Whilst digital technologies have enabled agile new entrants access to the fast-moving retail sector it is unlikely that advancements in Digital Business alone, will provide sustainable customer loyalty or share of wallet; customers’ expectations of their retail experience are higher than ever before, and they demand both physical stores as well as online access. The ability to really engage with consumers at all of their preferred touchpoints will offer retailers a competitive advantage.
Robotics are being deployed for tasks such as on-shelf availability, stock checking, virtual service robots for routing and responding to customer service requests. These New Technologies are also being used in distribution centres as item pickers prior to human intervention to package and deliver products to customers.
As more and more retailers turn to discounting, savvy managers skilled in Sales and Marketing recognise the need to differentiate through technology and are turning to augmented reality, enhanced smartphone connectivity, artificial intelligence and development of new apps.
Successful retailers are exploring ways of combining the physical with augmented and virtual, to create mixed reality innovations with the potential of developing a different kind of connection with consumers comprising “Intelligence Quotient” and “Emotional Quotient” and in doing so are building a new emotional connection.