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What Emerging Technology Will Drive More Retail Growth?

February 22nd, 2018


Looking back at the Retail Innovation Summit 2018 in Sydney Telstra CIC on the 20th February 2018 it is clear that the challenges retail industry faces in the fast-paced retail world are very real.

The summit, positioned under a common theme ‘Data Driven Retailing’, featured a number of workshops with industry experts, behind the scenes access and the latest industry thinking and success stories from prominent industry leaders and CEOs for example from Facebook, Iconic, Microsoft or Adobe as well as some representatives from some Telstra customers like Woolworths or Australia Post, to name a few.

The day was kicked off by with a key note, live-stream speech from Scott Galloway and Matt Shay closed the sessions with an informative interview. Scott is a founder of L2 and Professor at NYU Stern and he discussed innovative ways companies can fight back the challenges and competition. Matt Shay, President and CEO of National Retail Federation, reflected on ideas in creating a positive environment in which the retail industry can thrive.

As mentioned before, the underlying summit theme was ‘Data Driven Retailing‘. It is therefore no surprise that everyone was keen to discover how can we get more data generating invaluable insights and what can be done with that data.

Some of the challenges that were brought up are well known to all in the industry. From booming rent prices, shrinking retail footprint to rocketing online sales, IoT, Big Data or defining new strategies to engage with the ever more elusive customer.

It’s not all doom and gloom, though.

Emerging technologies are constantly reinventing the retail as we know it. Namely, video analytics.

Increasingly, video is becoming another data source used by retailers to back up data-driven decisions. Remarkably, video is still not being utilised to its full potential as a business insights tool. Video, being a passive system, can be engaged to verify what is actually happening in store. Measuring foot traffic, wifi use & tracking, people counting, dwell time, store layout utilisation and more will transform the face of retail. Nothing is 100% accurate, however having access to video allows businesses to visual verify the data being collected – this is what will allow retailers to make the physical world digital.

Some other interesting points out of the RIS is the potential for Voice to be the next ‘big thing’ in retail, more so than well-known technology such as augmented and virtual reality, where we will be able to order products by simply saying “I need more batteries”. Another revelation was that brick and mortar retail is not going away, rather that the function is changing from a place of transaction to an environment for experience.

Now watch AFN’s February TechTalk solely dedicated to new ways of generating retail growth:

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