A Year in Retail Advancements

Between whirlwind elections, shocking celebrity deaths, and storied World Series wins, 2016 has been a busy year full of news, happenings, and — of course — technological advances. Retail was no stranger to these changes, with the future of the industry more tightly linked to evolving technology than ever before. Mobile payments are expected to hit $1 trillion sales next year, digital wallets are advancing, the IoT is aiding retail in many ways while demanding security improvements, and those are just a few of the incremental increases we’ve seen in 2016.

Next year, omnichannel planning to optimize customer experience will be needed to take advantage of the market changes 2016’s advances bring to 2017. As we look forward to a new year with countless retail innovations, let’s take a look back at what we learned in the past 365 days.

Shopper Analytics

Understanding your customers has always been important, and this year saw retail strategy delving into smart analytics to specialize campaigns geared toward wooing shoppers. This added data can be used to convert shopper info into customer loyalty, something Intel-powered processing helps with. More and more shoppers are going digital and whether it’s adding POS tablets or digital signage to make customers’ in-store experience match their online expectations, Intel is focused on understanding current innovations so we can help push future evolutions in retail. These seven ways retailers use data to deliver impressive customer service are the perfect way to demonstrate the need for analytics in the next year.

Evolving POS

It’s hard to keep up on retail trends, but point-of-sales (POS) systems did a lot to stay on top of the market this year. If you want to know where POS is going, it helps to know where it’s been. Our look back on POS in the past and present can help with that. Then it’s time to look to the future. Mobile POS, vending, POS refresh, and the increasing need for POS security are all subjects tackled in this roundup of ways Intel vPro will play a key role in retail during the holiday season. Compliment that read with these four predictions for the future of POS evolution to find out why diversified POS and POS in the IoT are the ways of the future.

Need proof? This case study on how a POS update helped Morris Build-All Centres Ltd. is an educational read. And don’t forget: As POS diversifies, the need for increased security is essential. The future is more upon us now than ever, so don’t sleep on POS refresh and upgrades with these four things retailers can gain from mobile POS.

Retail in the IoT

The Internet of Things has been one of the largest conversations in technology this year, with October’s DDoS attacks taking the term and concept of the IoT into the mainstream more than ever before. While increased IoT security will be essential in 2017, the potential the IoT offers the retail market is staggering and not something to shy away from. Learn how the Intel Retail Sensor Platform (RSP) and its Intel IoT Gateway is helping brick-and-mortar stores remain relevant in the increasingly digital world. Intel RSP is also a key to IoT-enabled inventory management, saving time and money while helping retailers better assist customers to find what they’re looking for.

Kiosks and vending are two other retail advancements tied to the IoT, offering online shopping in store, the ability to quickly change signage, and other ways to tap into customers and increase their satisfaction. Speaking of, learn how digital signage is changing industries like apparel with endless inventory and dining with interactive menus. IoT devices like mobile POS and digital signage are being increasingly used, something we should see more of in 2017, so it’s important to understand why unified commerce is so important for improving omnichannel consistency to optimize customer experience.

Intel-powered IoT devices have started to convert retail stores into living, breathing things. Smart sensors help deliver inventory accuracy, which can help with timely restocking needs, while RFID tags paired with this smart platform aid retailers by reducing losses from overstocked, misplaced, or out of stock items. IoT devices are also empowering sales associates, allowing them to engage customers with accurate, at-their-fingertips information to help drives sales. By tying simple items to the IoT, Intel helped transform retail in the past year — a trend that’s sure to continue.

As old man 2016 exits and baby new year arrives, the future of retail looks bright thanks to these many tech innovations and evolutions. Make sure to stay on the forefront of retail advancements next year with Intel’s solutions by reading our blogs on the IT Peer Network. And stay abreast of the retail future as it happens with our social media feed of retail news on Twitter.