The outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic has changed the retail industry considerably. While the industry had a rough start to 2021, the sector has shown positive growth in the second half.
Part of this positive growth is due to the adoption of digital and in-store technology. This technology provides business continuity, improved business outcomes, and increased customer reach in the year 2021, which has boosted the sector’s digital adoption.
Retailtech solutions are important components of the retail revolution, as they improve operational efficiency, employee productivity, and consumer experience. These service providers developed logistics and fulfillment solutions, payment solutions, and inventory management solutions.
Emerging Trends in the Industry
While eCommerce has been growing since its inception, the unforeseen events of 2020 pushed it to new heights as people ditched physical shopping. As the global population continues to work and shop online, retail technology shows no signs of slowing down.
To be competitive, those in the eCommerce market should keep an eye on new and developing industry trends. Some of the most influential technology trends anyone in the industry should watch out for in the coming years have been highlighted below:
Ecommerce marketplaces: Marketplaces are the logical next step in the evolution of the contemporary Web-store. They are advantageous to all parties involved in e-commerce. Buyers are being overwhelmed by the sheer number of stores and options available, while sellers are having difficulty capturing their customers’ attention.
Buyers can use marketplaces to search, compare, and purchase products while remaining on a single platform. Sellers on the other hand receive access to buyers they might not have known about otherwise.
Artificial intelligence (AI) based inventory systems: Increasing inventory rather than increasing product availability is the traditional approach to consumer happiness. But, recently, there has been a growing interest in bolstering inventory management systems with AI-based solutions that increase a retailer’s capacity to fulfill a consumer who walks in the door, whether physically or online.
Online grocery delivery: Over the past few months, online grocery ordering and fresh food delivery have become commonplace. This has opened up new potential in logistics, gamification, and security in terms of delivery scheduling and ensuring that fresh food is delivered to the correct individual in an acceptable amount of time.
Robotic deliveries: Retailers will be able to deliver things anywhere, not just to homes or official addresses, thanks to in-house robotic delivery. All buyers have to do is take a photo, and the delivery service will deliver their order to the spot indicated in the photo. Last-meter delivery has replaced last-mile delivery as the industry standard in this delivery style.
Payment card cybersecurity: Payment card cybersecurity software, particularly those based on artificial intelligence, is a growing trend. As eCommerce grows, so does the number of hackers attempting to steal credit and debit card information through phishing, malware, and other means. To prevent payment data fraud and theft, AI cybersecurity software will be used to supplement human information security teams.
Shopping and payment apps: Retailers are now allowing customers to scan their purchases and check out using an app instead of walking through a checkout line. Sam’s Club has already implemented this across all of their locations, and Walmart is doing so in stages. Those that shop in the store will have a safe and contactless experience as a result of this. Consumers will also be able to shop online, schedule pick-up, and then pick up their products at the store or have them delivered to their doorstep, all through a smartphone app.
Israel Startups Setting the Global Standard in Retailtech
New types of channels, technologies, consumer expectations, and other market forces are causing disruption in the retail sector. The challenge is amplified by the fact that retail has historically had modest profit margins. Retailers who fail to predict and respond to changing trends will be left behind.
According to data gathered by Israel-based early-stage incubator and investment fund Nielsen Innovate Fund (NIF) and other sources, there are over 250 retail technology startups operating in Israel currently. These startups have raised more than $1 billion in equity investments between them.
One of these startups was created in 2011 as a platform for creating authentic user reviews and graphic material. The platform is working to connect its existing products to offer a holistic platform experience. This integrated set of tools is designed to provide brands with unified consumer data, allowing them to get more out of each campaign and maximize their return on investment (ROI).
Another Israeli startup uses AI and machine learning to study behavioral patterns of customers and create a more widespread extrapolation based on that data, rather than relying on panel data, which monitors data and produces estimates. The organization, which specializes in location analytics and foot traffic statistics, has developed the software with privacy requirements built-in. This allows it to comply with all personal information privacy laws and regulations.
A similar company, which was launched in 2015, created an AI-powered clip-on gadget that transforms a regular shopping cart into a “smart cart.” When users add and remove things from their shopping cart, the device employs computer vision to keep track of it. Customers can even avoid the line at the checkout because the device already knows what they’re buying.
This solution improves the consumer experience by removing friction from the shopping process, enabling the client to display promotions on the device, collecting data for sales analytics, and protecting against suspicious user behavior.
Shoppers have become much more value-conscious in recent years. As such, it’s important for retailers to use digital technologies to reduce operational costs and pass the savings on to their customers. With the massive shift to digital shopping, numerous opportunities have risen across the sector.
Several startups have taken advantage of the industry change and now provide considerable support for retailers moving online. With exciting new advances in Retailtech, companies and customers can benefit from a better shopping experience and a more efficient process.