We’ve witnessed a big digital acceleration in the retail sector during the last two years. Artificial intelligence and machine learning are becoming more important in the retail world since the demand for a smooth shopping experience and customization is increasing. These trends are not going anywhere anytime soon. They aren’t confined to the e-commerce industry!
What retail technology developments can we anticipate to shape the retail sector in 2022 and beyond with this growth in mind?
As unified commerce enablers, headless tools
The desire for a consistent shopping experience across all retail channels is growing. As a result, many retailers are transitioning from multi- and omnichannel, to a unified commerce strategy. Companies must, however, harmonize the structure of their tools and software architecture in order to give a really harmonious experience.
Headless solutions boost system functionality and flexibility, making it simpler for merchants to sell their items across several channels, such as their website, social commerce platforms, and even physical storefronts. Companies may improve customer happiness, minimize the risk of errors, and acquire a single source of truth with a 360-degree perspective of their consumers in this way.
The rising relation between Machine learning and supply chain management
Machine learning is another retail technology that has everyone’s attention.
To increase responsiveness and efficiency, retailers shall keep continuing to invest in AI and machine learning. Companies shall keep continuing to emphasize the advantages of machine learning in sales funnel optimization, as well as the increased serviceability of machine learning in supply chain management.
Retailers will be able to use machine learning to automate time-consuming inventory-related operations and procedures, as well as reduce hazards such as inadequate resource planning.
Machine learning would also make them capable to become less time-consuming while cutting down the cost at the same time and providing a quality service to the end clients, thanks to real-time and predictive resource analysis.
Virtual try-ons are becoming more popular
Even though it gained some popularity in 2021, many shops were still hesitant to implement this retail technology. Given that VTO was still in its infancy, this comes as no surprise. Despite this, the long-term nature of the epidemic, technical developments, and additional evidence of the positive impacts of virtual try-ons give corporations reason to be optimistic about the future.
VTO offers both an online and in-store solution suited to clients’ demands in numerous channels by combining augmented reality with the concept of unified commerce.
Virtual try-ons can assist customers in making more confident purchasing selections, leading in more sales and lower return rates. However, an increase in sales and demand isn’t the only advantage.
VTOs may be used by retailers to assess demand for certain goods, allowing for more intelligent production procedures and improving their sustainability efforts while potentially saving time and money.
Virtual try-ons and augmented reality may be used in brick-and-mortar businesses as well, for example, to assist clients to discover a better fit by proposing the correct size of dress or shoe, or to try on several colors of a specific garment that is presently unavailable in their offline location. Retailers can increase their profits while also making the shopping experience more enjoyable and satisfying for customers.
Retail with no user interface
Wider use of zero interface design is another important retail trend for 2022. While the epidemic has hastened retail’s digital transition, the need for change was evident far earlier. Companies and users have been seeking methods to make human-machine connections more personal for years, and the moment has now arrived to make it happen.
Retailers have been hesitant to implement zero interface retail because of the misperception that it is a channel strategy rather than an experience enabler.
Furthermore, the speech will become an enabler across the whole user journey, owing to the pervasive usage of artificial intelligence and always improving NLP (Natural Language Progressing) capabilities.
Following the initial shock of the COVID-19 pandemic, many merchants have used the year 2021 to establish new strategies and re-engineer their business models in order to adapt to shifting conditions.
Companies will need to focus on managing the increased demands for sustainability and a consistent consumer experience in 2022, particularly in brick-and-mortar establishments. Customers seeking tailored and out-of-the-box solutions will increasingly turn to experiential retail, artificial intelligence, and machine learning adaption, and VTOs.
Less will be more in the next year. Consumers will demand contactless payments and a seamless shopping experience, and a growing number of businesses will use technologies like grab-and-go to meet their needs. Overall, to compete in 2022 and beyond, firms must closely monitor the newest retail trends and cultural shifts, as well as learn which technologies to implement and how to do it correctly.
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