Technology and retail may seem like polar opposite sectors at face value. One is known for more of a nerdy crowd sitting at computers crunching code, and the other focusing on high fashion runways and forward facing style. However, these two industries are intrinsically linked and become more so everyday. Advancements in technology are making a huge impact in retail in how and where companies can sell product. If you are a business owner, whether large or small, read on for all the latest in how software advancements are making big waves in the realm of retail.
Purchasing products can happen in many different ways from the counter at a large retailer to a stall at a farmers market. Small business owners know more than anyone how important being able to sell a product in any location is. This is where the technology advancements come into play. Where farmers markets or pop up stalls used to be cash only, there are now POS software options that allow you to sell anytime anywhere. Gone are the days when you have to turn away a customer who doesn’t have any cash.
Another way technology is boosting retail opportunity is through online shopping. From buying a vacuum to a top line mens suit, all shopping can now be done in the comfort of your own home.
A recent study revealed shoppers are purchasing up to 50% of their retail items online! Not only does this provide extreme convenience for the consumer, it also reduces costs for the retailer. Imagine, you can sell product and you no longer have to pay an employee on the floor to do sales! Many businesses will even offer the option to save credit card information so consumers can log on and shop without even having to touch their wallet.
In the USA, technology has taken retail to an even crazier level. Amazon has created a grocery store where you don’t pay for anything you purchase. Wait, what? That’s right, consumers walk into this very high end and fully stocked grocery store in downtown Seattle and load up their grocery cart then walk straight out of the store. Payment details are preloaded onto the consumer’s phone and their credit card is automatically charged when exiting the store.
While this is still a novelty in Seattle and many visit the store for the mere experience of walking out “without paying”, it is surely a prototype for retail stores of the future. Again, increasing convenience for shoppers and decreasing costs for the retailer.
The world of internet shopping and advancements in point of sale options are increasing at a rapid rate. It feels like just yesterday when you had to have cash to purchase anything outside of a big retail store. And now I can buy my coffee at the beachfront farmers market on my card using an attachment on the retailer’s smartphone. I can only imagine what technology has in store for retailers in the coming years. In the meantime, I will say a big thank you to all those tech nerds that are turning out to be some of the coolest people around!