The retail industry is not a stranger to trends, changes, and innovation. There are several things about shopping online and in-store today that we wouldn’t have predicted even a few years ago. For that reason, brands are always looking to keep an eye on the future while planning ahead.
There are a lot of things you can bet on as a retail business, and one is the increasing influence of technology in the shopping experience. Consumers want additional ways to shop, save, and discover their new favorite brands and products. Likewise, companies looking to cut costs, diversify their offerings, and build a better connection with patrons can benefit from working with retail app developers and leveraging these tech features, too. From data research to shopping assistants and more, here are tech trends that are changing retail in 2020.
Tech Trends in Retail to Watch in 2020
The best part of technology is that it solves problems we didn’t even know existed. So many innovations come from a desire to make the shopping experience better for customers. Likewise, the use of technology often saves money for businesses and provides a wider variety of shopping elements they can offer. So, here are the tech trends you need to keep an eye on in 2020.
Customer Chat Bots and Shop Assistants
As more customers look to shop from home, the customer service element is missing from digital spaces. Even if you could hire someone to help shoppers online, it’d be impossible to get to everyone in a timely manner. That’s why customer chat bots and shop assistants are a huge trend right now. E-commerce platform Shopify is constantly sharing information on these bots with businesses as a means to cut down on email questions and improve the customer experience. Bots aren’t perfect, and you may still need to yield technical questions via email or a live chat. For many inquiries, however, they provide a comprehensive response to customers looking for basic info on products, shipping, and other regularly occurring questions.
It’s impossible to predict the future as a business. Still, there are certainly ways you can set yourself up to best understand what sort of items customers will want to purchase. Across numerous variables like seasons, social media trends, and search frequency, retailers can prepare for coming trends using predictive analysis. The latter is one of the most influential ways to guess what people will buy next. For example, Netflix recommends shows based on what people watch or search. If retailers do the same, then they can cater recommended products to what the data shows to be the most appealing items to the user. This way, customers feel like you know what they like and build a better trust in your brand while also making purchases.
There are several perks to shopping at home. One downside, however, is the fact that you can’t try things on easily or see them in person. Extended reality helps to bridge this gap in user experience by placing items on customers virtually, or allowing them to place items in their home via augmented reality. The ability to see what a bookshelf looks like in your living room might be the thing that pushes someone to complete a purchase. Likewise, trying on glasses via Warby Parker’s app can show you what style fits your face best. These things go a long way in helping the consumer feel as if they’re making an informed purchase.
Tech Trends Change Often, So Be Ready to Adapt
The overarching trend in retail is always the neverending changes. There’s no telling what could be hot next season, let alone next month. To be best prepared for the future, keep up with trends and always be ready to adapt to something new!