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The retail industry isn't exactly in the best shape.


Sales declined at scores of brick and mortar stores across the United States. The internet has done a lot of damage to the traditional retail establishment, but a bright spot exists. Retail businesses can thrive by embracing technology and online sales. Not every corporation is capable of making the necessary transition, but several do seem to be instituting necessary and effective changes.


Technology, like retail, isn't static. New trends and developments emerge all the time. Keeping a careful eye on emerging retail tech trends allows both industry insiders and consumers to figure out how the changes may affect them.


More and More Digital Tools

Not too surprisingly, 2018 trends indicate digital tools will become a much larger part of the retail market industry. Consumers simply demand an easier time shopping. Advanced digital tools help them get exactly what they want.


Digital advancements now include searching for merchandise through image matching. Instead of typing in the name of a product and hitting the search button, a photo image may be used as the subject of the search. Innovations such as these definitely make the online shopping experience more productive. Sometimes, simply matching an image becomes the easiest way to find what you want.

 

Facial recognition programs arrived on the scene as well. Consumers looking for both easier purchasing options and enhanced security features should appreciate the arrival of facial recognition systems. Stealing a password isn't always difficult. Matching someone else's face may very well be impossible.


Technology Casts a Net on Atypical Businesses

When retail and technology are mentioned in the same breath, everyone assumes the retail products available for sale are sporting goods, jewelry, clothes, and the like. Food isn't usually the first thing that comes to mind.


The lack of grocery stores and food companies offering direct-to-consumer e-commerce sales contributes to lack of consumer awareness. All that may be changing quite a bit in 2018. New technology makes it easy to use a digital platform to order canned food. So, why wouldn't customers do so?   

 

The arrival and expansion of grocery-related retailers on the e-commerce landscape mean more atypical businesses will debut e-commerce and digital platform sales. To not do so would be to ignore a vital sales and distribution channel. Retailers won't survive much less thrive by ignoring sales channels.

 

Expediting Customer Service and Delivery

 Technological trends yield a ripple effect. Enhanced purchasing options must go hand-in-hand with warehouse fulfillment improvements. Customers do expect that the retailer provides equally fast fulfillment. The processing and shipping of orders cannot occur with any unnecessary delays. Delays mean customers may go elsewhere. So, retailers that greatly improved their digital ordering platforms must work equally hard to eliminate deficiencies in packing and shipping.

 

Enhancements in Security

Retail and IT trends likely will incorporate advancements in security. Improved security positively must be integrated into the network of any retail giant's computer system. A great many hackers and other malicious intruders would love to breach the security firewalls to abscond with credit card and other private information. Retail companies do invest a lot in security, but hackers can be incredibly successful due to relentlessness. 

 

Even with the help of the greatest security experts in the industry, retailers still find themselves at risk. Therefore, constantly staying on top of security improvements must remain a top priority. Look for new and more sophisticated security technology to emerge. Security improvements do come with costs. Retailers must accept those costs because the alternative could lead to a looming public relations disaster.

  

A Better Retail World

Both the retail industry and its customers benefit greatly from new technology. Embracing technology becomes unavoidable for both. Progress in all areas of industry and life cannot be ignored. Progress in retail technology marches on.

 

Lee Flynn is from the Wasatch Mountains near Salt Lake City, UT. After Lee spent years preparing himself, his home and his family, he decided he had to do more. In his free time, Lee helps educate those who want to do the same. Through small local workshops and articles, Lee trains and teaches others on home preparation, food storage techniques, wilderness survival and self reliance. After obtaining a bachelors degree from the University of Utah, Lee moved to the Salt Lake Valley where he now lives with his wife and daughter.

 

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