Top Digital Retail Technology Trends in 2021
According to relevant news reported, Amazon with its the subversive competing technology will be the core technology of the retail industry. The annual "retail's big show" held by the National Retail Federation of the United States has six noteworthy digital retail technology trends, which will have a far-reaching impact on the digital retail industry.
1. More and more retail devices are connected with the cloud service
When Starbucks baristas deliver free coffee at a temporary coffee shop in Microsoft's showroom, the screen behind them displays various data, such as how many cups of coffee the coffee machine has brewed. This arrangement is no coincidence: Starbucks is working with Microsoft to connect its coffee machines to the cloud through Microsoft's azure sphere IoT system.
"We see the digital retail technology industry transforming through cloud services," Greg Jones, head of global retail strategy at Microsoft, said in an interview. Retailers ask us to change their business operation and innovate together. People's perception of the store customer experience has changed. "
|Starbucks said this would also provide employees with more opportunities to reach out to customers and help "achieve consistency in beverage quality, reduce waste, manage energy consumption and conduct predictive maintenance.". "We have 15 to 20 coffee machines in our store." "Every coffee machine has to be managed, monitored and maintained," Jeff Wile, senior vice president of Starbucks, said in a speech at the fair. If we can reduce the number of maintenance personnel to the site for maintenance, then it will greatly save costs. And we can get all the data. If we have a new formula, we can promote and innovate faster. "Starbucks is working with Microsoft to connect its coffee machines to the cloud for faster updates and data tracking.
2. Amazon Go is changing our way of shopping
Amazon Go has received very positive consumer feedback. It forces other companies in the industry to catch up. At Intel's booth, for example, the chip giant showed off its unmanned convenience stores and smart vending machines developed in cooperation with Jingdong, a Chinese e-commerce retailer. A spokesman for Jingdong said the company came to the exhibition to try to license its cashless technology to U.S. and other retailers.
There will be more and more unmanned convenience stores like Amazon Go
"We gained momentum after Amazon launched its Amazon Go," says Krishna Motukuri, Zippin's chief executive and co-founder. Mr Motukuri said that after Amazon opened its Go convenience store to the public, Zippin began to take its technology more seriously. Zippin has signed up with "several retailers" that will launch their cashless technology this year, he said, but declined to specify which ones. "The era of shopping without queuing to checkout has come. We realize that this is a huge opportunity. "
3. More robotics will become model employees of order fulfillment
Amazon's more than 100,000 robots are the main force of its order fulfillment center, and competitors are eager to use their own robots to help them complete the growing online orders faster.
For example, Tompkins robotics has launched its own T-sort robot, which can sort individual products to help retailers shorten order processing time. Some of the company's retail customers are also considering deploying the robots in the back of their supermarkets to meet delivery orders from stores on the same day or the next day.
4. UAV and robots become new employees in the shopping center
5. Reducing the cost and time of handling order returns
|Retailers will gradually use technology to liberate their employees from heavy works, so that they can spend more time serving customers. Retailers also want to use technology to help track missing and misplaced items on shelves and better manage inventory.
|Meanwhile, the Giant Food Stores, a supermarket chain, plans to deploy "big eye" robots named Marty to all its 172 stores "We want our employees to focus on interacting with customers," the responsible person said. This is the largest robot deployed in our supermarket. " With the increase of online consumption, it is more important than ever to provide a good service experience when shoppers really visit physical stores.
As global online sales increase, so the returns of orders quickly increase as well. And retail merchants are looking for technology to help with these return process.
For example, four-year-old Zigzag has set up a network of 200 warehouses in 130 countries to handle cross-border order returns. Its customers include Topshop and Gap. Patrick Eve, the company's managing director, said the process includes helping retailers’ grade, re-label, reposition, ship in bulk and resell the quality of returned products. The risk is not just the cost and time required to process returns. For the fashion industry, improving the ability to handle returns and resale in the fashion season can reduce the risk of sharp clearance in the future. Moreover, as more and more brands are sold in the international market, the opportunity of resell the returned goods is also greatly increased.
B-stock is a clearing and return platform for retailers such as Amazon and WalMart. In December, one in three people would return holiday gifts, which is equivalent to about $90 billion to $95 billion in returns after the holiday.
6. The item display shelves are also being digitized
Although more and more retailers want to digitize shelves to save the time of updating information and the cost of paper labels in traditional price promotion activities. As Amazon - and fickle consumers - gradually alerted by retailers to think about new development opportunities, it will become the new normal of the retail industry.
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