Analysis of the report 'Future of Retail' published by Raconteur in March this year, indicates several new technologies are imminent to arrive to the retail sector.

Indeed, as multiple stores (N.B. brands with more than five stores nationally) like New Look, Maplin and Toys 'R' Us close at a rapid pace, retail outlets across the nation are beginning to look to technology as a tool to revitalise the industry.

89% of global retail executives claim that their organisations must accelerate their pace of innovation simply to remain viable. Whilst 75% expect to make moderate to extensive investments in embedded artificial intelligence (AI) solutions over the next three years.

A quote from the report reveals:

Mobiel phone

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"Retailers that proactively figure out how to enhance customer experience and add value through services and product innovation will be the one to thrive. What is certain is retailers need to be at the top of their game."

'Future of Retail' published by Raconteur, March 2018

OnBuy has highlighted the 9 new technologies to note in retail 2018.

1. Personalised Promotions

Personalised promotions can be sent to shoppers' phones, sending them notifications of offers around the store using in-store beacons.

2. Facial Recognition

Facial recognition is a key component to checkout-free stores, identifying customers as they walk in and automatically charging them for products they buy.

3. Digital Price Tags

Discount stickers will be a thing of the past as digital price tags will be able to update and optimise prices in real time – particularly useful for foods with a short shelf life in supermarkets.

4. Connected Cameras

Connected recording security cameras around the store not only identify customers but track the products they bag and add them to a virtual checkout.

Security camera

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5. Autonomous Shopping Baskets

Autonomous mobile shopping baskets follow customers around the store, automatically charge for products placed and transport goods to cars or using drones for home delivery.

6. Cognitive Computing Technology

Cognitive computing technology enables retailers to recommend products based on customer preferences or previous purchases.

7. Drone Delivery

Deliveries are often the most expensive method of shipping for logistics and courier firms, particularly in rural areas. As a result, drones will be used for short-distance or last-mile deliveries, much like this micro drone.

8. Inventory-Tracking Sensors

Inventory-tracking sensors can recognise empty shelves, while autonomous robots will be able to replenish them, enabling in-store staff to deliver more value-added services to customers.

9. In-Store Robots

In-store humanoid robots can interact with customers and deal with simple questions, stock-checking or product queries.


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Further, in terms of personalising the in-store experience with location technology, the top future personalisation techniques rated by global retailers are:

1 Store Visits

Ability to customise store visits.

2 Alerts

Real-time alerts deploying employees to location to assist shoppers.

3 Specific

Know when specific customers are in store.

4 Loyalty

Alert when loyal customers walk through the door.

5 Whose Who

Know where specific customers are in store.

6 Online to Store

Alert when customers arrive in car park to pick up online order.