Retail Tech-To listen to the 8,000 plus folks assembled at ShopTalk last week, a trade show devoted to the future of the retail ecosystem, people don’t shop anymore. Instead, they’re “on a customer journey.”
And that journey, according to Daniel Alegre, president of global partnerships at Google, is not a straight line, but a series of zigs and zags. Alegre tracked a young woman’s search for the right face cream that involved as many as 120 different touch points over a span of 55 days.
Thanks to tech, the journey is getting more interesting — dare I say weirder?
Here’s a quick romp through the tech trends you’ll be seeing more of in retail.
A Brick Renaissance
Everyone needs to get out and shop in a physical store, according to First Insight. The company reports that both men and women are spending significantly more money when they’re in-store compared with online shopping.
KYC (Know Your Customer) Meet AI (Artificial Intelligence)
If you weren’t touting AI as part of your customer-solution at ShopTalk, you weren’t there. Thanks to machine learning and stronger-than-ever image-recognition technology, the entire world of things you might want to buy is being bucketed and made searchable with a new degree of context-based granularity.
So, for example, you won’t search for a “little black dress” any longer. You’ll search for a “black dress to wear on a first date, with a plunging neckline and A-line shape.”
he holy grail is that consumers converse with their machines and trust them to do the right thing. The Canadian company Groupby talked about “semantish,” which is almost like speaking to a good friend about your desired purchase.
Others like Heuritech comb image-rich social media sites to look for patterns and predict new trends in fashion before they even happen. Google Lens, meanwhile, uses image recognition so when you snap a photo of something like a jacket, you’ll immediately see an AI-driven list of potential for-sale items that resemble the photo. As it personalizes search, machine learning will also be used to detect fraud at retail, said Greg Simpson of Synchrony.