The retail industry has been a witness to a variety of changes over the years. The emergence of new technologies and constantly evolving expectations of consumers have fueled these changes considerably. The more appealing a brand and its products are to consumers, the better are the prospects of traffic.

Additionally, consumers are quickly equipping themselves with the emerging technology trends and utilizing them to make their lives easier. As a result, more and more brands are adopting recent technologies to serve their customers better.

With the rising competition, it is important to be aware of the technologies that have the potential to revolutionize the retail industry. Let’s take a look at some of these.

Beacon Technology

The beacon technology is an innovative way to reach out to customers and send targeted offers and promotional messages to their phones while they are physically present in the store. Beacons are small hardware that can installed in a store. These emit low-energy Bluetooth signal that can communicate with the shopper’s smartphones.

73% of consumers claim that they like to do business with brands that utilize their personal information to enhance their shopping experience.

With the consumers’ permission, beacons can access customers’ preferences based on their Pinterest pins, buying history, shopping proclivities, the amount of time they spend at a certain location in the store etc. and provide them a more customized service.

Mobile Technology

Presently, the number of smartphone subscriptions is 2.6 billion and this number is expected to rise to 6.1 billion by 2020! The need for connectivity has grown over the years and has scaled new heights. With a large part of the population using the Internet, mobile phones contribute to most of this activity. Therefore, the mobile technology has a huge role to play for retailers.

4 out of 5 consumers shop through their mobile devices.

With this trend gaining momentum rapidly, retailers are increasingly investing in mobile environments and relevant marketing strategies to boost their sales. The increased adoption of this trend is powered by customers’ demand for a focused and seamless mobile experience. Therefore, investing in mobile has turned out to be critical for retailers worldwide to stay ahead of their competition.

3D Printing

The 3D printing industry has gained a massive potential recently and it has succeeded in penetrating retail. 3D printing’s ability to reduce the time between the design of a product and positioning it in the market is one of its appealing aspects.

For example, Amazon has already entered the race of 3D printing by launching its 3D printing store. It offers a list of products including jewelry, decoration, toys etc. that are manufactured by a 3D printer. Shoppers can customize the designs, color, material, size etc. of these items before purchasing.

According to Petra Schindler-Carter, director for marketplace sales at Amazon, “The introduction of our 3-D Printed Products store suggests the beginnings of a shift in online retail – that manufacturing can be more nimble to provide an immersive customer experience.”

As 3D printing gets more commercialized and people start buying printers of their own, retail industries can be expected to sell their designs to their shoppers, instead of the end product. This way, the shoppers will be able to print out the products they want at their homes. This can eliminate shipping expenses for retail companies.

Crypto-currencies

The payment methods for retail are expected to become more electronic with the advent of crypto-currencies. Crypto-currencies are online equivalents of cash that can be paid to a retailer for goods purchased.

Electronic money is a great alternative to cash and credit cards. It reduces the possibilities of fraud and also provides the benefit of low transaction costs.

Bitcoin is one of the most popularly known crypto-currency that may replace cash during transactions. Businesses that have embraced the Bitcoin trend have claimed that it has accounted for a large portion of their sales since its adoption. Even though there has been certain skepticism involving crypto-currencies, they could just turn out to be the next payment methods owing to their viability.

These groundbreaking trends are expected to have a major impact on the retail industry in the upcoming years. It is time to capitalize on these technologies and establish a foolproof plan to make these work for your business. The right strategies can enhance your business’s prospects exponentially.