by online retailers.”
Somewhat unsurprisingly for a software company like Detego, Artificial Intelligence is one key trend set to grow in 2017. “Self-learning systems and predictive recommendations will establish themselves, starting from customer requirements and sales-oriented forecasts for purchasing and merchandising up to buying recommendations for consumers in a store, fitting room or online,” said Henning.
Fridges and printers ordering goods from the internet through the so-called Internet of Things (IoT). “IoT enables the personalisation of offers and digital signage that increases the probability of self-service and more intelligent and extensive interaction with consumers in the store,” said Henning. “The Internet of Things is undoubtedly here to stay.”
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