Innovations in the retail industry


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For some years now, the retail market has been adapting more and more to the innovations that technologies provide as they arise. The objective of technology is to transform the way of doing business, and the innovations brought by it have been going hand in hand with retailers since long ago, causing good impacts. Every day more retailers ask for changes, dynamism, and, consequently, innovations in order to maintain competitiveness and reach the needs of the consumer, who, currently, is connected to the internet at all times and prefers, often, to have their chores done without leaving from the comfort of your homes.

In view of the importance of technology, we have selected seven innovations that have changed retail and we will present them below, explaining how each one contributes to the sector so that you will understand the real value of these innovations, in addition to learning how to apply them. 

Below, we have listed the main bets on innovation for retail in 2020

  • Omnichannel and personalization of the customer experience

When we analyze companies like NetShoes, Smart fit and Starbucks we find a common point: the ability to plan and execute innovative practices in the relationship with the customer.

These companies understood that the current consumer is omnichannel. Customers can be on Facebook, the company’s application, Twitter, e-commerce, physical store or any other environment they want. Thus, the integration and sharing of information between these sales channels are necessary to offer a simple and pleasant shopping experience for the customer.

With these several possible fronts of contact with the consumer, there is a great opportunity for data collection. Through the behavioral data on each platform, it is possible to transform them into joint actions in the media. In addition, it is possible to develop personalized and dynamic campaigns through customer data management platforms, generating engagement and conversion. According to Deloitte, the companies that use 5 or more sales channels, 71% had an increase in revenue. Among the companies that use two or less, only 39% had an increase in sales. This is one of the points of innovation in retail with the greatest potential for leveraging revenue.

  • Strategies for reducing delivery costs

In a country of continental dimensions like Brazil, the availability and agile delivery of products is a complex issue. To reduce logistical costs, companies use several strategies. For example, Magazine Luiza, uses its sales points as small distribution centers, reducing the delivery time of products. 

Another such example is Amazon that invests more and more in technologies of industry 4.0 to reduce its costs. In one of its automated distribution centers, the company has more than two thousand operators and six thousand robots. The productivity of this type of center is about 400% higher than in conventional centers.

  • New payment Concepts

One of the biggest innovations for global retail and which is already consolidated in many APAC regions is the payment of goods through QR codes that are scanned with the smartphone. Be it a hamburger, a t-shirt or a tip for the waiter, everything is processed without money and without cards. In view of this trend, Amazon began testing a new store concept. To enter the store, the customer needs to release the ratchet through his cell phone. With the registration of cameras and sensors, the company’s artificial intelligence is able to identify which products each customer has selected and charges them as soon as they leave the stores. No queuing, paper money or cards. This provides a more intuitive, fast and simplified shopping experience to customers.

  • Investment in Blockchain

The blockchain acts as a security protocol in business and is an innovation in the retail sector that promises to grow in the coming years. It is a distributed registration technology that aims at decentralization as a measure of data security and trust.  This technology is made up of distributed databases and records that aim to create a global index for all transactions in a given market. With this, retail companies will have more security in storing customer data in software and able to rely on the confidentiality of communication with buyers and suppliers, among other activities. 

In addition, the adoption of blockchain also helps to avoid counterfeiting of products and eliminates the need to hire intermediaries to track goods marketed by the company.

  • Robotized Stores

In China, companies such as BingoBox and Tao Cafe lead the robotized store sector with automatic payments. Amazon and Walmart are also trying to implement something similar to automatic payment systems in the US. This type of store uses RFID codes, and QR or visual recognition to identify and determine what is in the shopping cart. This technology can identify the buyer and his payment method. These robotic stores will eliminate problems and payment delays. These types of stores will double in 2020.

Over the past year, new digital technologies helped the retail industry make significant progress to improve the shopping experience, both for businesses and for consumers. And there is no doubt that this trend will continue advancing in the future. As we have seen in recent years, retailers that keep the pulse on the latest innovations, and implement technologies that can have the greatest impact on their final results, will continue to dominate the industry by the end of 2020.

  • Data in retail

The development of technology in the cloud remains a strong trend in every sector. The cloud gives retail companies an economic opportunity to harness the technological power to process big data and transform it into actionable information. These companies have always been proactive in data collection but hesitant to use it. Currently, the focus is on optimizing the supply chain with more accurate predictions, better pricing, and replacement. Great advances have been made in these areas. Also, the next step is to use hyper-personalized marketing in customer interactions. By 2025 we will surely see more specific offers for customers.

  • Social media

Social media is taking up more and more space in the daily lives of people around the world. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, among other platforms, have been transforming communication between merchants and customers, in addition to transforming the way customers search to find what they want or need.

Today, social media is an indispensable channel for companies that want to be successful. These networks allow retailers to have the opportunity to gather different opinions about their services or products, and also allow the dissemination of advertising material more quickly and easily, reaching a large number of people without much effort.

Wrapping Up

These are some of the innovation trends in the retail sector for the year 2020 and in the future.  In view of this prognosis, we can see that there is a lot of room for growth in the retail sector. Innovation is the central pillar for retail development, with technologies that influence everything from order management to customer relations.

Now that you know what they are, what they impacted and how to use them, you can join them in your business to stay on the top in this competitive landscape.


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