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Innovation in Retail: 4 Examples of Technology in Shopper Experience

By Akhila Sriram on January 27, 2022

The retail industry changes and grows as customer needs and interests evolve over time. By addressing the customer experience and making it more accessible and digital, businesses have seen increases in omnichannel engagement and sales. The innovation in the retail industry has been matching the need for more personalized and targeted customer experiences. From technology to data science, everything is helping retail experiences fit more closely to consumer needs.

Augmented Reality for Better Shopping Decisions

From clothing to furniture, the augmented reality (AR) options seem endless for testing your purchases before you make them. When mirrors that could show what specific articles of clothing would look like when worn by browsing shoppers, it felt like that was the future of shopping until we got even more advanced and could project how pieces of furniture would look within a space. And during the pandemic, AR helped shoppers make shopping decisions from the comfort of home. From BMW making AR showrooms for customizing cars to Apple starting their AR Quick Look for exploring their newest devices and features, big shopping decisions have never been easier. Augmented and virtual reality technology is evolving to bring technology more firmly into reality, and the retail implementation of this tech continues to grow over time.

Increased Variety of Payment Methods

You know you’re seeing the future in action when you walk through your local farmer’s market and multiple vendors have listed Bitcoin as a possible payment method for their goods. In recent years, retail businesses have seen growth in tap-to-pay and phone-enabled payment methods, with that coming to a sudden peak with the pandemic shifting as much shopping to contactless methods as possible. With a variety of platforms on both the customer and business side for enabling digital payment methods, it’s almost a tyranny of choices now to decide which platform you need as a shopper and as a business owner. As a business, it boils down to the hardware needed for the payment method and the cost of maintaining that method and its hardware. Lists, like this one from Tech Radar, can help businesses decide based on their size and budget which platform is the best option for them.

Chatbots for Improved Customer Support

We’ve written about the technology of chatbots before, but it bears repeating that chatbots and virtual assistants are a great asset for businesses of all sizes to support their customers. From answering common customer questions to providing easy access straight to support team members, chatbots are a great customer service layer for retail websites. Innovation in retail really shines in the ease and convenience associated with building and integrating chatbots into a website. By handling all of the simple questions through a chatbot and its programmed or learned conversation skills, customer service representatives can step in for more complicated queries and issues. This helps customers both feel powerful in finding the answers they need and helps prioritize employee time where it will be more impactful.

Data Analysis for Better Customer Experience

Shopify predicted in 2019 that data would play a big part in the future innovation for retail businesses. That push for better data collection and analytics has only grown with time. Better data has become more important than databases and warehouses of data. Making sure businesses collect useful and actionable data is key to effective analytics solutions. From transaction metrics to survey feedback, businesses have access to huge amounts of data, without making much of a concerted effort towards data analysis. Making sure that a business’s chosen technology solution is up to par for their business needs is important for them to make the most of their data. Businesses can use DIY platforms for tracking and optimizing their own data, or pair with a strategic company as a partner to analyze their data and make better business decisions. By building a strategy on relevant and actionable data trends, businesses can better understand what their customers will currently buy and what they’ll need in the future.

Integrating RetailX360 into Your Business’s Tech Stack

For businesses looking to optimize their data, RetailX360 is the solution they need. We’re proud of the impact our technology has made on retail business, from optimizing customer and employee experience to finding opportunities for finding and reaching new customers with products and services. Check out our case study to learn how our RetailX360 platform helped an automotive service provider build its brand. Through targeting current and potential customers to drive retention and build their customer base, the stores involved in their RetailX360 pilot program saw an increase in sales, an increase in returning customers, and a $100M boost in revenue across all the stores.