Global retail models are changing, and advances in technology are empowering consumers and driving retail to completely reimagine the supply chain. To succeed in the new digital landscape—and with hyperconnected consumers—retailers and suppliers must recognise, embrace, and become catalysts for change.
Here are the top five technology trends driving growth in the retail sector.
AI enhances customer experiences and improves performance and outcomes by automating labour-intensive processes. Chatbots guide consumers through purchase decisions, and machine learning is revolutionising business decision-making.
While IoT provides real-time insights to retailers, beacons are helping drive foot traffic into stores by marketing to customers’ mobiles. Together, they can deliver highly targeted, personalised campaigns.
Blockchain is set to revolutionise the value chain by removing the third-party element from digital transactions. And by guaranteeing data ownership, protecting data privacy, and preventing unauthorised duplication, it’s enabling exciting new business models.
“For the first time, [blockchain means] everyone knows that the transfer has taken place, and nobody can challenge the legitimacy of the transfer.” —Mark Andreesen in "Why Bitcoin Matters," the New York Times
Both VR and AR are finding a host of new practical applications in retail. VR shows strong promise for virtual in-store experiences, while AR applications can provide consumers with insights and information overlaid on real-world scenarios.
“Shoppers want to take advantage of in-store technology…they want to combine immediate access to information with their in-store experience.” —"Keeping Pace with Shifting UK Shopper Expectations," Mindtree
3D printing is boosting the speed and accuracy of manufacturing, slashing time to market, and enabling widespread customisation—across medical, automotive, fashion, and design sectors.
With the right cloud strategy in place—delivering the scalability, flexibility, cost efficiency, and future-readiness retail demands—businesses can prepare for, and thrive in, a challenging future.