What Do Retail CIOs Need in The Coming Years?

What Do Retail CIOs Need in The Coming Years?

By: Retail CIO Outlook | Tuesday, September 01, 2020

For retailers, it is crucial to keep up with the rapid speed of consumer adoption of technologies that help them enhance their lives, and utilize technology to build new efficiencies in existing business methods.

FREMONT, CA: The leading trade fairs for retail technology held at different places bring about various conclusions after in-depth surveys that can help the retail CIOs to achieve success. They bring together many retail specialists and debate on upcoming retail technologies and their potentials in the marketplace. 

Mobile POS:

Retails CIOs need to give a strong focus on the store, which is considered as a fading component in between the magic of the digital era. It is still believed to be an essential medium through which retailers showcase their brand and have it as a valuable component of their company strategy. CIOs are now looking to blend online shopping with proficient in-store experiences. Mobile POS technologies are providing them with plenty of methods to expand their existing services and further additions to satisfy their quests.

The advantages retail CIOs are expecting to achieve from mobile POS includes the capability to install pop-up stores and free some selling space. All while decreasing hardware, furniture and fixture expenses, line busting, along with in-aisle management. It is a great idea to help the customers with store associates ready in the aisle, along with the information they need. It is an ideal opportunity to enhance both customer interactions and sales via suggested selling. The blend of mobile POS solutions with order management applications is supreme to the retailer CIOs. They can identify the requirement to optimize every phase of the order lifecycle, starting from order entry to its completion.

Importance of Planning:

Retail CIOs need to pay extra attention to the importance of personalization and also focus on tailoring the buying experience and product that can be served as per the customer’s taste and preference. Foreseeing the demands, offering varieties, and balancing the complexities of an omnichannel is a daunting task and quite expensive. Retail CIOs need to know that constant investments in implementing strategies and new customer experiences in the absence of accurate planning can be costly and can also generate multiple service failures. After a few years of attempting and failing to reinvent the customer experience, most retail CIOs are focusing better on the planning for a channel. They should start looking for new methods, know their customers better, and predict demands accurately. They must explore various techniques to drive the range through higher clustering and attribute-based evaluation.

AI Predictions: 

The rising demand for higher detailing across the extending data sets, build an utmost need for AI that can make dealing manageable with ample data. Many retail CIOs focused on AI chatbots and virtual personal assistants, but on the other hand, a significant utilization that came upon the surface was demand forecasting. AI and ML especially can lend a hand in handling the structured and unstructured data, identify complex/hidden correlations, and also learn from the relevant associations. 

AI, in fashion, can help to identify connections between styles that are under more demand and automate the consequences of seasonality, markdowns, and weather. AI will help recognize predictive patterns that can feed the forecasts and become an input to the mixed bag, allocation, and replacement planning methods. Optimization of inventory and management of the warehouse are the additional benefits the company can get from AI. The tech can reveal complicated correlations on products that are ordered collectively and should further handle, stock, and pick them all together.

Waste Reduction and Sustainability:

The debate on eco-sustainability has created a big deal all round-the-world, particularly concerning wastage diminution. The trends of fast fashion, along with the insane race to continuous innovation, are the factors responsible for the vast unnecessary waste. It includes tons of prototypes and samples that do not turn into a finished product or products that are unsold, or garments that have a shorter lifecycle are all disposed of. There are a few approaches that were proved as effective methods of reducing waste. Firstly, deeper incorporation of the planning and with the designers can benefit a lot by providing possible market insights and intelligence from the very beginning of the development. 

Innovation becomes closer to the market, which is finally translated into a decrease of samples that are incomplete and are unsold stocks within the network. Secondly, it is 3D and augmented reality technology that can be utilized to cut the production time and operate the prototyping and sampling phases digitally. Retail CIOs must ensure that there is contrary use of fabrics and manufacturing resources until and unless the finished style is finalized and then created.


Traditional points of sale are now mostly seen to be used by retailers such as an instore clienteling app, a mobile POS, a kiosk, and an eCommerce site, and the list goes on. Every channel tends to have a different application and a diverse data source, which are unlike any other engines, pushing the business to upgrade and retain. With every disruption that is taking place in the retail industry, the approach does not remain ideal or sustainable for any long. Retail CIOs should look at technology platforms that can have the characteristics of a chameleon. Something adaptable, agile, and versatile enough to support anything that comes in between the unique journey or experience of the customer seeking for it. Microservices are acquiring robust traction between the retailers as they are offering capabilities that can used and reused to accumulate new-fangled experiences online, on mobile, in-store, and even where the retailer cannot reach physically. Advantages of microservices are related to the speed of the market, abridged TCO, as well as resiliency that allows leveraging microservices efficiently and adapting technology to business method alteration.

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