IT trends in retail: You should know these innovation drivers
Technology has now become an essential component of business conduct in retail. And businesses that miss important trends can find themselves at a significant disadvantage when trying to connect with potential consumers In this post we address the key technology trends and innovation that are likely to drive IT decision makers in retail over the coming year.
An important technological development for IT decision-makers in retail is currently coming from the field of Omni-Channel. Omni-Channel is a further development of multi-channel marketing and refers to the distribution of products across all possible sales channels. This means that customers then have the ability to switch between these different channels at any time when interacting with realtors. For example, they can switch seamlessly from online retail to stationary retail, from a mobile channel to the catalogue, to social media and from there to a call centre if necessary. The focus should be on the interaction between the channels, the customers and the brand. Integrating these individual channels offers customers a coherent, continuous and data-driven purchasing experience. The most important challenge for retailers is the optimisation of channel integration, both in terms of the technical system linking, as well as the real-time connection and data management.
Mobile trends continue to grow
According to Statista, more than 2 billion people worldwide used a smartphone in 2016, showing an increase of approximately 300 million people from the previous year. Therefore ensuring customers have the ability to access businesses via mobiles is only gaining in strategic importance. Likewise, many customers that want to reach businesses via smartphone or tablet and will want a website that is mobile optimised, or even an appropriate app in some cases or even an appropriate app.
Making payment transactions via a mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet will continue to become more and more established. One potential benefit of these cashless payments is that realtors can expect to see faster register pass through times, as customers spend less time at the till. The technology also holds the potential of attracting and retaining new customers by means of loyalty schemes or other appropriate programs. As the importance and relevance of technology in retail grows, so does the importance and influence of IT managers. Because of this, specialists in this field are more in demand than ever before.