If you’re visually impaired to the changing tides that are shifting the retail industry, you might get left in the dust as your competitors adapt to fit the market. With these changes taking place as rapidly as they are, it’s more important than ever to be on the cutting edge of these modern technologies. The future of retail is going to be here before you know it, so it’s best to start figuring out how your business can evolve and thrive.
A Look Ahead at the Future of Retail
The Death of the Check-Out Line
Hate them or love them, check-out lines have been on the decline for quite some time. Back when general stores were the only place to buy anything, cashiers would retrieve everything from behind the counter for customers.
Over time, this responsibility fell to the customer, who would now browse the stores and pick out their own items. However, now there is a new trend towards the removal of check-outs entirely for a more efficient system.
The Amazon Grocery Store
Last year, the online retailer Amazon announced that they would be opening a high-tech grocery store in Seattle without any check-outs or lines.
First, the customer would need to use their mobile phone and the Amazon application to scan into the store. Then, using sensors and artificial intelligence, they track shoppers’ movement around the store.
They monitor when customers pick out certain merchandise and will charge their account, which they will already have the payment information for, based on what they take. All shoppers need to do is scan in, grab their items and walk out. It’s really that easy.
Most people have heard of 3D printing, but very few have actually seen it in action. What started on a relatively small scale has rapidly grown to seamlessly produce toys, housewares, foods and someday even body parts.
However, what makes this method relevant to retail is that it can print clothing especially well. Bypassing the manufacturing and store delivery process entirely, some shops have begun installing 3D printers in their actual brick-and-mortar establishments.
In just a little under two hours, a brand-new product can be created. To begin with, this solves any issues one might have with out-of-stock merchandise. Retailers will be able to replenish their supply of most products by having the printer operating continuously.
Also, customers would be able to add their own unique flair to products through individual customization, which the printer can produce effortlessly. Lastly, 3D printers cut down on energy consumption and waste by removing the drawn-out manufacturing process entirely.
Facial Recognition Technology
Facial recognition technology has also become one of the leading new trends in the retail industry. By scanning the features and emotions shown on shoppers’ faces, stores can accurately modify their individual sales pitches to fit their mood and even provide items based on previous purchases.
The goal is to efficiently provide the customer with any information and assistance that they may need without wasting time looking around or asking a salesperson. This method cuts to the chase and makes the entire shopping experience much easier (and speedy, too!).
The future of retail is something that your business needs to anticipate and act accordingly with. If you don’t make the necessary changes to adapt to the market, you may see your sales and customers sharply decline.