The transformation of distribution towards a more omnichannel operation, digitized and enriched by connected objects is accelerating. These technologies are set to transform the customer experience.
1. Remote support and operational intelligence
Stores increasingly use new technologies, including mobile technologies, but often lack integration, which can lead to bugs, failures or lack of suitable applications. In fact, the problems in store are numerous: according to one Honeywell studyan employee loses 60 to 100 minutes of productivity in the event of a bug and the IT team spends 40 to 60 minutes there, 33% of devices end up being lost…
Computer problems are therefore costly, and yet mobile devices have become indispensable. The challenge today is therefore to prevent bugs and quickly resolve those that inevitably occur. Operational intelligence and remote support solutions are becoming critical. They allow you to know how each mobile device is working in order to proactively solve emerging problems, before they affect employee productivity or as soon as they appear thanks to an accurate understanding of the causes. This saves precious time for the teams on site and the IT department.
2. Artificial intelligence
Artificial intelligence (AI) is everywhere. It’s behind our notifications on android or iOS, in the recommendations made by Netflix, and even in the end-of-sentence suggestions on Gmail. AI uses our past behaviors to make recommendations for the future. Distributors are following suit and will spend 6.5 billion euros in AI in 2022in order to personalize the customer experience.
Concretely, AI will allow distributors to better understand each consumer in his uniqueness. For example, a consumer who specifically buys blue clothes will be recommended other blue clothes when they arrive in the store. A more advanced AI will be able to make personalized recommendations that take into account other factors such as the season or the weather.
3. Smart baskets
The typical in-store experience is as follows: the consumer walks in, takes a basket, puts products in it, takes them out, scans them or has them scanned and puts them in their bag. So far, the baskets are only used to carry the products, but why wouldn’t they do anything more?
There are many possibilities: you can insert scales to automatically weigh the fruits and vegetables that you put in them, automatic scanners that will recognize the objects that you put in the basket, or even a payment terminal to no longer have to go through the checkout. Result: a smooth shopping experience, without stopping to weigh the vegetables or at the checkout, and a loyal customer thanks to this simplicity and this time saving.
4. Supply chain automation
The supply chain sector is the subject of a stark contrast : While 90% of supply chain managers believe that visibility is critical, only a third (33%) believe they have sufficient visibility. However, the supply chain is becoming more complex: downstream because consumers want more options (click and collect, home delivery on specific time slots, pick-up points, etc.), and upstream because shortages are pushing companies to multiply suppliers.
Visibility is the necessary prerequisite for automation: you cannot automatically order a product when you drop below the threshold of ten remaining units if you don’t know at all times how many units are available. The question of applications is central here: when data is transmitted by a mobile device (smartphone or IoT), it must be automatically sent by the application to the central network which will store it and distribute it to the actors concerned. Application builders, who enable drag-and-drop app creation, have a crucial role to play in supply chain automation.
Data relating to stocks, the location of the goods transported, the temperature or other parameters will then be used to make better decisions and to inform the buyer precisely in real time in the event of a delivery. Thus, the consumer who wants to know where his package is will not just know that it is in transit or delayed, but where it is, why it is delayed if necessary, and when it will arrive.
The store of tomorrow is already here, powered by AI and data flowing automatically through apps. Mobile devices are the cornerstone of this transformation and they are the focus of attention, whether it is applications to ensure data is created and flows efficiently or operational intelligence to avoid downtime. unavailability.
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Four trends that will mark retail
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