Technology Trends Reshaping the Future of Retail in 2022

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Future of Retail

Digitalization has completely changed customer expectations and behaviors. The Covid-19 pandemic further quickened Digitalization as there was mass closure of brick-and-mortar stores across the globe. Reports indicate that 12,000 stores closed in the U.S. in 2021. Customers started shopping online as they had no choice. Tech trends continue to reshape the future of retail every day. Here are four trends that will impact commerce in 2022.

1. Robots and Autonomous Cars

Robots and self-driving cars once only existed in science fiction movies. But they are slowly gaining relevance in the retail industry. Big supermarket chains across the U.S. have started using remote-controlled carts. Uber and Walmart have pioneered driverless delivery services and are testing fully autonomous delivery trucks. Tech companies are also working on contactless drones for retail delivery services. These drones will use 5G connectivity to avoid air traffic and collisions.

2. Voice Commerce

Thanks to the popularity of smart devices and advancements in AI and natural language processing (NLP), voice commerce may soon become mainstream. Research shows that the global speaker market will hit  $15.8 billion by 2024. Many homes across the U.S have already invested heavily in voice technology.

Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant keep on improving their voice assistant shopping services for a better voice commerce experience. Big chain stores have started offering customized voice-ordering assistance. And we expect more players to enter the market soon. Even the elderly are adapting fast and have become accustomed to voice-ordering in retail stores.

3. Augmented Shopping

Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) have been received well by shoppers. Through AR and VR, shoppers now have an opportunity to view a product, and even the assembling process (in some cases), before placing an order. They can tell how a new product will look and function while still in the retail store.

Even the auto industry now uses Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality technologies to enhance the car-buying process. Car buyers looking for new cars for sale can use VR to view all car features and even test drive a vehicle without visiting a dealership in person. Augmented shopping minimizes the high product return rates associated with buying things online and is also more convenient for both buyers and sellers.

4. Frictionless Shopping

In-store shopping is gradually becoming popular again as more people get vaccinated. However, people are still practicing social distancing. A recent survey showed that 87% of Americans prefer stores with touchless and self-checkout options. Also, both customers and retailers find contactless commerce more convenient than the traditional in-person process.

Self-service stores such as Amazon Fresh offer cashierless services. Grocery items are scanned and charged automatically as you place them in the cart. Other in-store IoT systems include Amazon’s just walk out technology. Shoppers can walk into a store, pick what they need, and leave. The system charges everything placed in the cart and automatically debits your credit card. Frictionless shopping provides enhanced customer experience and retail efficiencies. We look forward to new tech trends that will reshape retail.