Gearing Up for the Future of Retail – Emerging Technologies
With the rapid progress of the digital and software industry, the foundations of all major industrial sectors have been disrupted. Manufacturing, utilities, pharmaceuticals, marketing and advertising, entertainment and many more fields have evolved rapidly to incorporate the latest technologies available.
This steady rise in technological solutions is a consequence of the consumers of today having access to nearly unlimited information and choices on the internet. Customers are more active online than they are in their real lives. With the advent of various social media channels and multimedia platforms such as videos, stories and tweets, companies are in a race to tap into these social media platforms and maximize their consumer hold.
There are a lot of processes and operations within any organization which can be greatly improved through new technologies such as automated database management, cloud systems, IoT, machine learning and data analysis. Such technologies have allowed companies to penetrate deeper into the consumer psyche through extensive predictive modelling and has allowed better efficiency of processes along with cost reduction.
There are a number of technologies which are constantly being added to the already growing arsenal of technical tools which companies use. From automated CRMs to cloud-based databases, almost every process or industrial operation is tied to software and a hardware running it. Some of the main technological developments that are disrupting the marketplace are mentioned below:
This is probably the most important technological concept today. There are a wide variety of tasks in any business that is monotonous and routine. In effect, they do not require much creativity, be it handling documents, various manufacturing processes such as welding and fixing or data analysis. These tasks today are increasingly being automated through AI and machine learning. Through machine learning, computers even gain the ability to learn over time and adapt to changing situations. Machine learning and AI works on the basis of a pre-fed knowledge bank that is created to acclimatize the AI to all kinds of scenarios. The AI, based on the information at hand, can adapt its operation when changes are introduced. Some of the biggest advantages of using AI include saving of costs in terms of manpower, lack of possibility of human errors, extremely fast and efficient processes and continuous activity without any breaks.
Cloud storage or cloud platforms make any kind of software or database available online. They offer proprietary software for industrial processes or data analysis or simple databases. All software content can be hosted on specially dedicated cloud servers which can grant seamless access to information and software capabilities from any place and at any time. Cloud platforms are also supported on smartphones; this means company executives can carry out vital tasks, update dashboards and databases from anywhere and experience real-time outcomes. Most companies today choose not to invest heavily in their own IT infrastructure and rather go for third-party cloud services. These cloud platforms also come with their own cybersecurity protocols which make them completely secure.
Big Data and Metadata Analysis
The internet and the various activities of consumers online generate tons and tons of valuable data that companies can use to maximize their product outreach. Consumers are viewing, liking and sharing content online all the time. All of these data points can be connected to create generic patterns which can be identified and used. This is known as big data and metadata. Through the careful analysis of big data and metadata, companies can form models and databases that can not only help them identify their consumers better through targeted advertising and customized content but also create predictive behavioral models for attracting new customers. Big data and metadata do more than just identifying consumers. Through the rapid analysis of complex products and rigorous iterations, updates are generated at an amazingly fast pace. This big data analysis software can identify faults and suggest updates in products.
The number of technologies that are developing is difficult to keep track of. There is virtual and augmented reality, blockchain, internet of things and many more. The coming times will only diversify and disrupt the market further.
Ambab is a pioneer in successfully delivering large multichannel transformation programs for retailers across the following services and many more:
In-Store Portal: Improve collaboration, inventory and promotions management within and across stores by offering services like in-store catalog viewing system, Digital kiosks management system, etc
Online Portal: Help launch businesses on the web and mobile including integration with other native tools/ERP/ CRM
Omni Channel Order Management: Carry out the entire purchase cycle across multiple channels including Inventory management, warehouse management and click and collect facility
Multi-Channel Customer Engagement: Leverage social media and BOTS to engage customers on multiple channels and encourage them to buy more
Retail Data Analytics: Leverage predictive analytics and big data to harness transactional, social, location and demographic data
In-store Employee Engagement: Motivate floor managers and other in-store employees through gamified or customized engagement solutions