How Retailers Can Use Emerging Technologies In Their Technology Evolution

Brick-and-mortar stores were among those hit very hardest by the pandemic. Last year, retail stores across America shut their doors due to extensive lockdown procedures, causing a reduction in overall in-store traffic and income. But it wasn’t all bad: Some stores viewed the disaster as an opportunity to adjust to changing buyer needs by quickening their digital transformations and augmenting their store and online processes. Some store locations have become “dark stores,” altering their spaces into native fulfillment centers rather than customer-facing stores. Others have gone in a contrasting direction, taking on an “experience only” model through which consumers can view and try objects in the store and order them for home delivery at a future date. Here's a preview of how new technologies can be used to enable stores to create a better shopping experience that satisfies the evolving needs of their consumers. Digital Kiosks Small stores have their benefits, but one of the disadvantages is less display area space. Consumers like to browse, and they often want to envision their purchase. Digital engagement allows the “try,” “check” and “view” characteristics of the buying experience, letting the spirit of the traditional store carry on, while also reshuffling the shopping experience in a way online customers have come to assume. Customers in a retail store use a digital kiosk to look at all existing colors and arrangements they can choose from, rather than filtering through physical items — but this interactive technology has more future-focused uses, also. Cross-referencing digital engagement openings with in-store promotions and conversions can deliver valuable insight into the achievement of a campaign, the strength of a product line and so much more. 5G Networks Connected kiosks devices are the new norm. Technology such as cameras, point-of-sale devices, person counters, and digital kiosks are all progressively network-enabled. 5G networks will make it more stress-free than ever for stores to take advantage of the connectivity they need to power these new modern technologies, with digital signage, customer recognition software, and other prized tools empowered by this new, faster way to connect. Even as America still emerges from the pandemic, the face of shopper engagement continues to change toward a more focused experience, centered on getting consumers the products they need rapidly and easily. Savvy businesses should examine whether they can use these interactive technologies to elevate that shopper experience.