Published On: 09-Jul-2020

Scope of Global Retail technologyIndustry Reports- 

Retail is a highly competitive industry. And to stay competitive in the market, the managers are increasingly using technology to have better results in four key segments which are convenience, price, size and speed. So, at present it is mandatory for retail professionals to be familiar with retail technologies both in sales floor and behind the scenes. Use of high-tech tools on stores and sales floor help in balancing inventory assortments, optimizes management of ordering and tracks pricing. Additionally, customer tracking tools increase satisfaction of customers and promote loyalty. Some of the examples of retail technology industry are Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), Wireless hand-held inventory units, Universal Product Code (UPC), Smart registers/point-of-sale (POS) terminals, e-commerce technologies etc. 

Global Retail TechnologyIndustry Market is valued at USD 17.16billion in 2019 and expected to reach USD 76.14 billion by 2026 with the CAGR of 23.72% over the forecast period. 

GlobalRetail TechnologyIndustryDynamics – 

Changing consumer behavior in purchasing goods, rapid adoption of new technology by consumers as well as retailers to increase the effectiveness of doing business, growing use of e-commerce apps in shopping and rise in application of technology in inventories and store houses are driving the retail technology industry. The application of technology in the retail industry entered in to almost every aspect of business for both e-commerce websites as well as brick-and-mortar stores. For instance, retail inventory management software for small enterprises and other IT tools ?support "behind-the-scenes" business operations by?supervising?supply chain processes using big data analytics. To satisfy the evolved consumer expectations, retailers and their brands are making investments to develop their backend operations. They are investing in development of data-rich infrastructure that reinforces their entire business, advanced analytics to extract meaningful insights and a cloud-based system for sending them across the organization from supply chain partners to frontline staff efficiently. For instance, the advantage of data powered warehouses can be known from the fact that, Companies having fully integrated IT warehouses are outproducing compared to others by 20%, mainly because of improved data access. Companies are increasingly using Artificial Intelligence based bots in customer services. It has seen that, system AI-powered recommendations can attract consumers to come back for more after first visit. About 37% of shoppers who used a personalized recommendation during their first visit came back, compared to 19% of shoppers who didn’t use a recommendation. This shows the effectiveness of using technology in retail industry which attracts retailers to increasingly apply new technologies in their systems which propels the growth of retail technology industry. 

Recent Development-David's Bridal introduces virtual appointments via Zoom: 

25th June, 2020 

With the use of the video conferencing software Zoom, David's Bridal have introduced video into its virtual appointment service, which will enable its stylists to assist brides and bridal parties remotely, the wedding retailer announced in 23 June, 2020 press release. Customers can plan appointments with the retailer's stylists to obtain guidance on everything from dresses and color swatches to accessories and veil styles, as per the company statement. Even if the video feature was declared on June 3, the company said that it has already received huge number of video appointment bookings in the first few days. The wedding company also mentioned that it has reopened many of its brick-and-mortar locations after shutting due to COVID-19.  

Recent Trends in Retail TechnologyIndustry- 

Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) Keep Pushing the Limits: 

The application of Augmented reality and virtual reality in retail is continuing to be trend in retail technology industry in 2020. The demand of augmented and immersive shopping experience is expected to force the retailers to accommodate such technologies into their business.  

AR and VR tech are helping customers visualize the product they want to buy both in online and in-store. Examples of VR applications are offering consumers model living spaces, trying makeup or clothes, or running through a store as if it’s a game, all can be possible virtually. For example, in 2019, Walmart have sponsored Jurassic World’s AR game, which offers to hunt and capture dinosaurs in their stores, which encourages the foot traffic to the store. Another example is Sephora is offers magic mirrors in-store and mobile apps that permit testing makeup tools.  And IKEA helps consumers to design spaces with their try-before-you-buy app.? 

In case of application of VR, retailers are transforming their brick-and-mortar shop into an online one. They let consumers roam through their VR-based stores no matter location and buy items consumers find on virtual shelves. Many brands are now offering virtual showrooms to their customers and virtual catalogs of goods on sale.?In 2020, it is expected that retailers will be able to offer consumers AR navigation assistance which will increase the attractiveness of retail technology industry.? 

Cybersecurity as a Top Priority: 

As retail industry is one of the prime targets for hackers, cybersecurity will be top priority in retail technology industry in 2020. As understanding risks, along with the preventive measures, will make retailers more trustworthy in customer’s eyes. For example, Under Armour, activewear company declared that they faced the data breach that affected 150 million users of their food and nutrition application which had resulted in drop of company’s shares down to 3.8% that day.  

Companies are now increasingly taking new technological measures such as validating the parameters, content, and setting in place a content security policy.?Other than that, they are Embedding secure software development and SecDevOps practices into their software development pipeline, adding automated vulnerabilities testing block to CI/CD processes and are using latest third-party libraries and regular security patches installation within their network. These measures in turn bolsters the retail technology industry. 

Indoor Location-Based Services (LBS) Can Help Identify Patterns: 

Identifying customer’s pattern through the help of technology is another trend in retail technology industry in 2020. It is done by indoor location-based services (LBS). These services include such components like compact 3D laser scanning carts and web and mobile solutions for viewing and analyzing digitized building scenes.  Additionally, an advanced indoor navigation toolkit that supports indoor 3D mapping and navigation applications. These are mainly aimed to improve customer experiences in physical retail stores by offering them relevant information and provide directions in-store. Some of the most prominent technologies that are helping the growth of retail technology industry are Bluetooth beacons and digital representation of indoor space. 

Staff-Free Shops: 

Staff free shops is another trend that is expected to bolster the retail technology industry in 2020. For instance, Amazon Go opened to the broad audience in early 2018, now a few prominent tech companies such as Microsoft, Toshiba, and Walmart have declared opening staff-free shops. Staff-free stores depend on technologies such as machine vision which is an AI subset, facial recognition, big data, barcodes, shelf sensors which uses IoT technology, Quick Response (QR) Codes, RFID tags etc. One of the examples of staff-free shops is Cashier-free self-checkout stores, possible due to AI advancements within the last few years. These type of latest technology uses is the main driving factor of retail technology industry.