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2020's TOP 5 Retail Technologies to watch

Transformation in retail is the key to success. Agile processes and adaption to the ever-changing behavior of shoppers demand a well-thought decision-taking for tech investments in the future.  

The Berlin-based retail expert, Ayhan Yuruk, points out the importance of retail tech and suggests that high tech innovations help retailers to stay competitive but at the same time notices, that most retailers, do not own a clear understanding how to implement those gadgets in their not to create a physical screen and gadget dominated environment for customers. .  for in four key categories – convenience, price, size, and speed.

techns die schon da sein sollten: payment solutions, inventory sync, smart screens and tables. 

 

There are several technologies companies in retail space have yet to embrace, including robotics, drone delivery, e-commerce anti-fraud tools, blockchain and bitcoin, and virtual or digital assistants. Robotics, for instance, is one of the hottest technologies for retailers, as several retail companies expanded their use in supply chains. But retail technology is about more than robots.

According to the market reports, the global smart retail market is predicted to worth US$58.23 billion by 2025, up from US$10.74 billion in 2017, growing at CAGR of 23.9%. Additionally, global retail tech spending will increase to $203.6 billion in 2019. With this growth, traditional retailers need to integrate smart retail technologies to bring their customers back.

Here’s 5 best retail technology trends to watch in 2019.

 

Here are the top 5 retail technology highlights for 2020:

  1. AI - Artificial Intelligence

  2. In-Store Analytics & Tracking Solutions

  3. Voice Commerce 

  4. Check-In Terminals

  5. Gamification 

How AI will change the Retail Industry in 2020

Artificial Intelligence is the hottest and most promising development in the tech landscape, period

 

According to Tractica (a market research firm), the global AI software market is expected to show massive growth in the coming years, with revenues increasing from around 9.5 billion USD in 2018 to an excess of 118.6 billion USD by 2025.

Nearly all the market industries and business segments are actively interested in AI and are willing to harness the technology for business benefits. Thanks to AI, companies are empowered to make the shopping experience much more delightful and efficient for the end consumers and at the same time reduce unnecessary costs. So, it is kind of a no brainer to promote and implement this promising technology especially in the retail segment.

AI will not only amplify the shopping experience but will help retailers to optimize their global buying process and get those pieces primarily on the shop floor that are guaranteed bestsellers.

Machine learning will allow better trend forecasts and enhance business efficiencies behind the scenes that will ultimately drive more revenue.  

 

“In the immediate future, retailers will use AI analysis to make more 1:1 comparisons that allow them to understand how their products and their prices compare to their competitors. In the near future, monitoring of counterfeit good manufacturing and minimum advertised pricing violations will be an area of major investment. Down the line, we expect to see retailers deploy AI to help them act on the insights they glean from retail analytics platforms. These implementations of AI technology will help businesses to reduce inventory waste, reach consumers at the right price, elevate service quality, and improve bottom lines.” says Sanjeev Sularia, CEO of Intelligence Node.

Using AI, retail stores can give customers the power to get instant support, inside the stores. By placing screens and touch panels, stores can help customers locate an item, get answers to their queries and get inspirational content and cross-selling options curated for them. Also, it increases access to millions of additional products, which is currently not possible due to space constraints inside a physical store. 

 

Artificial Intelligence will rule the retail domain and help brands become more customer-centric and efficient in retail operations.

Best In-Store Analytics & Tracking Solutions

In the hyper-competitive retail market, in-store analytics is gaining traction. And for obvious reasons: it helps retailers keep a close eye on their customers and provides valuable insights on store performance. Even better, all this data can be followed up with actions.

Traditional retail stores are aggressively implementing analytics techniques to win audiences back from e-commerce competitors. To that end, in-store analytics is becoming an indispensable part of a brick-and-mortar retailer’s operating strategy. Its benefits can be seen in other areas too, including marketing, merchandising, and fraud prevention.

"Imagine Google-Analytics for brick-and-mortar spaces, with real-time customer data and immediate call to action features, through push-notification options on wearable devices for an instant", says Ayhan Yuruk, Founder and Managing Director of #SHOWROOMING. "POS-Analytics empower sales associates to deliver a top-notch service on the shop floor, thanks to powerful insights"

In order to stay competitive with e-commerce, retailers need as many insights about their customers as they can get. Meaning useful details on what products are working, what items are flying off the shelves, and what might be causing unwilling losses. 

This is where in-store analytics comes into play. It can help store owners with the following difficulties:

  • Shopper or Consumer? In a store setting, people are either consumers or shoppers. What did they do in the store, from entrance to exit? Who went without purchasing anything and what was the reason? The old techniques of door counting and sale conversion can’t really answer relevant questions, much less give insight into buyer motivation.

In-store analytics can show retailers how customers behave in their stores, which leads to an optimized store layout and improved shopping experience. The result can turn people from being shoppers to consumers, and may even encourage them to spend more.

  • What’s Missing from the Shopping Cart? Retailers know what customers purchase from their store. But they also need to know what customers didn’t purchase and why.

 

This technology can give detailed insights into the effectiveness of store displays, employee actions, and other factors that can be used to sway purchasing decisions. 

  • Getting From Data to Insight to Action. Running a successful retail environment means making lots of decisions based on lots of factors. Knowing the ROI on your decisions, from everyday operations to marketing, is essential; even more important is moving from theoretical insight to positive action.

 

Store performance can be measured in real-time for better decision making.​ In-store analytics can help traditional retail operations understand consumer needs, improve employee efficiency, drive sales growth, and better appeal to customers. In the battle for consumer dollars, it’s one more way that traditional retailers can use technology to survive.

Targeted screen content?! (kommt es irgendwo anders vor?) 

What is Voice Commerce? 

Before we dive deeper into the subject, let’s try to reach a common understanding of what voice commerce actually is. To my knowledge, there is no scientific definition for this, so what’s the common understanding? Most people would say something like “commerce transactions triggered exclusively by using a voice service, either in the shape of an actual smart speaker device or a mobile app”. This definition, however, takes a rather narrow view of this process, because it entirely focuses on the transaction itself. In the world of “classic” e-commerce, this would be like saying, it’s only online commerce when customers run through the checkout and actually order stuff.

 

In reality, however, we all have heard about the customer journey: it takes a few steps for customers to find their product. They might find an ad in their social stream, look for this product online, maybe take a closer look at the product in a physical store, and then purchase it via an online marketplace.

Similarly, in the world of voice, it takes customers a few different touchpoints and moments to finalize their orders. They might ask their voice service about a service or product (“What do I need for a children’s birthday party), listen to the result, do a search online and buy coloured cups and an adorable pinata in a local store. Not to forget the after-sales. There are many skills out there which allow you to track order status.

In other words, a broader definition of voice commerce – which I will also use for the rest of this article – is a scenario, in which using a voice service is part of the shopping process.

Besides, if we really followed the narrow definition, the headline of this article would have to be “Amazon Voice Commerce”: Apart from a very few exceptions, Amazon is currently the only platform that lets users create orders via voice only.

 

How marketing is adapting to voice-enabled commerce

Marketing tactics need to change to support voice-based commerce, Schmidt said. It must shift away from traditional ads that tell people to "buy my product" to interacting with customers on a conversational level. For example, Schmidt described pet supply apps that focus on the needs of a puppy. Or, Purina, which shares stories on dogs that are hyper allergic. These types of conversations, focused on customer needs and not products have the ability to ultimately funnel down to buying the product, which at that point, people will use voice to order their products.

Schmidt pointed out that the technology is still quite new, and there is no golden rule on how to best market for voice commerce. He said brands have to figure out a strategy that fits their product, industry, and audience. The key is to rethink how you to talk to customers.

But if you think about it, it does make sense. Content Marketing is a primary focus for many marketers who want to focus on the needs of customers and tell stories that speak to those needs. They do this with the idea that people will appreciate the information, consider the brand an expert in that topic and, as a result, must know how to create the best products those topics focus on.

It will be interesting to see how a marketer maps a piece of content on a hyper-allergic dog that is read to a customer over Alexa to getting the customer to purchase the brand's dog food. Does the brand get mentioned in the article? Sounds very much like native advertising.

My take

Mobile changed ecommerce, and it continues to change how brands sell - both B2B and B2C. The good news is that it has made brands think hard about the user experience and what's most important. Conversational commerce and voice-search is the next evolution of that evolving user experience.

It requires marketers to understand what's important about the products and services they sell and how they convey that through content and product marketing strategies. There's an element of psychology here that is important to consider - understanding customer needs and wants. Just one more piece of the marketer's new job description.

What does the future of voice commerce look like?

Voice commerce has the potential to be a game-changer for B2C and B2B e-commerce, once the barriers to adoption are overcome. According to Google, 20% of all searches are already made via voice commands. Currently, the voice technology user base in the U.S. alone accounts for 42.7% of the population. Econsultancy forecasts that by 2020, voice commerce will account for half of all online searches. It is even expected to become a part of the brick-and-mortar shopping experience, allowing people to search for things online and in stores, just as they’d interact with a store clerk.

What are the benefits of voice commerce?

Voice-powered devices are used for several purposes, including listening to music, checking the temperature, searching for information online, and performing everyday activities like ordering food and shopping online. Because commerce is such a massive opportunity for voice technology, many companies have already taken advantage of voice commerce to improve their online customer experience. The main benefits are:

Convenience

The biggest advantage of voice commerce is how easy it is to use. All you need to activate it is a device with a voice assistant and your own voice. It allows consumers to shop when they’re cooking, multitasking, or even driving. Purchasing products online has never been easier with hands-free voice commerce.

24/7 Availability

Consumers can purchase using voice commerce 24/7, as they would with any web store, but voice technology also allows them to do so more easily and quickly — without a lengthy browsing and purchasing process.

Speed of Purchase

With voice commerce, a customer doesn’t have to log in or fill in their personal details on a company’s web store to purchase a product online: saving valuable time and maximizing ease.

Personalizing Buying Experiences

Because voice commerce is so easy to use, people tend to interact more with their devices. Devices can then gather more data from their owners, and use this data to personalize their customer experience. Companies that collect information on consumer behavior, preferences and historical data can develop powerful products and marketing strategies to beat competitors, while also delighting their customers with every purchase.

The Opportunity for B2B Companies

For B2B companies, voice commerce is a huge opportunity to not only improve processes in warehouses and offices but also to stand out among competitors. The B2B companies that are pioneers in adopting new technologies like voice commerce will be able to provide their B2B customers with memorable, simple and innovative online experiences.

Check-In Terminals

Gamification

Is your retail brand ready to harness the true potential of AI? Consult our experts and discover how AI can help your brand in 2019.

Über #SHOWROOMING

Die Showrooming GmbH, 2017 von Ayhan Yuruk gegründet, ist ein Kreativstudio mit Sitz in Berlin und Paris, welches Onlineunternehmen dabei unterstützt, offline zu gehen. Das internationale Team setzt sich aus Experten aus den Bereichen Retail Strategie, Visual Marketing, Digital Merchandising, E-Commerce, Customer-Relationship-Management (CRM) und Architektur zusammen. Mit digitalem Know-how, Handelsexpertise und einem weltoffenen Blick für erfolgreiches Store Branding übersetzen die kreativen Köpfe von #SHOWROOMING die digitale Markenidentität in ein reales Markenerlebnis. Ayhan Yuruk ist seit mehr als 15 Jahren als Creative Director und Experte für Retail tätig und hat zahlreiche Konzepte und Designs für Showrooms, Laufstege und Geschäfte entwickelt, unter anderem für Villeroy & Boch, Peek & Cloppenburg und Ermenegildo Zegna.