The COVID-19 pandemic continues to leave its marks on the economy all over the world.
Consumers have less visited the brick and mortar stores. Hence, this has forced retailers to hasten their moves into e-commerce.
The move is not without a challenge. These businesses need to figure out the best practice for their in-store experience.
According to Forbes, it will be a challenge for high-end and luxury retailers that have struggled to translate their brand successfully online. Meanwhile, mass retailers that don’t have physical stores are missing out on impulse purchasing.
So, retail experts anticipate that the changes in shopper behaviors because of the pandemic are likely to become permanent. Plus, businesses have to change their focus to e-commerce and invest in technology for the transition. It is because consumers are expecting convenience, personalization, and value from them.
The American business magazine mentioned four tech startups helping businesses to bridge the gap between a physical store customer experience and online sales.
A Merchandising-as-a-Service platform that recreates all the elements of an in-store experience and is used to drive sales for clients like Neiman Marcus, Target, and Home Depot.
Neiman Marcus Connect app drove $60 million in sales in the first 90 days of launch. With the Neiman Marcus Connect App, the platform provides the data and digital toolset to offer stylist-powered omnichannel experiences at scale, which the app harnesses, enabling store associates and stylists to give meticulous styling experiences to customers both in-store and online.
This tech startup uses social media data and AI to analyze influential innovators and pick up emerging trends before they become well-known.
Nextatlas held a pop-up shop at the Westfield Center in London last year, basing its stock entirely on what was trending on social media that day. It focused on analyzing over 400,000 innovators, or influencers, of global trends, using machine learning to assess what’s hot and what’s not.
Restaurants are now venturing into the deep technology market. Last year, McDonald purchased Dynamic Yield for an estimated $300 million to make its menus more technologically dynamic. Hence, enabling the fast-food giant to supply digital menu boards at the drive-thru that use machine learning to deliver goods based on consumer preference, time of day, and what is popular.
In 2018, Nike acquired Invertex, an Israel-based computer vision company that develops e-commerce applications for scanning and imaging technologies. According to Nike’s chief digital officer, Adam Sussman, the acquisition aimed to improve its digital technology offering, particularly in computer vision and AI, and ‘build the most compelling customer experience at every touchpoint.’