The last 18 months have brought phenomenal changes to retail tech - and this is set to continue into 2023.
Consumers rapidly switched their shopping behaviours from real-world to digital, and while high-street shopping is increasing again, the growth of retail technology is set to continue.
How has Technology Affected the Retail Industry
Technology has impacted all industries, and the retail sector is no exception. As a result, we can see retail development and customer behavior.
Looking at the retail industry through the decades, we realize that it accelerates the transformation. From bar codes and brick-and-mortar stores through online shopping to AI, customized solutions, and moving shopping to the metaverse. Here are retail technology examples we see trending nowadays.
6 Trends in Retail Technology to Watch in 2023
At ADAMAPP, we work with major retailers to increase their revenue by utilising a variety of tools, tech and marketing channels. This means we know what is working best for brands operating in the industry now, and we can see the direction retail is marketing and technology is heading.
To help you decide which retail innovations to consider for your business, we highlight the top retail technology trends and marketing practices in 2023.
Customers expectations of the retail experience are higher than ever. If you want to convince someone to buy from you, you need to give them every opportunity to do so - and that means having a presence everywhere they look, whether on the web, social media, on an app and, in many cases, on the high street. Even Amazon has expanded to offer shoppers the option to buy wherever they like - including from a physical shop.
But while having these options is essential, you also need to ensure a seamless experience. Customers want to be able to easily move across platforms and continue the same shopping experience. This means you need to connect up all of your platforms, from high street to digital, so that the customer doesn t have to keep looking for the product they are considering. Your shop front isn t just one place any more. It s everywhere your customers are.
Omnichannel marketing is particularly crucial for large-value items. While a customer might quickly buy something inexpensive after a short time browsing your brand s social media platform, app or website, when it comes to pricier items, they will want to look at it over a longer timeframe and using multiple methods. In these cases, customers often want to see the item in the real-world and find out more in-depth information about it online.
Tap and go payments have grown massively in the 18 months, and research from Mastercard suggests that 74% of shoppers have no intention of going back to carrying cash. The simplicity and ease of purchase this offers customers is helping the high street compete with online again. While online retailers might store your credit card details to make checking out faster, high street shops can now compete on speed when it comes to purchases.
Increasingly, there are shops that won t even accept cash at all any more, but until the social issues around this are resolved, this might be a step too far as it alienates many older and disadvantaged people who might still love to buy your products. But a well-thought-out plan that allows for as many types of payments as possible, and does so in a speedy way, can help you remain competitive with the latest global retail being utilised by your competitors.
One of the biggest growth areas in online shopping is social commerce. People see something on a social media platform, click and buy. This type of purchase has grown by 30% in the last year in the US, and around a quarter of UK shoppers now discover new products, which they later purchase, on social media.
A few years ago, influencers would drive people to go to websites to buy the products they advertised, but now, you can often buy directly within the social media app. Instagram and Facebook are the most well-known examples of this, but TikTok has also started piloting Shopify partnerships within its app in the US, UK and Canada.
The department stores of the internet, online marketplaces offer products from a wide variety of sellers - and in line with the rest of the retail technology industry, this sector continues to grow and becomes online retail trend. The likes of Amazon, eBay and Etsy are seeing record profits. Sales on the Etsy marketplace grew 144% to $2.9 billion in the first three months of 2021, and musical instrument marketplace Reverb saw its revenue increase by 141% in the same period.
One of the most innovative new online marketplaces is Zellebrate, which is using the power of online to drive sales to both online and high-street retailers, big and small. Customers can browse the site, then click to show where to find it near them locally or online - with special vouchers and deals for many products.
Working with online marketplaces can help grow your retail market share with little effort on your part, and so we expect to see more innovations like the unique offering being rolled out by Zellebrate.
Future of Retail Technology - Immersive Technology
Augmented reality merges the best of digital and real-world shopping, and the possibilities this affords are expanding as the tech capabilities grow.
The possibilities are wide and varied. For example, if a customer sees a product they like online, you can offer them guided AR instructions to how to find it in your real-world shop using an AR Navigator. Add an AR Scanner to your app, and they could even scan the item and pay in the app without the need to queue at a till.
Adding AR to your app can also show them what a piece of furniture or clothing might look like in their own home by simply holding up their phone to the space they d like to try it out. It can also allow them to see what different customisation options, such as colours or accessories, would look like.
Already, a quarter of customers are keen to try clothes on using AR-powered virtual changing rooms.
To boost engagement with your product, you can create AR games for customers to help keep your brand front of mind, even when they aren t ready to buy - with the possibility to win rewards and discounts that could encourage them to make a purchase.
We can see huge possibilities merging AR and retail as customers become more familiar with AR and the possibilities it offers.
Loyalty Apps & Technology
The best loyalty apps not only encourage customers to stick with you - but they actually get them to spend even more than loyal customers who don t use the loyalty programme. Our clients have experienced a 50% decrease in marketing costs and a 300% increase in sales for customers who use the loyalty app compared to those who use the website alone.
Experts in Retail Technology
The reason we know what the future holds for retail technology trends is because we work with clients on a wide variety of retail technology projects every day, from developing omnichannel experiences to online marketplaces and loyalty technology. We ve been developing them for more than a decade.
Retail Technology Examples We Love
Technology is changing the world and retailers need to adapt their business to succeed in the highly competitive industry. Here are our favorite retail technology examples we recommend to follow:
- online shopping and e-commerce markets for every brick-and-mortar store
- personalized communication through loyalty apps
- custom-made product and simple visualization system provided by the AR configurator
- increase in staff efficiency through the digitalization of the inventory process
If you want to discuss working together on a retail technology project, get in touch.