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With the retail-frenzied holiday season rounding the corner, retailers and customers alike are planning out their to-do checklists and working to embrace this season with the best foot forward. There are several retail technology trends that have already impacted the industry, and some new ones right around the bend.
Everyone is aware of the same-day delivery trends that are circulating mobile retail sites, and with the holiday season coming up, it’s a hot find for sure. Next-Day delivery is a thing of the past, because same-day delivery is accommodating customers’ experiences better. Though it may be a costly process for retailers, it can actually lead to more sales overall, and even an added competitive edge amongst surrounding businesses.
Chatbots are Taking Form
AI is working on improving customer experiences everywhere. Chatbots can help fulfill customers’ needs and answer any questions that may arise during the transactional process. If a customer is a regular visitor for the site and/or stores items in their shopping cart, that chatbot can then create a relationship with the consumer and provide additional personalized experiences. The chatbot can suggest specific products, perhaps maybe a pair of pants that a customer has been eyeing for awhile.
Supply Chains are Getting Smarter
The Supply Chain 4.0 is digitizing the supply chain and enabling companies to address the needs of consumers. This is challenging companies to fulfill those expectations on the efficiency standpoint. Thanks to Predictive Analytics, faster processes can occur on the warehouse floor. Amazon actually owns a patent for ‘anticipatory shipping’ where the product will ship before you order. Several retailers are trying to turnover sales orders as quickly as possible, especially during the holiday season.
Increased Flexibility – When it comes to real-time planning ahead for situations, supply chain workers are able to alter their overall demand. Increased flexibility in delivery processes can allow customers to re-route shipments to the easiest destination possible.
Higher Accuracy – Real-time and end-to-end transparency throughout the supply chain can work to promote higher accuracy rates. The range of data made available, provides a basis for everyone’s place working in the supply chain. Performance management systems will “learn” to automatically identify any risks that could could negatively modify the supply chain, so employees can work to mitigate any risks that come up.
More and More Efficiency – Boosted automation with planning and performing physical tasks on the floor is evident. Robots are sent to handle pallets/boxes and any other task that takes place on the line. Autonomous trucks can transport products to and from the location, optimizing all warehousing capabilities.
5G Optimizing Retail
5G is predicted to revolutionize IoT in the retail spectrum as well. Providing customers with unlimited access to more data with virtually no delay in response is big.
Customers are less likely to be limited towards coming to an informed decision about retailers and brands they would choose to patronize. 5G will transform smart packaging and delivery processes through smart sensors to ensure real-time data is captured and that the appropriate conditions are recorded for some environment-sensitive packages.
The Overall Customer Relationship
No matter what strategies retailers are implementing within their business, the overall goal is put the customer in mind and to continue building towards a better and stronger relationship.
The utilization of VR and AR will help customers make more informed decisions towards their purchases from here on out. Try Before you Buy, Surprise Pop-Ups, and even innovative/interactive warehouses and help to spice things up drive for a happier customer in the long run.