The technology revolution is happening very fast and with this growth, the pressure for retailers to innovate and look for new ways to sell more at less cost has also increased.

Today, for example, the retail industry is gaining space optimization, not losing many products with expiration dates and reducing costs, all based on Artificial Intelligence systems. So, it is already possible to predict and feel how much these technological trends impact the market.

For you to prepare yourself, we have listed below the top trends in retail technology!

1. Cloud computing

Retail is currently hampered by outdated, unsecured and low-availability infrastructures, as well as difficulties in integrating systems and unifying strategic information, taking a long time to make decisions, thus undermining profitability and even the customer experience. consumer who today is more demanding and attuned than in the past, where a leaflet could be a great shopping influencer. Today, everything is driven as a service in apps.  

Cloud computing offers a way for retailers to gain more agility and compete better, especially with pure e-commerce rivals, who already start with the advantage of working, in most cases, directly in the cloud.

The main advantages of cloud computing are: 

  • Greater scalability

The ability to scale your IT systems on demand is one of the great benefits of cloud computing and is particularly relevant for retailers as stores experience booms and busts in sales depending on promotions, the time of year and even of the climate.

Retail IT systems need to be able to handle this variability easily, and cloud computing helps you do this cost-effectively, allowing you to contract the level of resources you need for your actual use and quickly scale up if needed.

  • Reduced operating costs

With cloud computing, you only pay for what you use. This can save a lot of operating costs because computer hardware utilization rates are often very high. Also, updates are managed by cloud service providers, which again reduces your cost.

  • IT as a service

One of the great benefits of being in the cloud is the consumption of IT as a service, allowing companies to create small workgroups in an agile way with the objective of bringing new technologies, all consumed as a service, for innovation and improvement of internal processes, as an example we can talk about Big Data, AI, etc. All disruptive technologies in line with the future of retail, with a focus on the customer, that are available for companies to start experimenting with.

2. IoT – Internet of Things 

Retail marketers are increasingly using IoT sensors to collect data on how shoppers are engaging with goods and brands.

Retailers are discovering that combining their IoT data with other inputs to platforms that already work with customer master data allows retailers to connect information that would never be discovered without this technology.

By connecting customer data collected from in-store activities with off-store customer activities such as web browsing habits, mobile apps and customer service centers, marketers can gain unprecedented insight into customer experiences and preferences. .

Many of the devices that are already commonplace in today's retail environments have the capability to extend their capabilities to the IoT . For example, digital signage items, infrared traffic monitors, RFID inventory tracking chips and interactive screens are already in use today, in addition to the clear information that can be collected by using applications on your devices such as cell phones and tablets, which can provide important customer insights.

3. Artificial Intelligence

Retailers will change their business methods by embracing the AI ​​trend. Now, it is possible to have access to new data sources and disruptive technologies. But at the same time, challenges around the value of AI include:

  • Difficulty in planning the return on investment;
  • Find talent;
  • Leveraging the value of data;
  • Create a thriving relationship between business and IT;
  • Create a company culture to embrace new technologies.

Artificial intelligence is defined as intelligent machines that expand human capabilities, detecting, understanding, acting and learning, always evolving and thus improving the ability of companies to interact with large volumes of customers, suppliers and even employees.

Currently, consumers already use some AI-based technology resources in their routine, such as digital voice assistants. AI will be instrumental in understanding the needs and desires of different consumers, personalizing services and driving retail demand.

Without a doubt, this technology will be at the forefront of demands with leading retail technology providers in 2020 and on the list of resources to invest in for most retailers.

4. Inventory management with the Omnichannel trend

Omnichannel is not a new concept, but it will be more present as a retail trend in 2020. As interest in the multichannel shopping experience has grown, customers have adapted to a range of new shopping behaviors that utilize the convenience of online and offline channels.

Implementing these features can be challenging if you are not fully integrating your online and offline operations . To utilize this omnichannel strategy, your supply chain, ordering, fulfillment, and inventory systems must be fully synchronized with each other.

Without a single source of truth for inventory, the website, marketplace and physical sales channels are completely isolated from each other. This means that an item may be out of stock in one channel but readily in stock in another. If there is a sync, those responsible will not be able to access purchase data across channels, negatively impacting the customers' shopping experience

But certainly in 2020 more retailers will invest in inventory management solutions that will allow them to connect through a central point with each of the sales channels.

In addition to these points, the industry has been investing heavily in partnerships with companies like Loop, which today already has a partnership with Unillever, P&G and Pepsico, to advance with cycle economy processes, something that can completely change the entire distribution chain.

5. Pricing

Retailers face several important decisions when determining how to price their products. Getting your pricing strategy right can attract more customers and boost sales, while pricing incorrectly can have a profoundly negative impact on sales and undermine customer loyalty.

Because of this, most retailers will continue to invest heavily in retail pricing technologies and strategies, trying to ensure that prices are optimally set .

The reporting and analytics capabilities offered in their POS systems to analyze the various pricing strategies they use can now be extended with new trends emerging to automate the process.

These features inform retailers which products are selling best and provide insight into what pricing strategies are being used for each transaction.

We can understand that the evolution of the business is centered on the relationship that is created between the customer and the company through the customer experience that is guided by all of the above technologies, which are organically interconnected, the cloud promoting security, and availability in addition to access to necessary services for the use of big data, which can not only intelligently work with large volumes of data, but also different sources, both structured and unstructured, allowing an analysis of information that was previously impossible, such as customer sentiment, and the IoT and AI, collecting information for big data through the IoT and working them cognitively through the AI, increasing efficiency and that of the evaluations of the different data sources to be worked on, with this point at work the integration between the different channels, tends to be real, thus moving from multichannel to Omnichannel and with more inputs provided by IoT and big Data and the use of AI, the construction of the co-ordination process orders and stock tends to change bringing better results for customers.  

Written by

Sky.One Team

This content was produced by SkyOne's team of cloud and digital transformation experts.