The world has experienced a wave of digital transformation, with an increasing number of brands adopting the smart retail model. This trend happened since the pandemic in order to implement omnichannel business. Have you considered incorporating technology into your business and making your brand stand out? Learn about smart retail, which drives omnichannel business, and how to use technology to improve your brand’s competitiveness straightaway!
What is Smart Retail?
Smart retail uses artificial intelligence to drive data and uses the Internet of Things as a carrier. Big data, AI, the Internet of Things, smart vehicles, and cloud computing are all key components of smart retail. Moreover, people, venues, and goods all benefit from these components since they make shopping more convenient. Its main feature is zero friction, which reduces any non-value-added activities that could impact customer experience, sales, or operational efficiency. Below are examples of these barriers.
- Failure of the system or the salesperson to make appropriate product recommendations
- Inappropriate platforms
- Promotions that do not result in conversions, and so on.
When marketers and businesses begin to focus on the process, collect data at each stage, and use it to improve the customer experience, smart retail is born.
Smart retail’s business intelligence is the foundation of the concept. Data warehousing (Data Warehouse), online analysis tools (OLAP), and data mining (Data Mining) are examples of technologies that enable consumption in an omnichannel environment. Shopping, in order to achieve “zero dead ends, zero friction” and a more personalized service experience.
The main driver of smart retail comes from AI. Retailers should be able to make more complex decisions and operations using big data and consumer behavior. This is in addition to automating the shopping process, which is especially important for businesses with extensive marketing campaigns. Different sales and marketing decisions can be driven, improved, and optimized by AI. Smart retail has gradually become the basic equipment of the retail industry as a result of the Industry 4.0 wave.
Features of Smart Retail
Decentralization means that no designated personnel are required to supervise and control processes. All processes and decisions are instead driven by big data and artificial intelligence (AI). Without the need for manual confirmation and execution, all decisions and implementations will be faster and more seamless.
In the smart retail model, transparency refers to all relevant data from all supply chains. Human management and automation systems can better understand current trends, make more accurate decisions, and identify and correct errors. Because of highly transparent data, all departments have instant access to the information they require.
Smart retail’s decentralized and transparent nature allows online stores to diversify and strengthen their businesses. Not only can smart retail easily adapt to new changes. It also keeps any abnormal situation from getting worse and having an impact on the overall retail structure.
Further reading: Omnichannel E-commerce: 8 Strategies to Improve Online Shopping Experience
Benefits of Smart Retail
Machine learning can greatly improve the efficiency of retail stores in smart retail. A fully functional algorithm can monitor and analyze changing data in real-time, improving the system automatically. This speeds up the selling and exporting process.
Provides high-quality service
Smart retail systems can detect and resolve potential issues before they have a negative impact on service quality or results. As an outcome, the majority of smart retail’s service quality is better than that of non-smart retail.
Precision Marketing and Sales
Uncontrollable factors, both large and small, can inhibit traditional retail and sales models. Smart retail, on the other hand, can avoid mistakes and ensure that all initiatives are carried out as planned.
Personalized service experience
As previously stated, providing customers with a personalized and seamless experience is critical when implementing omnichannel. Customers’ purchase histories and consumption patterns can be analyzed using big data in smart retail. Big data allows real-time interaction with customers and sends product recommendations to customers’ mobile phones while they are in stores. Consumers can now enjoy a personalized shopping experience at their leisure.
Further reading: How can e-commerce stores keep their customers’ loyalty? 3 tips to help you create a unique customer experience by combining technology and personalized service!
How can retailers apply smart retail to their business?
Customers will have a more personal experience with AI, and retailers will have new business opportunities to meet their needs in all areas. It enables retailers to forecast consumer demand accurately, optimize prices, and send personalized product recommendations. Retailers can use business intelligence to learn more about their customers’ “intent” and improve their marketing.
The majority of retailers face warehouse management difficulties. Online stores can use AI-driven sales forecasting to better understand seasonal demand and optimize supply chains to avoid shortages. Demand forecasting also enables data-driven decisions to improve customer satisfaction, such as risk management, net profit, workforce planning, etc.
AI Price Optimization
When shopping online, most people compare prices before deciding to buy something. Price optimization can monitor and adjust product prices for retailers based on market movements, as well as analyze other competitors. Retailers can better understand how customers react to price changes and adjust their strategies to meet their objectives.
Through personalized product recommendations, AI can improve eCommerce marketing strategies. By analyzing customer data, the system can identify each consumer’s most desired or needed products and send direct notifications to them. This highly increases the conversion rate. This information can help retailers make more accurate recommendations, increasing customer retention, conversion, and order value.
In addition to being beneficial to retailers, product promotions are also very useful to consumers. Product promotions, for example, can make the customer’s purchasing process faster and more convenient in online supermarkets and other stores with large shopping volumes.
VIMOS retail marketing platform’s one-to-one live shopping feature allows customers to interact with salespeople in real time. During the chat, it also triggers product recommendations, allowing customers to place orders right after they complete their inquiries!
AI can also handle customer service during non-business hours, answer customer questions 24 hours a day, and improve customer satisfaction. Salespeople can use VIMOS’ chatbot feature to not only respond to customers but also manage their teams. It also has an autoreply Chatbot that can answer common customer questions 24 hours a day, reducing the workload of salespeople!
Now that we’ve established the benefits of smart retail, let’s look at how other brands are implementing it.
Amazon Go Unmanned Store
The Amazon Go ‘Just-walk-out’ store’s most notable feature is that there is no salesperson or human cashier. It can generate bills and coupons and import them into customers’ APPs, allowing it to accomplish many tasks that physical stores cannot. AI and the Internet of Things are combined in the unmanned store. The Internet of Things can automate all steps of the shopping process using Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) and visual recognition. With this, consumers no longer need to wait in line to check out. For example, if the customer places the item in a physical shopping basket and walks to the automated checkout counter, the sensor will complete the transaction automatically.
& Other Stories Vending Machine
Fashion brand ‘& Other Stories’ launched their tailormade vending machine that serves fragrances and beauty products. It allows customers to purchase and use various beauty products and fragrances. Consumers can explore the details of various items using various visual effects on a large touch screen. Users can get their favorite fragrances and beauty products, including the latest releases, from the vending machine.
The Impact of Smart Retail on Enterprises
Changing needs of the labor market
In addition to making work more efficient and convenient, technological advancements have altered the workforce’s role. Many types of work have been replaced by technologies such as unmanned driving and AI customer service. It also serves as a reminder that, in response to technological advancements, we should learn new skills. Manual labor is less important than ever, and technical skills are the focus of the market. Therefore, brands must also train employees in response to market demand.
Digital Supply Chain
With the advancement of technology, the main sales channel of most retailers has gradually shifted online. Systems such as same-day delivery, online channels, and digital supply chains are also becoming increasingly important. Warehouse management, quality control, and sales have all been transformed by the digital supply chain. The automation system can flexibly ensure the smooth operation of all links and speed up the process, reducing the risk of human error and accidents.
Further reading: Open the door to the world of B2B e-commerce – the winning strategy for personalizing your marketing!
Information has become increasingly accessible as a result of the digital transformation trend. As businesses seek new ways to ensure information security, information security technology advances.
Smart retail has become increasingly important to the customer experience in the age of artificial intelligence. Retailers should prepare to enter a new stage of the retail industry, using technology in all aspects, in addition to launching online stores.
Now is the time to implement smart retail and interactive marketing strategies! With the VIMOS retail marketing platform, you can give your customers a zero-friction experience. Start your 7-day FREE trial today, and let us know your feedback!