5 ways new technologies will change shopping habits

By Dali Aboul Housn

New innovations are continuously being announced, spreading across the globe like wildfire. They affect all aspects of our lives, including how we purchase products. The Nielsen Company, a global data and information company, released a What’s Next In Tech? report highlighting and explaining the changes happening.

Published in 2017, the report outlines the top 14 technological shifts expected to dominate in the next five years. Their effects on the consumer landscape are described, along with the differences in regional impact.

As mentioned in the report, the overlap of technological shifts will drastically influence interactions between suppliers, brands, retailers, and consumers. Here are the five ways this will impact your shopping routine:

Customer convenience

Quick product deliveries are allowing people to complete purchases from the comfort of their homes. Consumers are largely favouring convenience, even if it means spending an extra penny.

Life for consumers will be further improved through programmatic consumption. Automated suggestions and recommendations will guide decision-making. Nielsen Scenarios estimate that by 2020, suggested services on devices will be responsible for 20 per cent of purchases.

‘Smart’ shopping

Online shopping has never been so interactive, but it doesn’t stop there. Retailers will be able to use technology to connect with their customers’ devices. This will provide shoppers with an enhanced and customised in-store experience.

Augmented reality (AR) may also potentially be used throughout stores. Until 2020, a yearly growth of 108 per cent is expected for AR, according to the global market intelligence firm, IDC. Customers will view offers as they browse the store, even receiving information based on their previous purchases.

Check-out

Instant payment methods, such as cashless payments and ‘basket capture’, will make life even easier for shoppers. Basket data can be captured, automatically completing payment on exit. In half a dozen countries, 50 to 70 per cent of sales are already completed using non-cash payments. Nielsen Scenarios predicts that by 2020, 30 per cent of retail sales across the globe will be completed through apps or softwares.

Brand new vision

Consumers and retailers aren’t the only ones having fun. Similar to retail, brands will be able to truly bond with their customers, potentially through the use of AR and VR to provide customised offers.

 

Sue Temple, Head of Shopper Practice at Nielsen Growth and Emerging Markets, expanded on this in the report, saying; “The technology solutions that enable brands and retailers to meet shopper needs as well as deliver operational benefits will be the game changers. VR will enable the customer to experience brands across a range of industries like never before, from supermarkets, fashion, and electronics, to cars and homes.”

Communication between brands and customers will be further improved as new interactive platforms emerge. Proximity marketing is one tool that will be used to attract shoppers to both stores and websites.

Supply and demand

The process of ordering from suppliers will be massively improved. Operating systems will take charge of tracking stock, monitoring usage patterns and detecting preferred products. They can then make orders accordingly. Nielsen Scenarios predicts that supply chains in major logistic companies will be 100 per cent automated by 2019.

The years ahead will bring drastic changes to the customer experience. In order for brands and retailers to truly reap the benefits of these changes, they must ensure familiarity with current and upcoming innovations.

Technologies such as robotics, the Internet of Things, big data and artificial intelligence are already spreading. What was once fiction will soon become reality.

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