Retailers must be tired of hearing about what emerging technologies can do for them, as it’s what consulting firms and other companies have told them for years. However, from the emergence of AR features in mobile apps to target buyers for furniture and home decor to the visualization of those items in their own home, it is clear that emerging technologies are finding their proverbial home in the retail space. Beyond AR/VR capabilities in mobile apps, Future Stores, Seattle helped shine a light on expanding retail technologies to automated checkout, open source hardware, and common architecture patterns within core operating systems. How these options in emerging tech can be uniquely leveraged for retail can be found right here.
Augmented reality and virtual reality
In late 2017- early 2018, an initial round of AR features in mobile apps targeted buyers for furniture and home decor, to visualize furniture and items in their own home environment. There are signs that AR and VR will be leveraged in stores and could figure prominently in omnichannel shopping and store operations.
- Augmented Reality, Walmart Labs developed an AR-based product comparison scanner for its mobile app that allows users in-store to scan entire shelf section to compare products detail, rather than having to scan a barcode to look up product one at a time. This feature helps have a better visual search to become more useful and valuable to shoppers and retailers.
- Virtual Reality, Macy’s provides shoppers with a VR headset to help them design their own room settings by visualizing and moving around 3D images of different furniture items, increasing furniture sales and diminishing returns.
AR and VR are still in the early adoption phase, but we’re starting to see adoption with retailers who are experimenting with how to leverage the technologies to obtain a return on their investments.
Automated checkout & Cashier-less stores
We’ve all heard about Amazon Go and its cashier-less convenience stores, but what about other technology companies inspiring automated checkout, as well as other forms of expedited self-checkout and mobile checkout? Not all size and type of retailers have been considered viable candidates for automated checkout. Having slow lines cost potential sales in retailers. By lowering wait time in lines, customers are more likely to purchase items, which would help both the shopper’s experience and the retailer’s profit.
Open Source software
Open source is exactly what it sounds like: a source code that anyone can modify, enhance, and inspect. The major benefit here is that programmers can manipulate and change how pieces of software, programs, or application work. Using open source allows programmers to improve that program by adding features or fixing parts that don’t always work correctly. It also grants permission to use the software for any purpose they wish. Open source licenses promote collaboration and sharing because they permit other people to make modifications to source code and incorporate those changes into their own projects, as long as they let others do the same when they share their work. There are 3 main reasons why people prefer open source software:
- Control– They can examine the code and make sure it’s not doing anything they don’t want it to do, and they can eliminate aspect they don’t want/need.
- Training– It helps programmers learn. Since its publicly accessible, they can easily study it as they learn to make better software and share their mistakes with other programmers.
- Stability– users relying on that software for critical tasks can be sure their tools won’t disappear or fall into disrepair
Enterprise architecture defines how the organization will meet future business problems. It’s important to begin building stability into your organization by having enterprise architecture. The architecture features multiple layers of perception to form a complete and common view of information, guidance, and direction. Together, these benefits form guardrails for the organizational solution, by adding guides and constraints to those solutions. Shifting from silo-based systems, managed business values, and measuring outcomes will drive your organization away from system silos toward integrated enterprise ecosystems. Choosing the right architecture is crucial and may affect the enterprise architectural domain: Strategy, Business, data, application, infrastructure, and security. Common architecture inherently streamlines communications between different teams within your organization.
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