The traditional brick and mortar retail stores experienced the most challenging time in the last financial year of 2017. All across the continental United States, more than 6,985 stores were shut down according to a survey that was carried out by one of the think-tanks in the retail industry, Fung Global Retail & Technology. That statistic had inflated by more than 200% as compared to the previous year.
It is however surprising that the reason that such a significant number of retail stores are closing down is the same reason that has caused such small businesses and startups close down for the last several decades. The reason is that they do not put in efforts to satisfy the needs and wants of the consumer who ends up going to another store with a better consumer brand experience. Moreover, technology has given rise to a broader variety of products and services for consumers to choose from which forces the retailers to adopt or get kicked out of business. In this article, we are going to discuss the tech trends that will take the retail industry by storm in 2018.
In recent years, artificial intelligence and machine learning have become the most significant technological advancements in almost all the aspects of human life. AI has the ability turn vast and diverse quantities of data into enriched and useful information that is critical in the improved flexibility and speed across the supply chain as well as adding value to the business brand. Recent advances in machine learning capabilities for various systems have pushed the AI technology into the mainstream. It is estimated that the machine learning and artificial intelligence industry will be worth more than $39.5 billion worldwide by the end of 2020. AI can help retailers and brands in the fashion industry with capacity merchandising and plan as well as predictive forecasting the future trends when it comes to the tastes and preferences of the consumer.
The technology that has been behind the growth of cryptocurrencies is blockchain. This is a distributed and decentralized form of digital recording that is transparent and free from interference from third parties. Blockchain provides a new way in which businesses can manage their ethical standards, product authenticity, and safety. After records have been added to Blockchain’s digital ledger, they can be changed or altered with which gives an improved level of trust when it comes to the way we conduct business in the 21st century.