But some new technologies are relatively easy to implement and could be ready for use within 12 to 18 months, experts say.
Given the well-documented labor shortages in the retail sector, there is a growing need for innovation in the form of automated checkout, “just walk” and “scan to go” technology, and mobile POS devices to eliminate queues. “Frictionless” shopping could be possible. It will soon become mainstream.
Gareth Jude, a veteran retailer and CEO of retail advisory ThinkUncommon, likes Best Buy’s implementation of scan-and-go technology. A customer opens his Best Buy app at a store, scans the products they want to buy, and adds them to a virtual cart. on your mobile device. The store clerk packs the items and picks them up in front of the store.
A “smart” shopping cart that scans and tallies the cost of an item as a consumer puts it in the cart is also a highlight of NRF’s Big Show and can be easily retrofitted in supermarkets.
“Not all take hold, and it may be years before they do,” says Jude. “It’s great that retailers are experimenting. It’s up to the customer to see if it sticks.”
Fashion retailer Ganni has started using handheld POS technology developed by Boston-based company NewStore. It allows staff to step out from behind the counter to process customer transactions, make sales offers, check inventory levels, and search inventory. Other stores on your iPhone using the app with POS and customer support features.
“Staff aren’t locked behind counters. It’s a high-service environment that doesn’t disconnect customers,” says Jude.
Queensland-based tech company TagR goes one step further. The company’s web-based technology allows shoppers to scan items and make payments with their mobile phones, freeing up store staff to focus on customer service, which could boost retailers’ sales. Promised.
real time inventory
QUT Professor Gary Mortimer, who chairs the Consumer Research Advisory Board of the Australian Retailers Association, said retailers such as Aldi, REWE, Tesco and Wakefern are using technology from Israel-based computer vision company Trigo. says it is rapidly transforming traditional supermarkets into “friction-free” stores.
AI-powered ceiling-mounted cameras scan and tally product costs as customers add them to their trolleys, bags, pockets, or strollers.
Trigo’s technology, similar to that deployed in Amazon Go stores, enables retailers to monitor inventory levels in real-time and connect e-commerce, inventory management, and order management systems while gaining insight into customer behavior. It also allows you to create
“When Tesco and Aldi are competing in this space, it shows they are very efficient,” says Mortimer.
He also sees the role of AI-enabled voice technology in retail, given that many consumers are using voice to connect to Siri, Alexa and Google Assistant on their mobile devices.
Instead of following a store clerk to ask where capers are, consumers can open the retailer’s app for assistance.
For example, Germany’s Schwartz Group is working with Vixen Labs to develop advanced AI-based speech technology that can accommodate different accents and languages.
“This is one of the technologies that we expect to come out soon because we are already using it. You may have the Google Assistant or the Alexa system in your home,” Mortimer said. “The next step is to talk into your cell phone and order groceries.”
Already widely used in retail marketing and merchandising (such as predictive ordering), artificial intelligence was showcased at NRF’s Big Show as one of the most promising technologies designed to improve store operations and the buying process. had some.
Jude said Walmart is using AI-powered software developed by California-based startup Pactum in its purchasing offices to automate supplier negotiations with little or no human intervention. is negotiating a regular contract with
virtual reality and augmented reality
“The AI understands the content of the contract, provides guidelines for the next contract, and presents the terms to the supplier,” said Jude. “Walmart believes it completes most of its contracts without human intervention.”
Virtual reality and augmented reality (AR) applications are also being tested by retailers to conduct shopper surveys, improve store layout and coverage, and make shopping easier for customers.
Mortimer says Sainsbury is using AR to help customers find products in supermarkets. On his phone, he opens the Sainsbury app and camera, searches for the item, and the item pops off the shelf like creatures in Pokémon GO.
ReadySet’s immersive 3D software, a US company, uses VR to help manufacturers and retailers create realistic virtual store plans and planograms to plan layouts with products, signage and fixtures, and Useful for testing customer response before implementing
The increasing use of AR and VR in retail is driving the industry into the metaverse, where brands seek to create immersive experiences to generate excitement, build customer loyalty, and increase sales of physical products. I’m doing it.
For example, Nike launched a Web3-enabled metaverse platform called .swoosh. This allows consumers to collaboratively create and collect virtual products such as shoes and jerseys to sell in the virtual world, potentially turning virtual products into physical products. Get off the track.
L’Oreal steps into non-fungible tokens, launching branded digital wallet where customers can claim free NFTs and use them to unlock digital experiences, real-world events and new product drops I got
Gucci has built a virtual space on the online gaming platform Roblox, offering games, NFTs and showcasing vintage fashion pieces. Forever 21, meanwhile, is testing customer reactions to virtual new products in the metaverse before turning them into physical goods.
Back home, Sydney-based cutting-edge brand Injury lets customers buy digital clothing modeled by avatars. Online retailer The Iconic took its first steps into the Metaverse last November, launching his NFT from a runway show. The NFT was auctioned on the website to raise funds for her philanthropic partner, ThreadTogether.
Kelly Brough, Accenture’s Head of Retail and Consumer, said:
“The promise is immense,” says Braff. “In the context of retail, we can blend physical and virtual experiences in a much deeper way.”
An Accenture report released last month found that 55% of consumers would like to become active users of the Metaverse, and 89% of business executives believe the Metaverse will play a key role in their organization’s future growth. thinking about. Accenture estimates that $1 trillion ($1.4 trillion) in value could be created from Metaverse experiences and commerce by the end of 2025.
But Brough said retailers using Metaverse technology must protect consumer data and privacy to build trust and create “fluidity” between virtual and physical environments. .
“Not everyone I talk to says jump in right away,” she says. “In today’s retail world, it’s important to test, experiment, and start understanding what might resonate with consumers.”
As the metaverse becomes more prevalent in retail, NFTs will replace supermarket collectibles and perks, and virtual stores will emerge where consumers can use avatars to purchase clothing, shoes, and furniture, or redeem them for the real thing. There is likely to be.
But for retailers still grappling with supply chain disruptions, skyrocketing costs, last-mile challenges and increasingly cautious consumers, stepping into the metaverse seems like a bridge too far at this point. maybe.
Matt Alexander, CEO of US department store Neighborhood Goods, told attendees at The Big Show: It comes down to basics. ”