The Future of Retail Has Arrived
These 3 trends show how technology is helping bricks-and-mortar and e-commerce be successful
January 09, 2019
The competition is over! And it’s a draw – between shopping in stores and online, it turns out that people really like options. Thanks to new platforms, it’s now possible to give shoppers the kind of experiences that make them come back for more.
Make returns easier and reverse logistics profitable
If you’re like most people, you are ordering online more than ever – and are likely ordering more than you intend to keep. More items are getting returned, creating a problem for retailers of how to get those items back into the supply chain efficiently while coordinating efforts on the sales floor and backroom. Retailers have been so focused on forward logistics, now it’s time to look at the other direction. The solution can make a difference on a company’s bottom line – and improve customer experience. Technology can help, turning an area that is historically losing money into a profit center. New software such as Optoro, now available on our mobile computers, utilizes algorithms and machine learning to determine the highest value channel for returned items, including return to stock, return to vendor, list on a secondary marketplace, refurbish or donate.
Help associates help shoppers
When you go into a store and ask for an item, the associate will walk you to it or tell you where it is or find another person to assist. One thing in common: They don’t use a loudspeaker. Some use walkie-talkies, but those are giving way to even more subtle devices for in-store communications. Our newest communications platform lets associates speak to each other using a rugged mobile device like our CT40 or a tiny IoT device that fits in your ear. This way no employee is disconnected any more.
Create a frictionless shopping experience
Blending the online and in-store experience is not a new trend. It used to be that the software and hardware were different for web and mobile and bricks-and-mortar. Now that the technology exists, you’re finding a more seamless implementation. It’s not about point solutions – it’s all frictionless, which is the buzzword of the moment. That means non-siloed from directed voice order picking (aka preparation) to supporting click and collect (ordering online and picking up in store) to returns.
When customers can shop their way, they’ll come back for more. Find out for yourself! Visit our experiential booth at NRF (#3257) to try out the future of retail.