How Technology is Shifting the Retail Landscape
The rapid evolution of technology has seen innovation take place at an exponential rate. Nearly every sector of human life, from personal communication to worldwide shipping logistics, has been touched and altered by these technological developments.
The world of retail is no exception and has seen a significant shift as the influx of technology has impacted supply chains, business transactions, consumer behaviors, marketing strategies, and more. With more advances on the horizon and a society that's adopting e-commerce and other technology-driven approaches to shopping, this trend of retail evolution will almost surely continue.
Take a closer look at how technology is shifting the retail landscape.
Technologies Reshaping the Retail World
Unless you've somehow avoided the internet recently (or altogether), you've undoubtedly experienced some of the ways in which technology is transforming the retail world, whether you realize it or not. In fact, a large portion of your online experience — shopping or otherwise — involves targeted usage of retail technology.
Amazon.com is a prime example of how new technologies are being implemented in retail applications. Typically at the forefront of new retail technology, Amazon has popularized the use of features that make online shopping more convenient and streamlined.
One-click purchasing, anticipatory shipping, intuitive personalized shopping recommendations, speakers that allow you to place orders with your voice, and more have all proven to be effective shopping tools thanks to the online retail giant.
For example, Amazon allows you to “subscribe” to a product, which automates your purchases on a schedule. From household items to supplements, this feature appeals to consumers by streamlining their life, taking the guesswork out of when to replenish their product supply, and ensuring they never run out of integral items. Now, a similar option is available from a number of retailers.
The common thread typically shared by these and other technologies that are shifting the retail landscape is artificial intelligence (AI). This groundbreaking technology is used to interpret data, streamline the lifecycle of a product or service, and enhance goods and solutions.
In real-world terms, this often looks like personalized recommendations and shopping experiences, business-customer engagement, and optimized supply chains and inventories.
Factors Pushing Consumers to Technology-Based Retail Solutions
The rapid pace at which technology has developed has played a major role in the transition of retail from brick-and-mortar stores to more online-based shopping. The convenience of technology and how it facilitates retail consumption from practically anywhere at any time is arguably the most illustrative example of technology’s vast retail influence.
However, there are societal factors at work, too. The recent COVID-19 pandemic has been a shining example of how technology can help retailers quickly adapt to an unpredictable environment.
With social distancing regulations in place across the globe, in-person shopping severely limited or shut down, and people being more cautious about public spaces, retail technology was given a true opportunity to display its value.
The result was immediate and remarkable — a tremendous portion of retail business shifted to technology-based solutions such as online shopping, drone deliveries, click-and-collect, and more.
The Future of Retail
Technology has already shifted the landscape of retail significantly. The ways in which we shop and consume are vastly different than they were just a few short years ago, let alone several decades.
The changes instituted and largely embraced during the COVID-19 pandemic further demonstrated how technology continues to evolve and the retail world with it.
With these examples in mind, and more technologies being developed and implemented into the retail sphere, the future of the industry is bright. There's no doubt that technology will continue to alter the landscape of retail businesses, from concept to supply chains to personalized marketing and beyond.
Hanna Marcus is a professional writer with a degree in Journalism from the University of Florida. Hanna is currently a content writer for Do Supply Inc.
Related story: 2020 Retail Technology Report
Hanna Marcus is a professional writer with a degree in Journalism from the University of Florida. After spending a few years in newsrooms across the state of Florida, she found her niche in freelance writing. She specializes in several niches, but enjoys writing about technology, Artificial Intelligence, the future of the IoT, and more. Hanna is currently a content writer for Do Supply Inc.