It’s safe to say that 2016 has been a year full of dramatic business and technological innovations within the retail industry. While we began the year emphasizing conversations around omnichannel capabilities and empowering associates to create a great customer experience for their shoppers, we end the year discussing artificial intelligence, virtual reality and technology that helps retailers go head-to-head with Amazon.
Debates are already brewing about what will be the biggest retail technology to hit the streets in 2017. To get to the bottom of it, we sat down with our clients over the past few weeks and here are their top five predictions for disruptive retail technology entering the New Year:
- The Rise of Amplified (Artificial) Intelligence – Retailers will tap into the power of artificial intelligence in new ways to develop semi-automated processes for merchants
- Unified Commerce – Retailers will bring all aspects of omnichannel retailing together to create a holistic experience.
- Retailers to develop Amazon compete strategy – In 2016, Amazon was the de facto price comparison search engine and took an ever-increasing share of retail sales. In 2017 retailers and brands will continue to look for ways to arm themselves against Amazon, including the adoption of their own online marketplaces to expand their offerings and pricing options.
- Supply chain optimization – To drive lead-time reduction, faster speed to market and lower costs, retailers will use technology to optimize their supply chain efficiency.
- Order Management System as a key player – With the continued implementation of new technology designed to drive consumers to purchase more goods, retailers will increasingly adopt OMS technology to ensure a seamless customer experience.
While we have yet to see what new technology 2017 will bring our way and whether this will finally be the year that drones deliver all of our packages, this new year is panning out to be an exciting time for retailers and retail solution providers. Here at Ketner Group we are very excited to start the New Year with our clients and avidly watch the retail technology trends unfold.