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Real-time data, digital wallets, and automation among retail industry trends

A look at recent trends and tech to propel retailers forward in digital transformation

Photo by Simon Kadula on Unsplash
Photo by Simon Kadula on Unsplash

Retail has been heralded as one of the most competitive industries. People have endless options to buy their new electronic gadgets or trendy tops from ecommerce websites and discount big-box stores, to artisan Etsy sellers and brick-and-mortar establishments. 

One way to stay ahead of competitors? Surprise, surprise — digital transformation. We’ll walk through some of the latest digital trends in the retail industry and how you can adapt to them in your business. 

Data analytics for personalization 

Whether you’ve been in business for 10 years or 10 months, it’s vital to leverage all your customers’ historical data. 

We’re talking customer service chat logs, purchase history, social media engagement, returns, and every other potential interaction you’ve had with them. The right data helps you tailor personalized customer experiences via product recommendations, and customer paths to enhance their buying journeys. Retailers can also leverage augmented reality to bridge the gap between ecommerce and in-store buying. 

  • Tech to look at: Real-time customer data platforms (CDPs) like Hero Digital; Augmented reality platforms like Fingent

Payment accessibility via digital wallets and payment plans

The digital wallet isn’t going anywhere, so retailers should expand accepted payments to convenient options like Apple Pay, Amazon Pay, and Google Pay. Salesforce found that the use digital wallets as payment increased by 54% from the end of 2022 to the end of 2023.

Another popular need is payment plans, driven by a tough economy and a desire for higher-quality (even if more expensive) products.

  • Tech to look at: Mobile point of sales (POS) systems, and Affirm for extended payments

Robotic process automation (RPA) for efficiency

Retailers need to constantly innovate with new products to capture their audience’s attention away from competitors. But if they waste time on repetitive tasks like customer inquiries, order processing, and shipment tracking, they lose days, even weeks, of time that could otherwise be spent enhancing their products and customer experience. 

RPA helps you process orders, track shipments, handle disputes, and update reports and inventory in seconds — freeing up valuable time to improve your business offerings. 

  • Tech to look at: Robotic Process Automation solutions like Imaginovation
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Written By

Veronica Ott is a freelance writer and digital marketer with a specialization in finance and business. As a CPA with experience in the industry, she's able to provide unique insight into various monetary, financial and economic topics. When Veronica isn't writing, you can find her watching the latest films!

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