Technologies change all industries. Some trends will continue to dominate the markets next year. The change will not stop at the retail either, opening up completely new possibilities for addressing and interacting with customers. These are the five tech trends retailers are expecting in the new year.

 

1. Predictive Analytics

Predictive Analytics Retail

Predictive Analytics Retail (Source: Exposé :Data Exposed)

 

Data rules the world. Especially retailers, unlike some other industries, have never had problems in the past to collect a lot of data about their users. Whether about buying behaviour, preferences or points of interaction, many solutions precisely collected information about the consumer. But only through data analytics – or even more precisely predictive analytics – can true added value be generated. With the right tools, retailers can predict trends and future actions to optimize their efficiency and customer engagement.

 

 

2. Augmented Reality and Mixed Reality

Shopping with Augmented Reality

Shopping with Augmented Reality (Source: PATIO Interactive)

 

VR and AR are already in use in the retail industry. But in 2020 this trend will be even stronger. Especially for improving the customer experience, the augmented reality offers a number of possibilities. From virtual browsing through the products on offer to trying on clothes using augmented reality, there is no limit to creativity. Retailers can draw inspiration for the New Year from big names such as IKEA with its AR catalogue or from Treasury Wines Estate with its “Living Wine Labels”. All it takes is a little courage for new ways and the patience to give customers the chance to discover new solutions for themselves.

 

3. Face recognition in retail

Panasonic FacePRO™: Facial Recognition for Retail

Panasonic FacePRO™: Facial Recognition for Retail (source: PanasonicBusiness)

 

Face recognition can be viewed in different ways, because besides the many advantages it brings, there are also some ethical grey areas that must not be forgotten. Nevertheless, this technology enables merchants to bring the individuality of eCommerce into the shops. If the customer can be clearly identified, individual offers can be proposed to him, both from terminals at the point of sale and from the staff. However, in order to achieve good results in this area, it is necessary to deal with the data and personal rights of the customers in a responsible and transparent manner.

 

4. Robot assistant at POS

Walmart Robot

robot assistant in the Walmat branches (Source: Walmat)

 

Walmat the robot assistant lives it up in the shops. Even though it will take some time for customers to get used to the digital assistants in retail stores, they can already generate some benefits. There are many conceivable scenarios, from the automatic recording of products to answering simple customer enquiries. As technology advances and some groundbreaking innovations are expected in 2020, more and more retailers will be able to bring affordable and efficient robot assistants into their stores and delight customers.

 

5. Retail Chatbots

Chatbots in business practice

I have written about the advantages of Chatbots in service and business operations more than once. But especially in retail, they can greatly enhance customer service. An online shop equipped with a bot can react faster to customer concerns and positively support the customer’s journey on his shopping experience. According to statistics, customer satisfaction with merchants who respond to a chatb

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