Tech Trends Drastically Reshaping the Retail Industry

Zebra’s Global Retail Vision Study concluded, innovative retailers are investing in tech solutions to overhaul merchants upended by digital disruption. Retailers are introducing radio frequency identification tags that boost inventory accuracy and sensors that beam consumers personalized offers.

Tech Enabled Supply Chain Makeover

Out of stock inventory at a retailer will quickly send consumers running to another brand. And inventory holes are a recipe for eroding shopper loyalty across demographic groups.

So, it’s no surprise that 72% of retailers are reinventing their supply chain, Zebra’s study found. There are doing this with real-time visibility enabled by automation, sensors and analytics.

The industry is betting big on radio frequency identification technology, for one, to reinvent the supply chain. This is based on the presentations and new technology solutions on display at the Nation Retail Federation’s Big Show.

Dubbed the next generation of the barcode, RFID enables real-time inventory visibility, from the warehouse to the store floor.

Some retailers are committing to a widespread rollout of the technology. This includes tagging all store items with RFID tags, which can reportedly reduce out of stocks by 60% to 80%.

And the combination of RFID, video and geo-locations technologies reaps another benefit for retailers. They generate shopper insights on buying patterns. This can be applied to retail marketing, merchandising and store-layout decisions informed by real-time business intelligence rather than gut instincts.

According to Zebra’s findings, 70% of retailers surveyed plan to have installed beacons for location-based marketing within five years.

The Personal In-Store (Digital) Touch

As shoppers have the world’s mall at their fingertips online, retailers are banking on the delivery of personalised merchandise and experiences to keep them coming through the door.

Retailers, surveyed ranked locationing platforms, such as sensors that track consumers’ footpath through the store and beacons that trigger in store offers, as their top technology goals, the Zebra study found. The idea is to hook consumers at their precise moment of need – or want.

These ‘smart’ devices power in-store ploys such as a sweater display tricked out with a beacon sensor that detects a shopper, and then lights up the pink cardigan that would most appeal to them based on their purchasing data from the store’s mobile app.

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