Blog | 9 January, 2018

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Retail trends for the year ahead: Technology

As we start 2018, there has been much speculation as to which trends we can expect to see in the world of retail this year. Here are a couple of technological developments we’ve picked out, which we feel retailers are likely to adopt in the months ahead.

This year will see some retailers use artificial intelligence (AI) technology to help attract more customers. Chatbots, facial recognition technology, image recognition, robotics and more will all play a greater role in customer outreach in 2018. Why? Simple – data. Retailers now have a significant amount of information and data to power AI and deliver personalised, customised and localised promotions and communications for customers.

AI in retail can be applied in many new ways across the entire product and service cycle, from manufacturing to post-sale customer service interactions. This coming year, we expect to see AI deliver both top-line and bottom-line for retailers across the value-chain.

Will 2018 be the year that Whatsapp becomes part of the shopping experience? The instant messaging app Whatsapp is likely to become part of retailers’ strategy in 2018.

Retailers need to engage with their customers in the way in which their customers want them to and to make the customer experience seamless across all touchpoints and channels.

Some retailers are already testing What’s App as a customer service and order confirmation tool so it is likely we will see wider use of this messaging channel for talking to customers, sharing special offers and promotions and, essentially, streamlining communications with retail customers at different touchpoints of their journey.