The retail sector is undergoing radical changes driven by consumer preferences and technological innovation. As we know all too well, many consumer shopping changes have been prompted by events transpiring over the past couple of years.
With retail technology advancing at a breakneck pace, it is increasingly difficult for online retailers to balance efficient business with growing customer expectations. Consumers have quickly shifted their shopping behavior from the real world to digital, and while street shopping is gaining traction again, the development of retail technology will continue. Everyone has implemented click-and-collect from grocery retailers to e-commerce operators. Some more forward-thinking retailers have turned their attention to transforming their businesses with automation and artificial intelligence to deliver shoppers the ultimate personalized experience.
Brands and retailers actively seek end-to-end solutions to integrate systems, gain a unified view of data, and create cross-platform customer experiences. From cashierless shopping to autonomous delivery, retailers will use smart retail technologies to drive engagement and loyalty, drive offline sales and enhance the role of brick-and-mortar stores.
One trend in 2022 will be an increase in experiential retailing to move beyond the traditional experiences typically offered by brick-and-mortar stores. For example, H&M recently launched a metaverse version of their retail store that has the look and feel of a brick and mortar.
Other tech trends to watch out for in the coming year include hassle-free stores, kiosks with chatbots that can answer common customer questions, integrating loyalty apps, and the ability to sort items in a warehouse through automation and delivery. The key for retailers is to combine these digital and physical capabilities to educate consumers about where they are and how they can interact.
Retailers who have been skeptical about digital transformation and technology now understand the power of modern technology tools to keep up with the competition. For this reason, 2022 will be the year when retailers will increasingly embrace in-store tools and technologies that were once considered futuristic while maintaining the digital services that customers are accustomed to.
For retailers, their top priority for 2022 should be to provide their customers with a seamless, integrated, and worry-free experience as they move from digital to physical and vice versa. Overall, to be successful in 2022 and beyond, companies must be on the lookout for the latest retail trends and cultural changes to learn which technologies to apply and how to do it right.
And as always, whether it's focusing on new tech, automation, digital transformation, RPA, mobile, or brick-and-mortar solutions, retailers need to be laser-focused on building and nurturing customer loyalty.
The future of retail is not clear-cut, but one thing's for sure - it won't be humanly possible to manage the immense complexity that comes with running a successful retailer without some help from technology. Retailers will need to innovate and invest in CX, automation, and AI to remain relevant and competitive. If you are looking for ways to stay ahead of your competition, contact us today at Originate.