In 2020, especially during the initial stages of the pandemic outbreak, we witnessed many retail companies taking giant leaps forward through digitalization to establish a robust online presence. As a result, the pace of digital transformation in retail increased, with advanced analytical and technological enablers that opened up new opportunities for retailers willing to invest in retail technology.
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Retail in 2021
What retail technology trends will spearhead digital transformation in 2021?
Contactless Communication Technology – Near field communication (NFC) payments
NFC-based mobile payments were almost the norm during the pandemic, and since then, most businesses have adopted contactless technology to offer a better customer experience. Self-checkout facilities with contactless payment options enabled a safer and convenient shopping experience for the masses. ‘Being on the most sought-after retail technology trends of 2020, NFC-based payments are here to stay and play a crucial role in defining retail in 2021,’ said a retail analytics expert at Quantzig.
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Artificial Intelligence – Virtual tryons augmented with AR and VR capabilities
Artificial intelligence will redefine retail in 2021. Both online and offline retailers can capitalize on this retail technology to improve their omnichannel retailing approach. Enhanced omnichannel capabilities augmented with AR and VR technologies will blur the lines between online and offline channels bringing together the best of both worlds, said an analytics expert at Quantzig.
With new habits established during the pandemic, many new retail technology trends such as AI will continue favoring online shopping, and advanced analytical capabilities will help retailers capitalize on these trends. AI-enabled applications with virtual try-on features, chatbots, and recommendation engines that empower the retail workforce are just a few examples of retail technology trends transforming this sector. To better understand the technology trends transforming retail in 2021- Request more information from an expert.
Robotic Process Automation – Autonomous robotic deliveries
With digital technologies reshaping retail in 2021, driverless vehicles and drones will hold a top spot in accelerating retail transformation. Notably, leading US retailers that have already begun experimenting with this technology have received a positive response from the masses. Automation is also enabling retailers to enhance inventory management and fulfillment processes in distribution centers and warehouses. Given all the advantages of this retail technology, Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is one of the most important retail technology trends that will witness widespread adoption and transform retail in 2021 due to its ability to drive value and agility across the retail value chain. It also increases compliance, service quality and reduces the time spent on repetitive, non-value-adding daily tasks such as navigating through various applications and windows.
When we consider what is now possible from a technological viewpoint and how quickly new processes and tools can be implemented when there is a requirement, 2021 looks set to be a transformative year for the retail industry.