The Future of Retail: AI Trends and Technologies to Watch Out For

As restrictions lift & stores reopen, retailers must embrace ecosystems & experience economy & prepare for Web3 & metaverse. Digital technology such as smart mirrors & digital mannequins are staples of physical retail & those who differentiate themselves in at leas

The Future of Retail: AI Trends and Technologies to Watch Out For

Automation technology and social media trends will continue to shape the evolution of the retail industry. As restrictions lift and stores reopen, retailers must embrace ecosystems and the experience economy, reconfiguring stores and preparing for Web3 and the metaverse. Fewer in-person touches mean that digital artifacts must embody brands in deeper and more memorable ways. New capabilities in motion design allow us to capture sensory details and generate new realities.

Intermediaries will emerge and try to dominate the customer relationship, pushing undifferentiated retailers into a backroom role, basically a link in the supply chain. The disruption will affect both retailers and CPG companies, as the industry continues to follow the ever-changing wants and needs of consumers. Those who are able to differentiate themselves will continue to survive and thrive. By 2030, buying opportunities will be integrated into our daily lives, instantly closing the gap between inspiration and buying.

Smart glasses will finally have gained ground, allowing users to instantly identify the brand, price and stock level of any fashion or home decor item they find. Consumers can make instant purchases with a predefined flashing Morse code style, and the nearest warehouse will ship the package. By 2030, every conceivable aspect of shopping will become truly personalized, making the process of discovering, buying and receiving products completely simple. E-commerce personalization will characterize every aspect of the online shopping experience, as each digital touchpoint will be tailored to the individual shopper.

Trendy NFTs will also help brands strengthen their communities by providing more opportunities to own unique pieces. Once the retail industry recovers from the supply chain challenges related to COVID-19, it will have developed a more resilient logistics approach. Sophisticated data-based and AI-driven supply chain models will manage all components of the retail supply chain, including production, freight, warehousing, inventory management and shipping. A powerful combination of real-time consumer purchasing data, historical trend data, and external monitoring tools will fuel the AI algorithms that inform supply chain management.

By 2030, brands and retailers will be able to respond instantly to unexpected changes by rapidly changing manufacturing volumes and managing current inventory. With a better capacity to adapt to demand, shipping companies will have the information they need to enable even faster and more efficient shipping. Digital technology such as smart mirrors, digital mannequins, QR codes, interactive applications and more will become a staple of physical retail in the future of shopping, allowing brands and retailers to offer guided digital trips through physical stores. Undifferentiated players will struggle but retailers who are able to differentiate themselves in at least one of these dimensions will continue to thrive in the new environment. Option brokers could start dividing baskets between several retailers to offer savings or start charging retailers for being the source of compliance for customers in overlapping basins. Retailers are looking at how Web3 and the metaverse will affect their industry, and some companies are taking their first steps to prepare for the next Internet era.

As much as this enthusiasm helps us in the long term, what retailers need most right now are proven solutions that they can implement right away. Traditional retail is completely dying and that the retailers that will exist 10 years from now will all be experiential companies that, by chance, sell products in parallel. If retailers overcome these challenges, there is likely to be a rapid adoption of online food shopping, posing a threat to traditional supermarkets.

Emmett Heyduck
Emmett Heyduck

Evil food scholar. Certified food trailblazer. Infuriatingly humble zombie guru. Passionate music fan. Wannabe web aficionado.

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