Technology is Disrupting Retail Business (for Good)

November 17, 2021 | 234 views

Technology is Disrupting Retail Business (for Good)
Technology is Disrupting Retail Business (for Good)

No matter the sign on your door, your business is increasingly influenced by technology’s expanding role in your operation. And you are not alone. The last year forced retail to shift to online sales, delivery, and remote operations. The changes in retail were unquestionably disruptive but also helpful in navigating pandemic restrictions. Nevertheless, learning new technology added to an unsettling year. Tech changes are here to stay, though, and the disruptions in retail businesses are mostly for good.

When implemented well, advanced tech brings more efficiencies in retail operations through lower costs. While ScheduleBase offers one way to streamline your employee scheduling tasks, multiple other technologies are shaking up retail operations, too. Some of these technological advancements might be exactly what you need to remain competitive and more profitable.

Automating customer service. Chatbots help answer customer questions without monopolizing an employee. And browsers offer assistance to consumers as they buy movie tickets or make restaurant reservations.

Predictive algorithms. It may feel a little creepy when your phone or pc offers you a deal on that thing you were searching for, but it does streamline purchases of your service or product. Analytics also assist with purchasing supplies by anticipating your demand for inventory. Intelligent software can change services pricing based on demand, thereby improving revenue automatically. No matter the analytics, retailers will benefit from improved operations and better customer interface.

Full cycle purchasing. Effortless tracking of orders, delivery, returns, and post-purchase conversations help increase customer loyalty and retention. Your brand stays present with customers long after the “buy now” button. And it all happens without customer service employees and wages.

Automated purchasing. No one likes waiting in line, and automation technology goes beyond self-checkout. Consumers at Amazon Go stores, for example, scan in when they arrive, shop, and leave. They are charged automatically as they walk out the door (which means the retailer can reduce its overall real estate or use it for products rather than checkout lines). It appears consumer-centered, but has a significant financial benefit for retailers.

Theft and fraud prevention. Retailers, especially brick and mortar stores, are always at risk for theft and fraud. Collaborative technology combines data from cameras, product tags, and sensors to minimize losses. Along with the know-how comes lower insurance rates, too.

Product sampling. Simple website enhancements allow buyers to preview products before buying. From choosing a new garage door that complements your brickwork to makeup selections that work well with your skin tone, consumers are more confident that your product will suit their needs if they can try it before buying it. That means that you, the retailer, have fewer returns, less restocking, and more happy customers.

Scanning and stocking. Robots are being used to keep tabs on inventory and tag damaged items. Drones may not be showing you which aisle you want at a store (yet), but these assistive technologies are not far in the future. As costs come down, we will see more robots and drones providing functionality for retailers while improving the customer experience.

Online shopping and orders. Online interaction with retailers, especially restaurants, has become the norm. Every shopping center now has dedicated parking spots for online order customers. The demand and convenience are high. Online sales may be the simplest first step for many retailers.

These are only a few areas where technology is enhancing retail operations and retail buyer experiences. Many more offer highly integrated data collection and management to expand retailers’ reach into consumer locations, preferences, and interests. The change in day-to-day operations is significant when we adopt more technology, but we eventually see it as the norm. It becomes necessary in maintaining a market presence. As you adopt appropriate technologies for your retail operation, you will benefit from efficiencies that contribute to your bottom line—and that is always good.

Author Profile Jon Forknell is the Vice President and General Manager of Atlas Business Solutions, Inc., a software marketing company specializing in employee scheduling software, including ScheduleBase employee scheduling software, and other business software solutions. In the past, Jon has been recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration as a SBA Young Entrepreneur of the Year. For many years, Atlas Business Solutions has been named one of Software Magazine’s Top 500 Software Companies.

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