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How Different Will Retail be as Tech Buying Takes Over? Featured

"The Flesh Is Weak" "The Flesh Is Weak"

The retail industry has been going through a raft of significant changes since the last decade. These changes have been occasioned by the increased internet access and the rise of artificial intelligence, virtual reality and robotics, all of which have proven helpful in many industries. As we move into the future, many technologies keep coming up and the industry will no doubt be revolutionized for the better. The changes will, without doubt, change retail as we know it to a completely different one going forward and you can expect these changes starting now.

As per a survey conducted by Global Shopper Study, 77% of executives in retail believe that customers are happy with the in-store experiences in place today. However, this is far from the truth because only 57% are satisfied. That shows a huge gap that needs to be addressed by the retailers if they want to increase sales in their stores. Although many people still prefer stores, online shopping is quickly gaining momentum and this trend is growing considering the new connectivity. This, however, does not mean that technology will eclipse the traditional model of retail in the few coming years. In fact, research shows that more than 60% of retailers are planning to open new stores in the coming years. Brick and mortar stores are gaining big from online retailers who are sending their customers to their stores.

Although tech buying has increased significantly, retailers have not been forced to change the retail principles that have sustained them over the past decades. Instead, the increased reach provided for by online shopping has compelled them to set up new methods on top of the existing ones to improve customer experience, enhance efficiency and manage inventory. This has significantly pacified the 21st-century customer base that is known to be tech-savvy and internet-connected.

With the increased venturing into eCommerce and mCommerce as well as the growth in smartphone technologies, offline shopping is slowly becoming blurred and the same is true on the online space as well. Instead of single and multichannel retail, omnichannel retail is emerging as a new front for retailers. Because of the convenience that this approach offers in addition to excellent customer experience, buyers will be able to spend more on their preferred channel. Therefore, building a good experience on many channels will help retailers to meet the expectations of customers while maintaining development and determining good standards.

As we go further into the world of technology where success is determined by the amount of investment in new technology, operational efficiency will determine the profits that retailers make. With the backing of technology, retailers will analyze customer buying behavior more accurately. Through the use of enterprise mobility in their stores, retailers will understand the value of operational efficiency. The advancement of technology which has increased operational efficiency is taking up the business to the next level of development and is helping retail companies to make informed decisions that are needed by retail firms. This is helping in keeping loyal customers happy while also attracting new ones. Although technology is aiding retailers in retaining clients and attracting new ones, failure to change with time is slowly becoming difficult because customers are becoming more and more enlightened. Contrary to the thinking that customer purchase decisions are solely due to low prices, convenience or lack of it can greatly impact buying behaviors of customers and this can lead to loss of long-time clients to a competitor. This is the reason why online shopping is increasing significantly due to efficiency and convenience.

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Scott Koegler

Scott Koegler is Executive Editor for PMG360. He is a technology writer and editor with 20+ years experience delivering high value content to readers and publishers. 

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