In 2017, online retail stores were responsible for 10.2 percent of all retail sales around the globe, a 2.8 percent rise since 2015. The figure will climb another 7 percent over the next four years.
Despite how quickly it’s evolving, the U.S. retail industry is still going strong. In fact, retailers had over $3.5 trillion in sales last year, and experts predict that retail sales will grow 4 percent this year.
How has the retail industry been able to thrive for so long? Read on to find out what retail technology trends helped the industry get to where it is today!
1. E-Commerce Platforms
If you thought Amazon was behind the first online sale ever, you’d be wrong.
That honor belongs to Pizza Hut, which made its first online pizza sale in 1994. Amazon didn’t sell its first book on the internet until the very next year.
It took another two decades for annual online retail sales in the U.S. to hit $300 billion. In the meantime, however, both retailers and consumers have benefited from the trend.
Online retail stores can now stay open around the clock and eliminate geographical restrictions. Additionally, they cut back on costs.
Customers can save time by avoiding a drive to the store. They’re able to find better deals and products by comparing prices and reading product reviews on the internet. Plus, they can locate niche items more quickly.
2. Advanced POS Systems
The days of using a clipboard to stay on top of inventory are long gone. Modern retail POS systems can take care of that and automate the following:
- Customer-relationship management (CRM)
- Loyalty programs
A POS system boosts checkout speed, improves ordering accuracy, and keeps customer data safe. It not only makes employees more productive, but it also improves customer service.
Keep in mind that this technology doesn’t just impact the retail industry. Visit this site to learn more about the benefits that POS systems offer restaurants.
3. Mobile Apps
The majority of businesses run by millennials have their own mobile application.
Many retailers use apps to send coupons or sales notifications to their shoppers. As a result, they now have a direct marketing channel with consumers and can interact with them on the regular basis.
Apps also allow retailers to shift from card-based reward programs to smartphone-based ones. This simplifies the reward program experience for consumers. It also enables retail stores to collect better behavioral data, which leads to improved targeted marketing.
The Future of Retail Technology
Retailers are always striving to make the shopping experience more convenient for customers. As a result, many retail tech improvements are coming down the pike.
Face recognition technology, for example, may soon change the way we pay at the checkout. Also, online retailers are now using augmented reality to enable their shoppers to find out how a product looks in their home before buying it.
Now that you’ve read about past, present, and future retail technology trends, want to learn about how tech can reshape our planet? If so, head over to the renewable energy technology section of our blog!