7 Trending Smart Retail Innovations To Watch Out For In 2023

by Bizom

June 16 | 04 min read

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In today’s global retail landscape, sellers face obstacles such as hesitant buyers, delivery delays, and lack of trust. However, embracing smart retail innovations can turn things around. Smart retail can boost revenue growth, streamline business processes, and cut costs, making it the key to thrive in a challenging environment.

7 Trending Smart Retail Innovations that are Shaping Businesses in 2023

If you’re a marketer or a decision maker in the retail business, and you’re struggling to make the cut, here are 7 smart retail innovation trends that will enhance customer shopping experiences in 2023 and beyond.

1. A unified multi channel ecosystem

As the retail industry evolves, businesses are expanding beyond traditional brick-and-mortar stores and offering a range of online purchasing options such as buy online pick up in store (BOPIS), same-day delivery, and online shipping. With so many different channels for customers to make purchases, it’s important for businesses to have a POS system that can handle all types of transactions in a seamless and efficient manner.

To accomplish this, modern POS systems must be equipped with more than just basic features for handling online and in-store purchases. They must be unified and connected, integrating with other technologies to provide a comprehensive solution. The integration of online and offline transactions, inventory management, and promotional activities across all in-person and online channels is a complex challenge that software engineers are working hard to overcome in the development of next-generation POS systems for retail businesses.

2. Gamification with Metaverse

The metaverse is an exciting development for brands looking to engage with customers in a new way by taking the VR and AR experience to the next level. It is a decentralized virtual world where brands can create a metaverse retail space and interact with their customers in innovative ways.

AR technology has numerous practical applications in the retail industry. One example is virtual try-on, allowing customers to see how products look on them before buying. Retailers like Sephora and Ikea are already using this technology. AR also powers indoor navigation, which can provide targeted suggestions to shoppers. For retail workers, AR-enabled devices can display 3D planograms to guide shelf setup and identify areas for improvement. By comparing the shelf with its planogram, AR rendering can help workers spot out-of-place, improperly zoned, and damaged products.

3. Smart retail automation with self-checkout

AI and IoT advancements have revolutionized self-checkout, allowing for highly automated processes that make shopping more convenient. Sensor arrays are now more sophisticated, enabling businesses to track items placed in carts and their location in the store, even if they’re moved away from their designated shelf. However, implementing advanced self-checkout can be challenging. Fortunately, AI-based solutions are scalable and can be incorporated into vending machines. For example, customers can grab items from a refrigerated vending machine, and the system will automatically charge their card upon closing the door, making it more accessible to smaller businesses.

4. Managing and optimizing inventory with machine learning

In 2023, the retail industry relies heavily on computer systems and databases, but their complexity often results in inefficiencies and errors. For instance, incorrect sales floor quantities of products and inaccurate backroom locations can cause significant issues for businesses. To address these challenges, artificial intelligence can be leveraged in various ways.

One such method is by analyzing consumer spending patterns to predict when certain products may require manual auditing. This targeted approach saves time and resources compared to auditing the entire store. Another solution is using machine learning algorithms to compare photos of shelf sections to a planogram, allowing workers to quickly identify missing items. However, careful zoning is necessary for accurate results and the system may not be able to detect item quantities.

5. Analyzing consumer behavior and demand forecasting with AI

Indoor positioning systems (IPS) can analyze in-store foot traffic, but businesses can use artificial intelligence to gain further insights into consumer behavior, including their demographics and interests, which can inform marketing strategies and attract new customers. Retail stores have been using surveillance cameras for years, but intelligent AI-powered video analytics are different from basic security footage as they help understand consumer behavior and collect specific data to enhance customer experience.

Online storefronts also use AI to track user behavior and analyze data, such as cursor movements, time spent on pages, and referral sources, to provide valuable insights for businesses. Large corporations, such as Amazon, use demand forecasting through machine learning to improve inventory planning, relationship management, logistics, manufacturing, and marketing. Accurate demand forecasting leads to sustainable consumption and production, as items can be produced and ordered based on consumer needs.

6. Application of Robotic store assistants

Robotics is closely linked to artificial intelligence and has numerous applications such as autonomous delivery, inventory management, and customer service.

Autonomous delivery is becoming the norm in 2023, with various businesses developing autonomous delivery vehicles and autonomous food delivery robots. Retail businesses are also exploring the use of robots for customer service. Best Buy, a popular electronics retailer, has been testing Chloe, a robot designed to assist customers with their shopping experience. Chloe is programmed to understand natural language and can communicate with customers in a conversational manner. She can provide product information, pricing, and other details that customers may need to make informed purchasing decisions.
In some cases, specialized hardware can aid in inventory management where ceiling and shelf-mounted cameras cannot. For example, Schnucks, a popular grocery store, has been testing Tally, a robot that roams the aisles to help with inventory management and restocking. Tally eliminates the tedious and often disliked task of manually checking inventory, liberating teams from spending 30 to 100 hours per week with pens and clipboards. This allows them to concentrate on more essential duties like assisting customers and maintaining the store’s cleanliness.

7. Voice shopping technology

In 2023, natural language processing (NLP) is advancing alongside artificial intelligence. Smart assistants such as Google Assistant, Alexa, and Siri are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their speech recognition and responsiveness, significantly improving their ability to serve customers in the retail industry. With voice commands, customers can order products from home, with or without a screen, leaving many opportunities for businesses to explore.

With an estimated 77 million smart home devices expected to be used in the United States by 2025, this presents a massive opportunity for businesses. For instance, Walmart Voice Order service allows customers to use voice commands to add items to their Walmart online shopping cart using Google Assistant.

Summing It Up

The retail space is highly receptive to the latest trends in software development as it is one of the most popular industries globally. From automation and analytics to the futuristic metaverse, advanced software solutions have a significant impact on the retail industry, shaping the technology trends in retail.

Retail is a thriving industry projected to reach $5.5 trillion in sales by 2027, with online shopping comprising 30% of that share. Leading global technology providers such as Bizom have already built many smart retail innovations to provide their customers with a 360 degree retail intelligence and full-suite B2B sales force automation.

For more information on the latest Global trends in Smart Retail Innovations, check out Bizom’s Insider Insights

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