Where COVID-19 was a great hit back for corporate businesses, e-commerce and retail industries. So! If you are facing the same issue of sales loss then try considering sprouting trends of digital technologies to transform your businesses for an instant sales lift. The e-commerce industry is evolving day by day. And due to the COVID-19 scenario, the ratio of online shopping VS offline had a tremendous change.
Some of the new technologies in the retail industry that have become the essential ingredient for e-commerce include Blockchain technology, AR/VR/AI technologies, Voice search technology, digital in-store equipment, mobile applications, smart devices and much more. The future of retail businesses is heavily dependent upon these technologies. Below are the best examples of digital transformation in retail businesses. The technologies which they are making use of will surely amaze you for a second.
When it comes it comes to furnish the home with the best quality furniture then IKEA is the name that comes on the top of the list of digital transformations in retail examples. IKEA has made use of AR technology which made people see the furniture live in their room setting through an app. They just need to hover the smartphone over their favourite place and furniture appearing on the mobile screen get placed there. This also has helped to reduce the factor of product returns.
Carrefour – one of the well-known European grocery stores has now put its hands in the multi-part cloud migration technology partnering up with Google. They have implemented a voice search feature in their app. Through the Google voice search feature, customers can just name the product and it will get added to the cart. This feature has brought a 20% increase in sales of Carrefour. For inventory backlog management Google has provided a recommendation tool that automatically fills in the product in inventory which is finished up.
A brand that needs no introduction has steeped ahead to transform the complete system of Starbucks to digital. Initially, it introduced loyalty pints within its app through which customers can earn and redeem points anytime and get benefits. Mobile Order & Pay feature within the app further boosted sales of Starbucks. Recently they have implemented digital technology in their drive-thru through which customers can see top products on digital board and make choices for purchase. It shows location-based top selling products, different in each outlet. Customers can also see the same on their mobile app.
Starbucks also has introduced a feature through which customers can view the farm and their complete history from where their coffee is being produced and brewed. This technology in the retail industry of Starbucks has brought great customer satisfaction.
Audi – unknown to no one. Every car lover wants to ride it once because of its marvellous features. In previous years people usually purchase Audi by searching for its features on the Internet. However, to improve the customer experience Audi has introduced VR technology within its showrooms so that people can try their favourite model in Virtual Reality. They can see the interior and exterior of the car and even can do the race. For the past 1 year, this new feature has levelled up the customer experience for Audi and made them able to choose right.
With a mix of social media and luxury retail Burberry store has brought in a new luxury experience through a WeChat app. On interacting with the app user can make appointments or search for products which accumulate the digital currency. The currency helps to hatch a small character within the app. For the hatched animal character, customers are rewarded afterwards.
To make the shopping experience more safe and quick for customers, M&S stores around the globe introduced a pay-with-me service for in queue quick checkouts. Customers with a smaller list of products within the cart were billed by a handheld device with an operator. Operator/queue busters can bill as many products as they can, to help reduce the size of long queues. This technology has been implemented within 200 stores around the globe and brought greater customer satisfaction and efficiency to the business.
For seamless digital customer experience, Alibaba has introduced the Hema store with new digital technology. Customers can get complete information about the products by just scanning the QR codes mentioned on the products. In dining areas, digital dining robots technology is implemented to serve the customers. Through a fully digital system, customers get their seating information and the meal is served right there through serving robots.
Where retails stores are transforming to digital, Nike also didn’t stay behind. Nike introduced fully digital stores in 2018. Customers can make choice online and later can try it in shops which keeps the product reserved for that customer. Through mobile checkout, customers are not liable to stand in queues after the purchase of their favourite products. Mobile checkout allows them to pay right away.
In 2018, Kroger grocery chain of US introduced digital price tag shelves which run from a renewable source of energy. These shelves keep on displaying the price, nutritional value or other benefits of the product to make people purchase without any doubt.
An amazing technology introduced by Amazon Go has created a benchmark in the digital world of a new era. How does this new technology work in the retail industry?
Just enter the store using your Amazon mobile app and start picking up things. Once you pick up things it automatically gets added to the Amazon app. No worries if you put something back on the shelf, the cart keeps on updating in real-time. On leaving the store Amazon credit will automatically be deducted from your Amazon wallet.
Another very interesting technology that Amazon introduced is Amazon Digital carts. Apart from an ordinary cart, this cart consists of a camera, drink holder and a digital screen on which you can see the price of products that you add to the cart. Once you’re done with shopping, on the counter find the green area and just move your cart over it. You’re done. Credit will get deducted from your amazon wallet automatically.
Technologies introduced by Amazon has reduced the problem of hiring physical staff. Customers do not need to stand in ques for long for their billing of long lists of items.
Bingobox is a tiny store with all the necessary items to purchase. The store is a huge example of future digital technologies. This store contains no human staff. Customers can enter the shop by scanning QR Code through an app on their mobile phone which unlocks the door. They then can make the purchase and pay for it on the counter as self-service through RFID. On leaving the shop the products get scanned automatically. If the customer didn’t purchase any item held in hand he cannot leave the shop. The digital features present inside the shop has reduced the rate of shoplifting as well.
Physical staff is only needed to overview the shop through cameras, to reload the shelves and for cleaning.
In early 2018, Zara – A well-known fashion clothing brand introduced AR technology within its brick and mortar stores. Through their mobile screens, customers were able to see live models moving and interacting with products in front of them even not being there. This technology was implemented for a limited time in limited stores and brought great customer experience as well.
Sams Club has implemented robots that consistently clean the floor, do not get crash in people or racks around. Employees can work on another task to bring more productivity within the business. With easy machine setup and intuitive UI shop owners can check the statuses on its digital screen as well. It can be used for disinfecting the area and even for restocking the shelves as well. Text alerts keep updating the employees for efficient performance and to retain customer satisfaction and safety.
& Other Stories
Huge digital vendor machines have been observed in the outlets of & other stories in Paris. Instead of wondering and finding the product of their choice customers now can search for the product on vendor machines. They can select their favourite products without hassle. The implementation of vendor machines makes the store more attractive than other fashion clothing and accessories stores around the globe.
Cornershop in London is introduced by Capgemini, The Drum and the SharpENd. Another retail store that implemented digital technology naming its corners as Automated, Augmented Store, Purposeful and Personalised Store. All these corners gather real-time data based on customer interaction and evolve accordingly. Virtual try-on is another feature it provides where customers can try products without using trial rooms.
Over 60% of the sales of Domino’s Pizza have been observed over the mobiles or through online portals since 2016 till now. The company have a major advancement in digital technologies including driver routes, order placing, custom and pre-made pizza ordering etc. The features boosted the efficiency of the routine task thus bringing more sales in. Anywhere App offered by Domino’s Pizza can be connected to smart TV, digital car, smartwatch, Google Home or Amazon Echo as well. Upcoming expected technology is Drone Pizza delivery which is still in under process.
A giant in the e-commerce industry well-defended its position in a much smarter way by introducing Alphabots for online order delivery. As per Walmart, these bots can keep 20,000 different items at a time. For faster packing and delivery of online orders, the Alphabot works perfectly.
Walmart has partnered up with Google to book and deliver orders through voice input only. “OK GOOGLE! Add 1 Kg apples to my cart and deliver”. It will answer the price and will take confirmation.
BINGO! Your task is done. The order will be delivered to your place.
This can be done through Google assistant devices or Google voice assistants through smartphones and Alexa voice assistants as well.
Sephora has blended technology of in-store and social media to provide an Omnichannel experience to the customers. The implementation of Virtual makeover has boosted the sales much higher. Not only this but people, especially women are enjoying this feature because they try on the products without being interacting with them. They can see their changed look on screens available in-store or on their smartphones.
Usage of RFID is becoming a trend in the e-commerce industry. Rebecca Minkoff is not behind in making perfect use of this technology. A designer clothing brand Rebecca Minkoff has implemented RFID technology in-store for an efficient checkout process and better customer experience. This technology makes use of radio waves for communicating between devices.
Smart mirrors installed in fitting rooms show related product range if the product is placed near to it. This technology is also making use of RFID to show related products on screen. Rebecca Minkoff experienced a 30% sales lift based on the suggestions made to customers by smart mirrors.
The newest technologies are being introduced by Amazon up till now which can be implemented in many retail brick and mortar stores for eventual sales lift. However, technologies offered by other companies are also underway which can be used and implemented for a good start of this technology era. It has become obvious for the e-commerce industry to convert to digital because of growing customer need with the evolution of the society to enjoy benefits of digital transformation in retail.