A recent Forbes article predicts five key technology trends that will saturate the retail market by 2020. We’re moving in a direction that will make our shopping experiences more and more convenient and accessible. While physical stores are definitely here to stay for at least the foreseeable future, the way that we shop in stores is bound to change! The first prediction states that retail stores will embrace showrooming. Showrooming is when customers use retail stores as places to simply look at and try-on items before going online to make the actual purchase at a more competitive price.
So what’s the coolest part about this trend? Retailers will use beacons, a type of sensor that gives the retailer information about which items or sections of the store we were lingering around for a while, so that the retailer can suggest products for us to buy online that are tailored to our individual interests. This is just one example of the next trend: more analytics in stores.
Besides using the beacons, stores will have technology to track our buying habits and product preferences by analyzing our actions in store. The next technology trend goes far beyond measuring just our in-store movements. Sensory technology will soon help retailers detect our emotional responses to the products, signs, and advertisements that we see in store.
To make our life a bit easier, payments are expected to become completely transparent with mobile payment options and pre-pay options that will allow us to go in the store, pick up the items that we’ve already bought through our smartphone, and walk out with no checkout process. Just imagine how easy it would be to shop!
Last but not least, sources predict that the role of sales associates will shift because many of their tasks will become automated. Store navigation, self-checkout, and product information will be made available to customers through technology devices, therefore freeing up sales associates to focus on building profitable relationships with customers.
While some of these technology trends may seem unbelievable at first, a lot can change in five years. With the increasing trend of mobile and online shopping, there’s no way that retail stores can afford to stay stagnant in their retail approach. I am all for making the shopping experience as convenient and seamless as possible! What’s your new favorite shopping technology trend?
By: Jaclyn Parker