Technology of the Future - Retail in India




Retail industry in India has witnessed a revolution due to the variations in the consumer shopping patterns and emerging retail technologies. Modern retailing has seen several advances and significant changes in the last five years. Payments/Transactions have become more transparent with mobile wallet, In-store digital solutions such as self-checkout, in-store pickup, loyalty apps are gaining prominence.

Considering the rapid changes in the consumer buying behaviour, retailers today are quickly adapting to these changes to meet customer demands and remain relevant. While we have come across a plethora of technologies influencing retail, here are some advanced technologies which will soon bring in a technological switch in the retail world:

1. AR and VR – We are very familiar with the tremendous growth of AR and VR in the gaming industry. Immersive AR and VR is now going to be a potential game changer in the Indian retail world. While we have seen many e-commerce giants experiment this possibility, retail will bring in AR and VR which is more reliable, stable and sustainable over time.

Retail will soon witness a boom in V-Commerce - where one can virtually explore showrooms and products, Virtual Mirroring - where one can visualize product fit across a near-infinite number of body shapes, Virtual Brand Avatars - where sales happen through a persona of the brand ambassador and also AR Shopping - by bringing products to life in front of you through 3D models. Thus, this powerful combination of AR and VR along with AI will bring retail closer to our fingertips.

2. IoT – IoT has always enhanced the retail industry. Studies says that 79% of the retailers agree that IoT has helped them serve their customers better. With evolving retail here are some places which will see greater IoT impact: Operating the store based on IoT data, Smart shelves - which monitors the data of the items placed and sends real time updates to the retailers, Amalgamation of digital signages with IoT - for cost effective advertising, Automated checkout which will automatically deduct the amount from customers mobile wallet. 

IoT will thus continue to augment sales, empower workforce and provide a better customer experience.

3. Data science and Machine learning – While personalisation has always been one of the top priorities for retailers, data science and machine learning have paved the way for personalisation which makes the customer feel centric towards their buying experiences. Apart from personalisation, here are some of the trends where data science & machine learning will play a vital role in powering the future of retail: Fraud detection, Customer lifetime value prediction, Supply chain planning, Digital or virtual shopping assistants.

Thus, fact-based and data driven insights will continue to drive the retail sector, enhancing their marketing strategies and operations.

Retail being the dynamic market and the largest industry in India will continue to witness a steady accelerated growth along with technological advancements. Today while some of the retailers have already started adapting few innovative technologies, 83% of the total retailers in India are said to deploy the above-mentioned technologies in the coming years.

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