With product shortages hitting every industry across the globe since the Pandemic, retailers have had to anticipate shopper behavior and demand in the face of tremendous unknowns. But the stresses of the Pandemic have provoked dozens of technology developments to help retailers get a handle on the new paradigm.
Snap’s new AR tools turn photos into 3D assets, and let retailers use Snap’s AR tech in their own apps. Augmented reality shopping experiences include virtual fitting rooms, try before you buy, enhanced in-store AR navigation, and other AR experiences that bridge the gap between digital ecommerce and brick and mortar shopping. With virtual fitting room technology, shoppers can see how they look. Virtual fitting room technology has already been implemented by stores like Sephora, Target, and Ikea.
Amazon, for example, leverages the power of AI and machine learning to improve inventory planning, relationship management for both customers and suppliers, logistics, manufacturing, and marketing. Demand forecasting can also lead to more sustainable consumption and production.
A client of ours, Netail is an AI-driven platform that retailers will soon find indispensable. As more and more shopping occurs online, retailers can’t afford to sit by hoping that business is going to be the same as it always was.
Merchants must now take ALL the competition into account, not just the “stores” they know. Whether it’s an online-only brand based in Singapore or a big box store here in the U.S., there are potentially hundreds (even thousands) of competitors for the same item. Choices are made even before buyers get to the store. Searching has become shopping. And as a result retailers whose names you may not even recognize are duking it over price and availability. Who will win the customer?
In the end, price probably wins the day more often than not. But Netail is there to provide retailers with information that they couldn’t hope to obtain any other way.
Shopping is a new threshold for innovation, and while there is rarely a time nowadays when I don’t shop online, I do enjoy going back in time to an actual store (!) to really shop, the old-fashioned way.
So let the shopping begin!