While some view technology as the death of brick and mortar stores, let’s not be too hasty to write a eulogy. Rather than seeing technology as a competitor to the traditional retail experience, recent trends demonstrate how technology can be used to enhance the shopping experience for both the customer and retailer. While a number of technologies discussed in this article have been around for some time, their capabilities are being embraced and effectively leveraged in the modern eCommerce era.
From beacon geolocation technology to omni channel strategy, the proliferation of mobile eCommerce has provided the retail industry with a much needed boost. This week, in our “Technology Trends” series, we look at the impact of technology on the retail industry and uncover the scope of what mobile eCommerce has to offer.
Beacon technology has been around since 2013, and while it is not solely used for retail, it does provide retailers a new method to interact with consumers. Beacons are low-power, micro-location gadgets that use Bluetooth technology to transmit signals to consumers’ mobile devices. In combination with a geolocation application, retailers can identify the precise geographical location of each individual consumer via their smart phone. When a consumer comes in close enough proximity to a retailer, the merchant can send real-time offers or relevant product information to create a personalized shopping experience for the prospective buyer.
Study: Shoppers Take to In-Store Video Ads – Venture Beat
In-store digital displays and digital out-of-home (OHH) advertising techniques have the ability to reach consumers in public places and commercial locations. Metrics involving eye tracking software and scanning technology help marketers find out what ads consumers are most drawn, allowing them to target certain demographic segments. In-store digital displays have the possibility to turn dreaded experiences, such as long checkout lines, into pleasurable learning opportunities. Digital displays are not limited to ads but can relay news, weather, or entertainment.
While smartphones ceased to be the latest cutting edge technology, the mobile eCommerce boom is. As the number of purchases made with smartphones surpasses the purchasing rate of customers who use tablets, retailers are eager to invest in smartphone technology and rip the benefits of high mobile traffic. While retail sales are stagnating, mobile eCommerce could develop a new category of customer engagement to increase sales.
Twitter at Ten: How Shopping Can Save Social Media – Martech Advisors
As Twitter and Facebook head into their second decade, the social media giants look to diversify the capabilities of their platform. Pinterest introduced a “Buy” button and doubled in volume, signaling that they may be onto something. While Twitter and Facebook are in the early stages of the buyable buttons and features, social media platforms could prove to be the next landscape for eCommerce.
SMB Retailers- Embrace Mobility to Attract More Customers, Streamline Operations – The Point of Sale News
While the aforementioned trends focus on primarily the consumer, mobile technology has influenced the entire retail industry, from value chain and managing inventory to store operations, and marketing and promotion. Tablets or Point of Sale (POS) enabled devices speed up checkout time by scanning, swiping cards, and emailing or printing receipts from any location in the store. Mobile POs devices can update and remote troubleshoot more efficiently than registers. They also allow for streamlined inventory that gives [VG3] employees systematic control of the location and levels of inventory.