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The retailers in all parts of the world continually wonder how the industry will turn in future. However, they forget to maximize their links with the clients. Even with the innovation of online selling, only a few companies have taken the initiative of developing e-commerce infrastructure. This issue makes companies especially international ones not to capture both global and local customers. Retail innovation is essential for the organization to ensure that the customers dictate their demands.
Currently, digital strategy is a brand. Firms should build the culture of technology to retain and attract customers and employees (Magnacca, 2016). Even though Nest and Google are technology companies, retailers need to work hard so that they can be seen to have tech mindset and innovative employers. When an organization is a technology-focused, it does not mean that it should only focus on hardware, it means that a firm should establish a culture to understand how customers and employers behave, socialize, and learn today (Prange & Schlegelmilch, 2018).
In the retail industry, customers should be given the chance of dictating the products and innovation they need. Most of the customers have millennials, and even the millennials spend much of their time browsing. Therefore, understanding the behaviors of customers shows how an organization is created in driving innovation using the strategy of mobile-first. Every company should think of the way ideas of clients' experience can be done through mobile phones (Moorhouse et al., 2018). This strategy gives the consumers freedom of choosing what they need.
Innovation should be incorporated in the retail industry by knowing that there is no finish line. A company cannot bank on the innovations working today since they may not be applicable in future. Retailers should take the philosophy of technology sector that an invention is never finished ("Retail Innovation," 2018). The reason is that there is no perfect social media strategy, assortment, store network, and technology. The digital commerce openings are currently increasing beyond e-commerce to things like social commerce and m-commerce (Moorhouse et al., 2018). Although some of the companies have closed their digital gap with the global retailers, it is essential to know that there is no end product. The moment retailers stop reinventing it means that the industry has lost.
Artificial intelligence is one of the innovations in the retail industry. It is one of the most significant tech developments currently as it can assist in turning diverse and extensive data set to information which may help in improving cost, flexibility, and speed in the value chain (Chitrakorn, 2018). In the fashion, artificial intelligence can assist retailers and brands with the capacity to plan, merchandising, and predictive forecasting. This strategy means that the clients can highly enjoy the advantages of accurate deliveries, availability of products, and timely response. The artificial intelligence innovation can also help in reducing the errors gotten while forecasting by about 50% (Chitrakorn, 2018). The overall inventory can also be reduced by 20-50 percent.
Apart from the supply chain benefits, artificial intelligence innovation may help in creating a smooth browsing experience for the clients and improve their retention using personalization. Online platforms including Zalando, Alibaba, JD.com, and Amazon use the artificial intelligence enhancements in helping generate a precise goods search results and displaying virtual storefronts which are tailored to the individual shoppers basing on their unique preferences and characteristics (Chitrakorn, 2018). The retailers can easily leverage data by providing a personal and seamless experience for the clients. The issues increase loyalty, repeat purchase, and conversion.
The blockchain is another significant innovation. This is the technology that drives cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. Blockchain refers to a distributed and decentralized digital record providing new opportunities to manage a product's ethical standards, authenticity, and safety (Chitrakorn, 2018). Records cannot be changed after adding them to the blockchain. The market of blockchain technology to reach $2.3 billion in 2021. The primary use of this technology is verifying the originality of a product. For instance, it can be used to check is a garment is authentic. Furthermore, the microchips that use blockchain may tell the client if a piece of cloth is an imitation, genuine, stolen, its manufacturer, and its general history. This information can be gotten using a smartphone. This strategy assists in preventing theft and counterfeiting.
The use of blockchain can also assist retailer to garner brand loyalty and trust through the lifecycle of a product (Chitrakorn, 2018). The reason is that it informs the customers not just the manufacturer of a product but also the working conditions of the employees and their wages for the productions. Through this, the shoppers can learn about the product's composition and the chemicals used in making it. The technology is currently used in the fashion industry. However, De Beers which is a diamond producer has said it will launch the technology to track gems from the time they are dug.
In conclusion, innovation in the technology is essential just like in the technology sector. The behaviors of the consumers change from time to time with new inventions. The innovation of blockchain and artificial intelligence can help retailers improve the services they offer to the consumers. The innovations help in tracking a product and supporting delivery of items to clients on time.
Chitrakorn, Kati. "5 Technologies Transforming Retail In 2018". The Business of Fashion, 2018, https://www.businessoffashion.com/articles/fashion-tech/5-technologies-transforming-retail. Accessed 9 Apr 2018.
Magnacca, Mike. "Three Lessons on Retail Innovation." Strategy, 2016, http://strategyonline.ca/2016/06/06/three-lessons-on-retail-innovation/. Accessed 9 Apr 2018.
Moorhouse, N., tom Dieck, M. C., & Jung, T. (2018). Technological Innovations Transforming the Consumer Retail Experience: A Review of Literature. In Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality (pp. 133-143). Springer, Cham.
Prange, C., & Schlegelmilch, B. B. (2018). Managing innovation dilemmas: The cube solution. Business Horizons.
"Retail Innovation In 2018 - Top 4 Trends - Pioneer Group". Pioneer Group, 2018, https://pioneergroup.co.uk/news/retail-innovation-2018-top-4-trends/. Accessed 9 Apr 2018.
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