There is no doubt that technology has become an intimate part of our lives. Most of us have some kind of technology that we carry with us be it a smartphone, iPod, laptop or a tablet. Technology has also transformed the business world, taking over entire jobs and making many jobs easier. Mobile tech has also provided a host of valuable data and insights to business owners looking to get an edge over their competition. Here’s a look at some of the cool innovations being used in various business sectors.
The world of retail has completely evolved thanks to mobile and social technology. Retailers seek to understand their consumers better and cut costs through mobile apps, such as accepting payments via mobile phone. Some retailers have started using social shopping to access their customer’s opinion of what their product offering should be. For example, some encourage customers to rate their favorite products or vote on whether they would purchase a product or not. These recommendations are then featured for other shoppers and also provide an indication of which products are most popular or losing popularity.
Retailers have also started to explore real-time inventory management by combining external social-media data with detailed sales data to predict a demand for a certain product at different times. In-store staff haven’t been left behind either, with high-end retailers creating iPad apps for their employees that allow them to finalize sales or paperwork without having to leave the sales floor or have a pause in the conversation. QR codes have also become prevalent with Macys placing QR codes near physical goods that link to interviews with designers, and Home Depot using QR codes to provide videos on how to use certain products.
The Financial Services sector has also made great strides with mobile technology. With online banking apps that allow customers to look at their account balance, make transfers, deposit checks and even make payments with a wave of their phone, technology has taken over banking. Small businesses have also benefited by using apps like Square to accept credit card payments without investing in bulky cash registers. Over at the stock exchange advanced computer technology is able to complete trades in less than a second, faster than any human on the floor was capable of.
Inventory and Shipping
The company warehouse has completely transformed thanks to machines and automation. Amazon recently started using robots to retrieve items needing to be shipped and bring them back to employees to pack and ship, saving employees time and miles of walking every day. IKEA also uses a robotic system to stack incoming products or retrieve orders. FedEx and UPS both use an elaborate system of conveyor belts, scanners and computers to sort millions of packages and get them to their destination in a day or less. Data integration software can combine scanned data indicating the shape, weight and size of an item to give recommendations for what size box to use to ship and keep all of the data in the product label. Automating the shipping process allows the products to be shipped out faster and more efficiently, cutting many business costs and improving customer service.
With so many changes in every business sector, it will be interesting to see how technology continues to transform the business world and make business solutions possible that we haven’t even thought of.