Over the next year, retailers will use improved technology to continue providing better and more relevant services for their customers. In considering information systems and technology, the next likely changes and trends we’ll see in the new year are a continuation from years past, but will probably increase in the amount they’ll be seen:
1. Mobile POS – This technology has already been seen in many stores, but it is ever growing in popularity. The ability to pay on the spot, anywhere on the retail floor is important for customers. Less waiting in line is involved. Retailers are seeing better conversion rates with this technology, so the trend is likely to continue.
2. Big data – More analysis of customer’s buying patterns and purchases will continue to help retailers both large and small. It helps them make important inventory decisions, saving companies significant amounts of cash. Furthermore, this information helps businesses make suggestions for their clients that match their interests and needs. In every way, “big data” is becoming more and more popular as it’s use is becoming ever clearer. We can expect more businesses to invest in data analytics in 2016, improving their retail information systems and adding benefits to both consumers and the business itself.
3. Beacons – This retail information system can feed data analytics and also provide interaction with the consumer in positive ways to feed sales. Beacons require clients to download a store app, however, once done, strategically placed beacons in the store notice the customer’s movements and patterns within the store. They are able to send them additional product details, discounts and sales related to the area the customers are physically in the store. This can be a win-win situation for customers and for improving data the store receives about that client.
4. Apps – It’s also expected in the coming year that retailers will provide customer loyalty programs through apps. In addition to enticing loyal clients with benefits such as point-earning programs, retailers will be able to track important consumer information. Consumers may be able to redeem points using their smart phones. These apps will also interact with beacons, mobile POS and other shopping improving technologies and services. The possibilities for apps that benefit both consumers and businesses are endless. In 2016 we can expect to start to see some of the results of these sorts of apps.
5. Social Shopping Buying online through stores associated with brick and mortar retailers is expected to continue and expand to include the ability to purchase through social media sites such as Facebook and twitter. This is just beginning to happen, and it’s expected that in 2016 this will continue and potentially take off. The way shoppers interact in this environment where shopping is integrated into another very popular activity of spending time on social networks will start to be seen in this next year. Information will also be available for retailers, giving more insight into how consumers decide to purchase, when and through what platforms as well, directing advertisement spending and concentrations.
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