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e-Commerce Industry News

October 8, 2014
The not-so-distant future of retail
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October 8, 2014
Retailers will need to use new technology to engage prospects. Retailers will need to use new
technology to engage prospects.
When merchants think about the future, they may think of holograms in retail stores that can make personalized suggestions based on a retinal scan or replacing all their freight trucks with airborne, pilotless drones that can get orders from warehouses into the hands of customers in mere minutes. But what about the not-so-distant future? What are some changes we could see next year, if not sooner?

Predictive personalization
Retailers have access to a variety of data about their prospects, all tied back to their customer profiles. This gives them the ability to recognize patterns and trends among like-minded shoppers. Merchants can already offer pertinent suggestions based on past purchase history, but what if that went one more step forward and retailers began offering items to customers before they knew they needed them?

Marcel Munoz, an enterprise technology expert, recently spoke to Multichannel Merchant about this concept and noted the example of pregnancy. Perhaps women buy different products based on the stage of pregnancy and retailers could send them accurate product recommendations ahead of the next trimester? Another example could be something as simple as a roll of toilet paper - retailers could look at how quickly people go through rolls and then send a recommendation to prospects when they predict shoppers will need more.

Embracing more channels
Merchants have done an effective job at offering customers the omnichannel retailing experience, which enables prospects to shop from wherever they so desire. But there will always be new devices and technologies coming to the market, each with its own unique set of benefits.

Google Glass is one of the latest devices tech experts are talking about but it does not stop there - smart watches and other tech gadgets may also soon be viable shopping channels.

New revenue opportunities
Retailers are famous for being able to take razor-thin profit margins and run with them to launch a successful company. However, there are always ways for retailers to drive even more revenue.

For example, they could consider monetizing on-site search much like Google does, perhaps even working with other retailers to promote products they may not sell. Similarly, they could offer something like in-store pickup for a competing merchant for a cut of the sale.

The retail industry is always evolving and changing, and part of being a successful merchant is being able to utilize new technology and eCommerce solutions to capitalize on upcoming opportunities.