Retail Technology: Best Upgrade Your Toolstack With These 6 Trends
Despite the “retail apocalypse” we’ve been hearing about for the last couple of years, the truth is that retail isn’t going anywhere. By 2024, experts predict that 72% of U.S. retail sales will still occur in brick-and-mortar stores.
Meanwhile, we’re in a world of constant digital transformation. Shoppers are becoming less hands-on and more tech-enabled. While you don’t have to go as far as JD.com’s robotic stores, investing in retail technology can pay dividends. Customer satisfaction increases—as does the time your retail team spends on higher-impact tasks.
There’s no better time to start investing in retail technology than now. If you’re not sure where to begin, see below for a guide to auditing your current tech stack, plus six retail tech trends you need to be aware of.
The importance of technology in retail
Making technology a bigger part of your brick-and-mortar store is an intimidating idea for many store managers. Let’s look at why it’s worth the investment.
Streamline store operations
The quicker you can complete mundane tasks, the more time you have to spend on higher-impact activities. For example, a self-checkout process leaves retail store associates more time to engage with shoppers who have pre-purchase questions.
In addition to freeing up time, cost savings are a natural byproduct of these efficiencies. Surveys show that 10% of retailers using automation throughout the buy online, pick up in-store (BOPIS) process cut costs due to faster delivery of orders. Another 8% saw cost savings from implementing technology that avoided stockouts.
Pre-pandemic, technology certainly played a big role in retail; but now it’s clear that technology is the heart of the future of the entire industry.