Retail Tech Trends
The retail sector has undergone many transformations in recent years. Among this spiral of change, entrepreneurs must find a way to adapt to the new market habits of customers. The development of technologies and their implementation improves the variety of existing business solutions. Real-time data analysis, convenient and easy payment methods or automated processes are just some of the options for the retailers.
Since there is a critical lack of labour-power in the sector, the industry should continue striving for efficiency and customer satisfaction, retailwire.com notes in its analysis. Here are some tips to help you update your business:
- Handheld Scanning – Handheld scanners are part of the point of sale (POS) system for decades. Cashiers use them to read barcodes on heavier items without lifting them. These devices have improved significantly over the years and allow scanning from a much greater distance. Except for the payment process, scanning technology is applied in various other cases – inventory management or products in-storing, where the technology speeds up processes, reduces errors and increases productivity.
- Mobile POS (sometimes called mPOS) – The system allows simplifying the payment. Tablets and smartphones perform POS functions, enabling employees to “move” the cash register while engaging deeper with customers. Every employee of the company becomes a walking POS. The process is significantly faster than waiting in line at the checkout and is highly convenient for food suppliers and any other domains where payments are made on the go.
- Product management – The retailers must be able to track the roadmap of their goods and get information about the organization in real-time. For this to happen, integration between POS and online shopping data is required, as well as a reliable mobile ordering system. The product management software allows retailers to create a single stream of product data submitted to all key stakeholders.
- Artificial Intelligence, Analysis, and Mapping – Retailers should also consider using artificial intelligence and data analysis to improve customer engagement. Retailers can send information to personal smartphones to direct a customer to the right place in the store to find an item, for example. Mapping applications also play a critical role in the execution of orders. Google Maps, for example, tests a service that coordinates the merchant and the buyer by sending notifications with the timeline of product shipment or in-store availability to customers.
- Workforce Management – Given the retailers challenges with the staff, the value of workforce management applications is getting significant. This software is very beneficial for large shops and retail organizations with multiple locations. It allows workforce optimization by tracking the exact time employees need for fulfilling their tasks and planning on this base. The data reveals the peaks of staff workload and thus allows schedule improvement to manage and reduce them. The outcome is higher and better employee productivity, which keeps the stress levels low for all parties involved.
Automation and omnichannel technologies grant many benefits – from improving inventory processes to streamlining payments to the website enhancement. However, integrating new applications and processes with existing systems is complex, time-consuming, and costly. Therefore, the implementation of multi-channel strategies must be gradually and thoroughly thought-out. To deploy the necessary applications usually requires investment in both infrastructure and hardware, increasing the cost and complexity of the project.
For the best return on investment, automation has to be introduced methodically. That means starting with solutions that provide the most added value and meet the most pressing needs. Retailers then need to build further on the solution. In this way, they will improve both their employees’ care and the satisfaction of the consumer needs.