The in-store retail experience took a massive hit during the Covid-19 pandemic, with many stores forced to shut their doors for long periods of times. But over the past three years the industry is bouncing back, with technology leading the way for a more seamless customer experience. Digital transformation provides retailers with a wide range of opportunities to not only enhance the customer experience, but also optimize operations and increase revenue. According to Forrester, US digital influenced retail sales will grow from $2.7 trillion in 2022 to $3.8 trillion in 2027.
Leveraging Digital Technologies
Shelf edge systems, digital display and machine/computer vision are just some of the key elements to increasing customer satisfaction and experience, as well as top and bottom-line success. It’s clear the digital transformation of in-store retail is an essential part of staying competitive in today’s market. Digital technologies are evolving rapidly and are quickly becoming core components in the way that stores operate.
Duncan Potter, the Chief Marketing Officer at Pricer agrees. On a recent GDS Meet the Boss roundtable focused on how digital transformation is reshaping in-store retail he shared, “the nice thing about most of this technology is somebody has actually tried it before, typically many times and it’s evolved every time.”
Modern Store Management Solutions
One important aspect of digital transformation is the adoption of modern store management solutions. These solutions enable store managers to gain visibility into their inventory, reduce costs, improve efficiency and accuracy, and provide customers with greater control over their shopping experience. By utilizing data from smart shelves and POS systems, retailers can track sales trends across multiple channels, identify customer needs and preferences in real-time, and make decisions based on up-to-date insights.
Interactive Technology and AI
If you’ve been in a retail store lately, you’ll have seen the use of interactive technology to enhance customer engagement. Digital signage, virtual reality, augmented reality, and other technologies can help customers find the products they need faster and make more informed decisions. Additionally, artificial intelligence (AI) can be used to deliver personalized recommendations to customers based on their shopping history and preferences. This helps create a more engaging shopping experience for customers and increases the chances of sales conversion.
According to Intel, “from using computer vision to customize promotions in real-time to applying machine learning for inventory management, retailers can harness AI to connect with their customers and operate more efficiently.”
Digital transformation of in-store retail also provides retailers with opportunities to leverage data analytics to gain insights into customer behavior, product trends and operational efficiencies. By collecting data from multiple sources such as POS systems, loyalty programs and mobile apps, retailers can identify customer patterns and develop better strategies to increase sales. Moreover, the use of predictive analytics can help retailers anticipate customer needs and understand how changes in store operations may affect results.
Digital transformation is revolutionizing the way stores operate and providing retailers with unprecedented opportunities to optimize their operations and improve customer experience. But it often comes with a hefty price tag. On a recent GDS roundtable, Matt Bossons, Head of Product Store Stock and Shelf Edge at the multinational grocery store chain Tesco said, “it’s a huge investment, and we have more than 4 thousand stores across the world, with a lot of skus and shelves to cover.” But industry experts agree by leveraging modern technologies such as AI, data analytics, interactive technologies and more, retailers can unleash new levels of efficiency, accuracy and innovation that will help them stay ahead of the competition. Digital transformation is here to stay; it’s up to retailers to capitalize on its potential for success.
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