Technology’s rapid evolution occurs across all industries, and in this regard, the retail industry is no different than any other. That being said, the pace of change and innovation is accelerating at a rapid rate, and that means major changes for customers and employees alike. Here are three examples of types of technology that retail businesses will need to keep up with modern trends.
Buy Online, Pick up In-store
Convenience is more important than ever to today’s customers, and they demand the ability to save as much time as possible. That’s why so many stores have rolled out apps or websites that allow users to place an order online and then arrange a local pickup. Major grocery chains, for example, will even deliver the product right to the customer’s car, precluding the need for someone to even get out of their vehicle. The customization of this convenience is virtually unmatched in the history of retail, but it requires numerous technological updates and the manpower to put together the deliveries.
Updated POS Systems
Point of sale systems now have technological demands placed on them like never before. They have to be ready to handle a wide range of upgraded technological needs, including self-checkout, integration with inventory systems, synchronization with national home offices and more. Furthermore, the demands placed upon POS systems are also shifting with seasonal needs. POS systems should be able to handle peak seasons just as effectively as they handle slower seasons.
Augmented Reality — the ability to take a potential purchase and digitally place it in the buyer’s home through a computer app — is quickly becoming a viable technique for many large retail chains. Again, the technological upgrades required here are nothing to sneeze at, and implementing this will require a significant upfront investment. Still, this new technology gives retailers the chance to allow customers to see exactly what product they want to order by letting them digitally place it in their homes, creating a temptation to purchase that will be hard to resist.
Technological upgrades for retail establishments are not just for the major national chains. They will eventually impact every small business. Indeed, in order to complete with the giants of the industry, small- and medium-sized businesses must ensure that their technology matches what their customers have come to expect and demand. Failure to keep up with industry trends means that a store risks being left behind.
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