Retail software development: top eight technologies that have a great potential in retail trade
Below we will consider eight tech opportunities in the retail industry, which have been actively used in recent years and have shown positive results in improving trading processes thanks to custom retail app development.
– Augmented and virtual reality. These two are, perhaps, the most sensational concepts in the field of IT, which are able to turn the process of acquiring goods into a real entertainment. Using your own smartphone and, in the case of virtual reality applications – Google Cardboard or another viewing device, potential buyers will be able to fully experience your product before buying it. For example, the world-famous home furniture and decorations retail network – IKEA – in 2014 presented a mobile app based on elements of augmented reality. Users can test how the goods would fit their interior simply by pointing the camera of their smartphone anywhere in the house. The application quickly became very popular and IKEA got access to new customer audience. Why not repeat the stunning success of this retail software development? You can also try to make your business more successful by improving the existing assets through the use of VR/AR. For instance, today more and more companies are turning to designers for the purpose of changing the interior at their outlets. Modeling the future design in a 3D application allows assessing the advantages and disadvantages of the proposed solution.
– Chatbots. If your business attracts a large number of buyers, to help reduce load at live employees you can create a chatbot application that will function like a real consultant. After all, some buyers experience psychological inconvenience talking to strangers and therefore deliberately avoid resorting to the help of consultants in stores. Moreover, some employees who perform their duties at retail outlets do not have sufficient qualifications to be really useful when choosing a product for potential buyers. In turn, a well-designed chatbot based on the concept of artificial intelligence and installed as a mobile app on the user’s smartphone or as desktop software at stationary PC directly in your store will be a real savior for some of your customers. However, in order to employ such a service in the business, you will need to hire retail developers who are well versed in the specifics of the operation of neural networks and artificial intelligence solutions.
– Internet of Things (IoT). The list of modern technologies for business won’t be complete without the addition of the IoT concept. The unified network, formed by a number of electronic devices communicating with each other and connected to the Internet, Internet of Things every day is gaining more and more practical applications in retail outlets. For example, RFID tags affixed to goods allow not only to secure them from theft, but also help to create an informative picture for marketing analysts (for example, with the help of such tags you can find out what type of clothing is often tried on, but not bought by visitors). Cash registers, IP cameras, buttons like Amazon Dash Button, and many other kinds of IoT devices can be successfully used to grow your business with the help of retail software solutions.
– Push notifications. Implementing push notifications is a wonderful alternative to sending the usual email and SMS promotions. Currently, it is one of the leading trends in retail software development services. Email advertising is often sorted into the spam folder. Moreover, some of us very rarely check their mail, and therefore at the time of reading the message with the announcement of the campaign or discount, it may already lose its relevance. As for SMS, it is not free and depends on the tariffs introduced by a specific cellular operator. In turn, push messages would most likely be watched by clients of your store and at the same time, its deployment won’t cost much (the only thing you will need to invest your money in is the custom retail app development).
– Location-triggered messages. Special devices, called beacons, use Bluetooth connections to transmit messages to user devices entering their area of effect. A bright example of the implementation of this technology is the principle of the operation of Harvey Norman, one of the largest networks of home goods retail stores. A potential buyer, while in the vicinity of one of the stores, receives a notification on their smartphone with some promotional offer (daily discounts, campaigns, loyalty programs, etc.). The offer can be accepted and paid directly from the application on the smartphone without contacting any of the store’s employees.
– Near Field Communication (NFC). This technology is employed to implement the contactless payments. Thus, visitors to your store no longer have to languish in long lines waiting for cashier service.
– Drones. Probably, everyone already knows that Amazon gradually introduces the process of delivery to the end user by drones. These unmanned aerial vehicles are notable for their environmental friendliness and low resource consumption during the flight than conventional delivery vehicles. Thus, this variant of transportation is less expensive for business owners. In addition, they allow maintaining the maximum privacy and delivering the purchase without the direct participation of humans. Among the shortcomings of this solution is their vulnerability to severe weather conditions and intruders, who can simply knock down the drone on its way to the destination. Of course, these devices are still used only by large-scale organizations, because the technology is just starting to develop and the cost of drone deployment is still high. However, in the near future, this innovation will enter almost all areas of business through the retail software development.
– Blockchain. The blockchain is a special technology for the database management, which allows tracking all stages of the product implementation – from its manufacture to its immediate delivery to the buyer. Not very clear? Let us look at one of the real examples. Walmart introduced blockchain into their trading systems. Now, if one of the customers would complain about the quality of the food bought at Walmart, the employees of the network can easily trace the whole production chain: where the ingredients were grown, by what technologies processed, under what conditions stored and so on. In particular, this innovation was fully deployed in the process of exporting pork to China, in order to protect buyers as much as possible from possible health threats. In the near future, many retail networks, which specialize in the food trade, plan to employ blockchain.
Retail Software Development: summing up Summarizing the above, we can confidently assert that the above-mentioned most promising tech opportunities in the retail industry are able to give a significant impetus to the business. They are more likely to make the buying process more thought-out, convenient and simple, and these are the main factors that are guaranteed to extol your service over the competing offerings.