Page 5 - HGR March 2018
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NEWSLINE 3

Right technologies
essential for retailers

Technology has become                         stores and warehouses to engage with          Supply chain
                                              clients and collect data through sensors,     management
a strategic imperative for                    cameras and Bluetooth beacons.                systems are
                                                                                            expected to get
 all sectors and retail is                      Since most IoT devices are connected        upgraded, with
                                              via open networks, they become                the addition
     not an exception.                        increasingly vulnerable to cyberattacks.      of greater
                                                                                            automation
As retailers across the world scramble          Against this backdrop, the company          and predictive
to lure customers and improve                 foresees cybersecurity and data               analytics,
operational efficiencies, deploying the       protection capabilities to emerge as key      which is also
right digital technologies is essential for   differentiators for technology solutions      increasingly
differentiation and survival, according       in 2018.                                      powered
to leading data and analytics company,                                                      by artificial
GlobalData.                                     Retailers will invest substantially         intelligence
                                              in smart supply chain and inventory           and machine
  The company’s report ‘Technology            management capabilities this year             learning
Trends in Retail, 2018’ mentions              to achieve cost savings, eliminate            capabilities...
various digital solutions that drive          unnecessary steps in distribution, keep
greater personalization and a smoother        lower inventory levels and thereby         match customers’ specific needs and
shopping experience across online and         assert greater control over their          the retailer’s brand identity to address
mobile platforms, as well as in brick-        suppliers.                                 existing problems and challenges. In
and-mortar stores. These solutions                                                       addition, customers should be allowed
include artificial intelligence (AI) for        Olah continues: “Supply chain            to choose their preferred channels of
customer service, analytics and smart         management systems are expected            shopping and interaction rather than
supply chain management, but also             to get upgraded, with the addition of      forcing them to use certain digital tools.”
interactive tools based on augmented          greater automation and predictive
reality and the latest digital payment        analytics, which is also increasingly
methods. Improving last-mile delivery         powered by artificial intelligence and
is another major challenge for retailers      machine learning capabilities.”
this year, which requires shorter delivery
windows and innovative approaches               Retailers are also embracing digital
such as small self-driving robotic            payment technologies including digital
vehicles.                                     wallets, mobile readers, integrated apps
                                              such as WeChat, as well as blockchain
  Andreas Olah,of Global Data says:           to provide a seamless omnichannel
“Personalization can drive customer           experience to customers.
loyalty and the ability to collect
more data about their behavior and              GlobalData predicts that as shopping
preferences. By establishing what             habits change and digital technologies
customers are likely to be interested         advance, the automation of customer
in through the latest analytics and           service based on AI and robotics
AI technologies, retailers can upsell         combined with augmented reality
more products and avoid going out of          experiences and new store formats will
fashion.”                                     evolve further in the retail sector over
                                              the next few years.
  Retailers are deploying a large number
of Internet of Things (IoT) devices in their    Olah concludes: “Instead of jumping
                                              on every trend bandwagon, retailers
                                              need to be judicious while selecting
                                              digital technologies, which should

                                                                                         MARCH 2018 | HOME GOODS RETAILER
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