In response to flat line retail sales growth, innovative retailers are aggressively pursuing the omnichannel to create a seamless shopping experience across all channels, including in-store, online, mobile and social. They are exploiting the Internet of Things (IoT) and deploying exciting new technology in-store while empowering their “connected associates” with training and technology to improve employee engagement and reduce turnover, as well as increasing sales and customer satisfaction. According to an iSource Media 2016 report, retailers who know more sell 87 percent more.
SOTI Inc., the world’s leading provider of Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM), today announced the 2017 mobile retail trends it will discuss at the Retail’s Big Show. In addition, SOTI will demonstrate its award-winning EMM solution, MobiControl 13.3, at Booth #1343.
“Brick and mortar stores are increasingly investing in new mobile technologies to draw customers to their stores and create a smooth shopping experience,” said SOTI spokesperson Oscar Rambaldini, Vice President of Product Management at SOTI. “The connected associate can easily service, upsell and assist customers with purchases and quickly check them out to create the ultimate shopping experience.”
SOTI identified the following mobile technology retail trends that will enhance the connected associate’s effectiveness and make an impact in 2017:
- New mobile devices – The connected associate will use a number of mobile devices, including Bluetooth beacons, semi-ruggedized devices, mPOS-capable tablet computers or smartphones, AR glasses with integrated HD cameras, earpieces and microphones, wireless Bluetooth wearable barcode scanners and wireless receipt printers to help increase customer interaction, better manage inventory and provide instant upsell opportunities.
- Better supply chain visibility – More retailers will provide store locators with the ability to check in-store availability. Customers can search online from their home, on the road with their mobile device or in-store using a self-service kiosk. When the product is located, the shopper can reserve the product, or purchase the product online and then pick it up at the nearest store.
- IoT comes of age – Retail has always been at the cutting edge of technology adoption and this trend is expected to accelerate as the IoT takes over. For example, companies are pilot testing UAVs (drones) and UGVs (robots) for last-mile delivery; others will employ Virtual Reality to deliver a virtual show room or an interactive product walkthrough.
- Wearables simplify stock management – The easier it is to scan products and place them on the shelves, the more accurate the store inventory. Wearable “ring” scanners are easy to wear and use Bluetooth to interface with the associates tablet. Augmented reality glasses (smart glasses) make it easy to follow a planogram and restock a store’s shelves.
- New life and purpose for established mobile technologies – Self-service kiosks, mobile point of sale (mPOS) and digital signs will continue to automate the in-store shopping experience and reduce operation costs. While tablets embedded in shopping carts and smart shelves using RFID will create new uses for reliable technologies.
- Data security gets a boost with new technologies – New retail technologies such as EMV chip cards as well as contactless and peer-to-peer payments are a tremendous benefit to shoppers from a convenience and security perspective. In addition to securing payment information, customers are keen on keeping their personal data private. All new technology needs to be properly configured and locked down to mitigate data breaches.
As new endpoints, like simple sensors or complex systems like drones and robots, are introduced, full lifecycle management will become more important. Keeping track of all these new devices, making sure they are up-to-date and working properly is vital for their successful deployment.