• 10 Oct 2017
  • By sunil-veena
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Digital Transformation in Retail and E-commerce

E-Commerce has picked up incredibly in India. With a 51% annual growth rate and $30 billion in 2016, the industry stalwarts (ASSOCHAM) are expecting these numbers to go up to 4 times by 2020 increasing its worth to $120 billion. Retail is likely to reach a whopping $1 trillion by 2020.

The ease of doing business through the E-commerce has been a win-win for both suppliers and consumers. The influx of better technology enabled POS systems and increasing role of data and analytics reinforces our confidence in future markets.

Top 5 Technology Forces that are changing business environment and responsible for the incremental growth in Retail and E-Commerce are:

  1. Big data and Analytics -The digital age is indeed strongly wired by the integration of advanced technologies that turns large quantity of data into insights and information that triggers action. Data Mining to monitor competition in E-commerce space or, using technologically advanced POS systems with the ability to record inventory data, sales reports, customer contacts and customer experience at the store helps in understanding a customer’s buying behavior better.

IoT data from transactions is something new and very useful for developing a customised point of sales marketing.

  1. mCommerceTermed as the next generation e-commerce, mCommerce transactions continue to grow as mobile videos and marketing have consistently risen in the last decade. Replicating the desktop experience on mobile is the latest fad. Big players, Amazon and Flipkart are already doing this.

Smartphones and tabs manufacturers upgrade their products to give innovative and interactive customer experiences. Adobe’s research shows that tablet users spend twice as much as compared to smartphones while the use of laptops continues to decline.

  1. Advance software and hardware – Innovative applications for mobile and web, responsive websites and SAAS models are helping small and mid-sized businesses grow capabilities and become more IT savvy. Retailers are opting for best-in-class hardware when it comes to handling massive billing or handling long customer queues, yet maintaining world-class customer experience.

Maximum Uptime, powerful performance, durability, and reliability are some enablers.

Just like every shopping portal pays great regard to detail and attractive UI and UX, state-of-the-art POS systems are designed to decorate the store and utilize space. These finer design elements don’t go unnoticed and make for a great shopping experience.

  1. Innovative technologies- In-store technologies like mirror technologies that use RIFD tags allow customers to virtually try outfits. Text messaging, touch screen features, deploying iPads to allow customers to ask for help are some more implemented technologies.

A range of hi-tech features, green technology, and self-service solutions are now available to retailers, like Express POS, Mobile POS(mPOS), Self-checkout and click and pay. KIOSK Information Systems (KIOSK), is a world leader in self-service solutions.

AI and Machine Learning continue to simplify manual procedures.

5. Biometrics – Biometrics help in securing transactions, eliminating the use of PINs and swipe cards. Fingerprint systems, facial recognition, Iris scanning, voice identification are retailer’s natural choices to prevent theft and monitor time and attendance. It is critical that POS sign-in logs are valid.

Digital transformation in retail has given wings to our dreams. Purchasing a new frame from Lenskartis only a few clicks away or ensuring a delivery of a birthday present in one day using Amazon Prime, to a quick and hassle-free buying experience at your favorite retail store has made shopping totally lucid and addictive.

Bottomline:
The recent research by Forrester predicts that online retail sales will reach $370 billion by 2017. To me, this is possible if we keep a close watch on latest technologies and adopt the new. The other thing is, brick-and-mortar businesses are still dominant players and people prefer to visit a physical store. The idea is to up-the-ante by shifting focus to in-store technology, moving to mobile and hybrid POS systems that are available today offering greater flexibility, performance, and durability to retailers.

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