Technologies are forcing retail CIOs to adapt to the frequently changing retail landscape.
FREMONT, CA: Modern information technology is playing an essential role in managing complex retail operations. Sufficient market knowledge and the ability to control a huge amount of data and information helps retailers thrive in this competitive market. Advancements in technologies like robotics and artificial intelligence are also disrupting the retail industry. However, all businesses have to embrace different technologies and readily undergo shifts for their survival. For example, in the car industry, Henry Ford was at the forefront of disruptive changes, adapted all of them, and made his business successful. Technology seeds natural selection and is true in the retail industry. If retail CIOs want businesses to succeed, they have to adapt to the modern shopping environment.
Amazon has delivered a vital part by means of teaching lessons in the retail space. As an integrated eCommerce platform, it makes shopping easy for billions of customers. Amazon gains more market share from a variety of industries that made retailers from different sectors drop like flies. Amazon’s growth is highly influenced by the two technologies—robots and artificial intelligence—leading to retail displacement. These technologies are becoming more efficient with Amazon’s expanding network of fulfillment centers. It is now cumulating its efforts towards an innovative solution that makes shipping even faster for its customers. The development of drones to deliver products in less than 30 minutes would be a real game-changer.
Amazon is on its way towards making the ordering process smooth and quick. It has already made it through a dash button where each product delivered comes with a dash button. When a customer is running out of that product, he/she can place an order immediately by clicking on the button. Similarly, Amazon’s Alexa built with AI is fantastic at placing orders and is getting people accustomed to using voice technology. So, it is no doubt that these tough lessons from Amazon trigger the other retailers to seize the new technologies.
Convenience at its peak
As mobile phones are ruling the world, every human has got used to it. Internet is the source for these phones, without which people would have avoided smartphones. The internet has become a part of our everyday life, that we cannot imagine a life without it. In this scenario, mobile phones serve the purpose of online shopping and educate people about products making them aware of the products at their fingertips. In the retail world, people look for websites that provide relevant information in a few seconds about the product they search. They prefer search engines that understand their demands than the one which gives the best user experience. Imagine a website buffering for a long time—it irritates the user.
Years ago, customers had to wait for days and even weeks, at times, for receiving an ordered product in hand. During which customers chose to visit brick and mortar stores and make a purchase. But now, online shopping and shipping that won’t take more than two days are a delight to modern customers as they feel online shopping is more convenient.
IoT and Machine Learning
Astonishingly, the internet of things (IoT) market is expected to reach over $1.1 trillion by 2025. IoT will rapidly affect the retail industry with the spread of thought that more electronic devices are connected to the internet than people. It allows the devices to communicate, analyze, and share data about the physical world via networks as well as cloud-based software platforms.
With IoT, customers are informed about the prevailing offers in the stores they make a purchase and are guided with the purchasing behaviors. For example, a smart refrigerator connected via internet and smartphone application communicates with its owner regarding the items to be bought at the grocery store.
Also, Machine Learning has become tremendously popular among retailers. It uses sophisticated algorithms for understanding customers, helping them with targeted marketing, thereby delivering customer-centric shopping experience. And now, the customers look for more devices that provide more data because it makes shopping easier than before. IoT enhances the retailer’s ability to understand IoT data with analytics to take appropriate actions. Thus, retailers are in the compulsion to focus on IoT applications as it serves the customers better and creates value.
If a business fails to reach its customer online, then it faces a major failure. There are fewer skills to set up an eCommerce platform and many options like Amazon, where small retailers can promote their products and obtain revenue.