The experience of retail shopping is constantly changing. There was a time when customers were content to purchase their items at a brick-and-mortar retail location. Today, the retail consumer wants the ability to view and purchase products on their phone, tablet, computer as well as in person. They also want products delivered to them when and how they choose. Consumers desire the ability to easily return an item if they’ve have made a mistake. The retail transformation taking place is designed to accommodate the changing needs and desires of retail consumers.

Cloud Computing

From Amazon to British clothing brand Asos, cloud computing for retail is fast becoming the norm for any serious retail business. By interacting with customers quicker than any traditional retail store you can now have the best customer service through quick communication of data using the cloud. Using the cloud can streamline the supply chain for any business by collecting, analysing and storing data faster than ever. Cloud computing is cost effective as you can try out new services or store essential data in a much cheaper option than any older data system. Finally decision making and communication between departments becomes streamlined through the cloud making business go faster and smoother than ever before.

[easy-tweet tweet=”Many major retailers are now increasing their use of robotics” hashtags=”Robotics, BigData”]

Big Data

The use of big data is only going to increase. This approach utilises technology and the information obtained from it. Most retail organisations are finding new and different ways to interpret the big data they have at their disposal. This is often driven by the intense competition within the retail industry. Being able to use big data to its fullest potential has caused the need for experienced professionals in data analysis to be highly desired within the retail industry.

Robotics

The use of robotics has been common with many areas of retail when it comes to the supply chain. Many major retailers are now increasing their use of robotics. It’s estimated that Amazon utilizes over 44,000 robots in its warehouse operations as well as other areas of its logistics and supply chain. The use of robotics with several retail chains is increasing in the area of self-check out as well as delivery from suppliers to retail outlets, the consumer and more.

Centricity

This is a unique approach to serving retail customers. It requires those in the retail industry to look beyond their organisation and work with others in the industry. This could even involve competitors. This creates a world of retail that is transforming into a collaborative industry where participants are interconnected. Major retailers are developing specialised networks that can provide customers with individually targeted products and services. The goal of centricity is to meet the needs of consumers.

Multichannel Retailing

This is when a retail organisation is able to provide a number of different ways for customers to buy goods and services. This involves providing products and services with traditional venues such as brick-and-mortar stores as well as catalog shopping, and telephone. It also involves offering products and services using nontraditional methods such as social networks, chats, websites, emails as well as apps and more. This makes it possible to improve analytics and better understand the desires of consumers. This provides an increased opportunities to establish a brand to a wider customer base. It enables a company to have more visibility on their targeted demographics and more.

Structure

The retail industry is now structured to invest more technology on the customer experience. This involves in person and online. Retailers are eliminating things that do not add to the customer having a positive experience. This involves eliminating as many layers as necessary between the responsible employee and the customer. Retailers are making customer experience part of the compensation the company provides. The walls between different departments such as sales, marketing, and advertising are gradually decreasing and eventually being eliminated.

Blockchain

Another evolving aspect of retail transformation is the increased ability to serve consumers. It could involve using blockchain. This is a shared ledger technology. It enables companies to accurately manage and identify complicated digital transactions. This technology is also able to provide a secure storage environment for the values of items involved in these transactions. It enables increased accuracy in tracking domestic as well as international transactions. This technology will continue to grow with more involvement from the digital economy.

Bitcoin

The use of the bitcoin to purchase items in the retail industry is increasing. Overstock was the first major retailer to accept the bitcoin as a form of payment a few years ago. The main problem is the value of bitcoins can change quickly and significantly. Retailers are slowly implementing bitcoins as a form of payment, and this is expected to increase in the future.