Top 5 Trends Driving Retail Innovation

Retail TouchPoints – With any technology, new or old, the biggest challenge comes not in the invention itself but in its application. AI as a concept has been around for decades, but it’s only in the past few years that retailers and solution providers have figured out how it can enhance shopper experiences and streamline internal operations. Additionally, successful technologies breed a desire for even stronger applications: with personalization, for example, it’s no longer enough to know a shopper’s past habits and favorite items — retailers also must understand which complementary items would be of interest, and how their preferred lifestyle may affect future purchases.

Turning the theoretical into the practical will be a retail industry priority in 2019. Retail TouchPoints has identified five major technology and business trends retailers should pay close attention to this year:

• AI and machine learning;
• Enhanced personalization;
• Exemplary in-store experiences;
• Sustainability and ethical retailing; and
• Unified commerce.

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With AR and VR adoption spreading, especially in certain segments, the idea of what represents retail real estate is transforming and expanding. It’s no longer just the store — it can be almost anywhere, including the customer’s home. Retail stores have traditionally been the focal point for the theater of retail, but now AR and VR allow the customer to directly control where that experience happens.

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