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Retailers should not become complacent about innovative in-store tech, report warns

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A new report has suggested that many within the retail industry are at risk of falling behind when it comes to the implementation of innovative technology.

The Connected Enterprise report from digital transformation specialist Nexer suggests that augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and artificial intelligence (AI) will all play a part in the shops of the future.

Despite this, less than third of retailers (30%) believe that customer expectations will make technology more essential to success over next five years.

Furthermore, retailers are 27% more likely than other businesses to think AI is a gimmick.

The report also reveals that only half (51%) of retailers believe that they will have to implement more technology over the next five years in order to remain competitive, and less than a third (30%) believe that changes in customer demands/expectations will make technology more crucial.

Applied futurist Tom Cheesewright commented: “In metropolitan areas, we’re likely to see retail brands concentrating their efforts on selling high-value goods to consumers, using experiential marketing and augmented reality technologies to tempt customers in-store.

“We could see ‘magic mirrors’ installed in clothing stores – reflective screens linked to cameras and controlled by AR software to offer shoppers a virtual fitting room experience, capturing different angles, adding accessories, and switching the colour or pattern of the items.

“Data-driven technology and intelligent inventory management will be combined to deliver an increasingly personalised omnichannel buying experience, taking consumers and their preferences from online to in-store with zero friction.”

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