Consumers have benefited in a big way from all the new technology over the past 10 years. Think smartphones, apps, easy online shopping services, 3G wireless networks. All these technologies have made modern consumerism infinitely easier, while they’ve often created new challenges for traditional retailers.
Consumer technology may get most of the press, but there have been plenty of technology advancements for retailers as well. Here are 5 technologies currently being used by retailers to improve in-store sales.
1 – Location based advertising
Location Based Advertising can be the most personal form of advertising on a mobile and when used correctly by retailers it can deliver exceptional results. Traditionally, people use to cut out coupons from newspapers or magazines for discounted products promoted by local supermarkets and stores. Now retailers can deliver these discounts directly to consumers with a more personal touch for the possibility of a higher return.
2 – RFID tags
RFID ( Radio Frequency Identification ) technology has been adopted by retailers over the past 10 years for a variety of purposes, from inventory management to basic merchandising uses. However retailers are getting more creative with the technology now, by using it to transform the whole retail experience for customers with things like: Giving customers the ability to self-checkout anywhere, anytime, or instantly retrieve product information with a smartphone, and triggering in-store marketing based on in-store location.
3 – Smartphone POS devices
Companies like Square, Intuit and even PayPal are now giving consumers and retailers the ability to use smartphones as payment devices, which in some cases can save retailers a lot of money, both in terms of fees and equipment costs. These smartphone payment devices also give retailers the freedom to take payment wherever, whenever the customer wants which can help improve the retail shopping experience overall, and save time as well.
4 -Real-time geospatial information gathering
It sounds technical because it is, but don’t let the name scare you. This technology is one of the fastest being adapted by retailers as GPS enabled smartphones have become the standard as opposed to the exception.
Because of GPS, retailers have the ability via consumer-enabled apps, to track customer locations and movements within micro-level environments, such as in-store or inside of a mall. The ability to track customer location gives retailers a slew of valuable data on customer shopping habits and trends which can then be used to adjust in-store marketing, store layout and even product placement. Of course these apps need to be approved and accepted by consumers in order for retailers to use them.
5 – Big data analysis
Big data is the big buzz word these days, and for good reason. Technologies like the ones listed above all give retailers something they crave more then anything else. Data. And lots of it, which is why the term “Big data” is used. But all this data means nothing to retailers if they don’t know what to do with, and since the data is so much bigger and more powerful then its ever been in the past, new technologies are being developed just to make sense of it all. For a good a example of this, check out Kiwi.
So retailers cheer up, it’s not just consumers who are getting all the benefit from new technologies. With the right technology used in the right way, retailers too have a lot to gain.