Tech

Technology and the Changing Face of Retail

The disruptive influence of technological development has left virtually no sector of the economy untouched. It is unsurprising, then, that with the ups and downs of the contemporary retail sector, more retailers are turning to technological solutions to solve some of their problems.

Indeed, technology is quickly turning the old ways of doing business in retail upside-down. While some of these solutions are relatively basic but useful, others represent the forefront of our current technological capabilities. From simple solutions like Deputy’s online rostering software to the latest in augmented reality, there is something for every retailer to benefit from in this list.

Let’s look at some specific ways in which technology is changing the face of retail.

Instant Checkout

Rather than spending excessive money on staffing each week, retail stores are beginning to experiment with instant checkouts. Customers will be able to use an app on their phone to simply “sign-in” to a store. After that, sensors and computer vision technology will record what items the user picks up and charge them automatically.

By lowering staffing requirements, this has incredible cost-minimisation potential for those businesses that choose to adopt it. While this is not yet being adopted in stores everywhere, keep your eye out for this to take off in the near future.

Contemporary Software Tools

The latest development in employee time tracking and scheduling software is providing managers with much more convenience than in the past. Rather than having to go through email requests for time off or sick leave and coordinating schedules among your staff, you can now use a program to simply generate a schedule for you based on information that your team can input themselves.

With this burden lifted from the shoulders of managers, they will be better able to spend their time boosting team morale and putting the priorities of many retail businesses back on track.

Project management software is also increasingly popular as it becomes more diverse in its applicability. These platforms make it easy to keep tabs on who is responsible for what on a given project. It also makes communicating with your entire team to gauge how the working process is going much more straightforward and streamlined.

Augmented Reality For Retail

One of the most interesting developments in retail in recent years has been the adoption of augmented reality for the purposes of improving the customer experience. What would have seemed like the stuff of science fiction only a decade ago is quickly becoming a reality.

For example, customers can now use an app to determine if the space in their apartment or living room is large enough to contain particular items of furniture. This tool will allow consumers to make more informed purchasing decisions. For retailers, this has the potential to dramatically reduce the number of returned items.

Clothing companies are also taking notice and have started to create “smart mirrors” that allow you to try on clothing digitally. While this will give users a sense of the aesthetic look of the clothes, one cannot yet try on clothing in a virtual reality setting to get a feel for it. However, augmented reality is an exciting avenue that is rapidly changing the face of retail.

New Developments Every Day

Revolutionary new technologies are emerging every day that are shaping the face of retail stores for the future. If you are the manager of a retail store, small or large, it is worthwhile to take some or all of these changes on board. The benefits and improvements to the customer experience with your store will be transformed.

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