Two thousand eighteen has been a mind-boggling and exciting year for the retail arena. The overall market was firm; lay-off was low, we did not see as many property closings as in past years. Traditional malls proceeded to spiral while new live-play-work-shop experiential shopping thoughts took off, shopping channels continued to mix with online and in-store availability and admittance displaying the expectation for consumers. Talking of channel conversion, dispersion channels for products and marketing channels for brand messaging and product information are quickly connecting. Retailers are finding new, inventive ways to stimulate purchase intent and modify them into sales across all channel. However, cybersecurity and privacy have become a cause of concern for all industries including retail. Here are a few technology trends that will be gaining momentum in the new year:
With the rapid expansion of technological evolution that are enabling digital capabilities, fundamental changes are being witnessed in the security landscape. The early development of emerging technologies that alter digital skills and offer on-demand services is appending to the security risks that endanger retailers’ businesses. Cloud and mobility selection means that almost 50 percent of most organizations’ IT landscapes survive outside the control of their CIOs. Rapid business elaboration can mean retail firms are struggling to determine who has responsibility for an individual process when it is vulnerable. As attack surfaces continue to widen across devices, systems, people, partners, and infrastructure, it is evident that embracing technology as a critical driver of growth can augment opportunities for sophisticated cyber attacks.
According to experts today the big retailers have the resources ― the smaller retailers do not have the budget, focus, systems or people to make much more than reporting and analysis precedence. Even the big retailers have been mainly doing traditional reporting vs. analytics or employing true data-driven business susceptibility. While analytics is no longer just a mere existence in IT, the model for how to best deploy staff analytics resources, analytics capabilities and build data platforms to support both have evolved. To focus analytics investments in 2019, retailers are on the look-out at harmonizing methods of operationalizing data alongside employing advanced analytics which includes customer segmentation, scoring and forecasting, and commercial and operational forecasting and optimization, and creates memorable, story-worthy customer experiences.
According to reports, data’s newsworthy appearances throughout 2018 distorted the understanding of the value exchange between the data owner and data user or retailers. Expectations around how much of our data is worth became falsely inflated, and the mystery surrounding how it’s used a cause for concern for consumers. Moving ahead, organizations are working towards designing models that promote transparency, so that consumers can trust that they are pursuing only the data they need to build new products and services.
Artificial Intelligence (AI):
Retailers are fundamentally transforming their business methods by embracing AI. Retailers now have accession to new sources of data and are calculating disruptive technologies and embedded applications. At the same time, the difficulties around value in AI sees the problem in realizing the expected ROI; leveraging talent; harnessing the importance of data due to monolithic, disconnected, unalterable data environments; the constrained relationship between business and IT; and the absence of cultural DNA to espouse new technology.
The blockchain buzz has been around for more than two years now however with little to show for it in retail. Is it real or like some cool phrases that make the retailer look smart while speaking in trade shows, where we very commonly see people throwing around words like big data and omnichannel. Blockchain, distributed ledgers, bitcoin, cryptocurrencies ― the developments around these technologies are being processed at an accelerated pace, and while they are not prevalent in retail today, they will be adopted at a sooner pace. One of the understandings why Bitcoin and other crypto-currencies are getting such buzz is because they allow bypassing expensive forms of payment for something much cheaper – if crypto-currencies can keep their transactions reasonable.