Retail trends and innovations from The Big Show 2018
The iSoftStone Retail team attended Retail’s Big Show 2018 in New York City last week. With over 35,000 attendees from more than 95 countries, 18,000 different retailers and 600 exhibitors, this was one of the largest retail industry events of the year, and a unique opportunity to learn what retail innovations and trends are emerging in 2018. Here’s our top takeaways from this year’s Big Show.
Smart infrastructure is helping optimize operations
As technology continues to evolve, retailers will focus on smart stores and smart infrastructure to manage inventory and improve customer satisfaction. Smart infrastructure includes smart shelves, which are wirelessly connected shelves that can automatically track inventory and tighten up the supply chain. They help measure inventory life, identifying when shelves are empty or products are low with up-to-the minute tracking. The data collected from smart shelves is used to help retailers reduce out-of-stock items, offer promotional pricing for items with too much inventory, optimize overall operational efficiency and enable more informed business decisions based on near real-time data. In addition to improving operational efficiencies, smart shelves help improve the customer journey by providing more efficient, high quality and personalized shopping experiences.
Automation is revolutionizing retail
Each day some of the largest global retailers are using robots to optimize their retail operations and inventory management. Companies like Amazon have revolutionized inventory-control, using thousands of robots to fulfill orders in their warehouses. Other retailers have use robots for in-store customer service, warehouse management and bringing the store to the customer. Robots are helping shape the future of the retail industry, and for now they’re here to stay. Learn more and read some of the most popular use cases of how robots are being used in retail stores here.
Geotracking has the potential to boost brick-and-mortar sales
With the steady decline of foot traffic into brick-and-mortar shops, retailers are turning to new technologies to keep storefronts open. One technology is geotracking, which involves monitoring and tracking real-time traffic patterns in stores to learn where customers go, how long they stay and where they go next, pulling location data from smartphones and other smart devices. With geotracking, retailers can send targeted messages and promotions to customers depending on where they are or what they’re doing, creating a more personalized experience and helping retailers better understand their customer’s journey throughout their physical store locations.
Wearable technology is helping create a better customer journey
According to ABI Research, enterprise retail wearable shipments are forecasted to reach nearly 10 million in 2022, increasing from just 2 million in 2017. Retail is one of the fastest growing enterprise wearable verticals, with numerous benefits including improving store operations and customer satisfaction. Other noteworthy benefits of wearable devices include the ability to look up stock-level information, request help from colleagues and upsell other products from anywhere in the store. Wearables are helping ensure that customer needs are being met quickly in stores.
At the Big Show, iSoftStone showcased their Activity Manager Solution, a wearable technology with both web and watch based capability that connects employees with information on the go. Including both web based and watch based technology with a fully integrated back-end reporting tool, the Activity Manager promotes enhanced productivity, team collaboration and seamless communication across operations, giving stakeholders the right information to optimize operations and connect with their customers.
Learn more about the iSoftStone Activity Manager.