Trends in Retail Technology in 2021

Barcode technology

Last Updated on 2021-05-30

Just like many other industries, the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted the retail realm in 2020. Adapting technology became a necessity for all sorts of retailers to cater to the new normal. Since the pandemic hasn’t ended, most of these changes are here, along with some new ones. Here are the trends that the retail world will see in 2021. 

1. Digital Transformation 

According to Shawn Fitzgerald, research director of market research firm IDC, digital transformation is about applying “third-platform technologies to transform decision-making.” Retailers must use technology to unlock new innovation sources rather than just upgrading or modernizing existing legacy systems. 

For example, Cloud computing plays a critical role in achieving scalability and agility. Retailers will need to create a  cloud enablement strategy and include specific technologies to align with the business to drive today’s customer shopping experience through an omnichannel experience. Part of this cloud strategy will be to incorporate barcode technology into web applications to ensure ease of use for online customer purchases. 

Another part of this strategy will be based on, “Go to where your customers are and make it easy for them to purchase.” Everyone is on their phone, with close to 3.8 billion people; half of the world’s population will be using smartphones in 2021. Retailers must go to where today’s customers are, which is on the smartphone.  Barcode scanning SDKs can be effectively integrated into both web and mobile applications to allow an easier method of shopping for your customers.

2. AR and Virtual Reality for Today’s Consumers

According to Nielsen’s survey in 2019, 51% of consumers showed a willingness to use Augmented Reality to assess products, while both AR and Virtual Reality came out as the top technologies they’d like to use every day for assistance. 

As more shoppers are opting for online shopping, Augmented Reality will help retailers bridge the gap between the physical and the digital. 

The technology is not just for mega-brands, like Home Depot, IKEA, or Target, because small businesses can also leverage its impact to reap benefits. An example is a feature introduced by Shopify to help brands build their own AR experiences. Shopify reported that products that use AR content have a 94% higher conversion rate than products that did not. Brands must consider making the most out of Augmented Reality to boost their business in 2021.  See Dynamsoft’s developer website to learn how to embed QR code to leverage Augmented Reality for retail. 

3. Omnichannel Retail

online retail trend

The online retail landscape is flourishing; however, 92% of the retail market is still offline (brick and mortar). According to the Harvard Business Review, 73% of consumers use various channels during their purchase journey. 

Online channels are in the midst of a pressure test that will eventually redraw the industry landscape and enhance business performance. Digital integration of channel and internet networks is destined to become an important strategic choice and path to transforming many brands.     

Offline retailers are building a more substantial online presence via social media, digital ads, email marketing, SEO, and OTT media services.  These technologies are being used to drive customers online and back into brick and mortar stores to increase the overall potential customer purchase further. A 2019 Forbes study found that retail sales increased by $50 when shopping in-store. 

Amazon’s brick-and-mortar grocery store is a perfect example of how omnichannel retail is thriving in modern times. Customers can either order online or visit the store to make a purchase or pick up the same day.  The barcode on the app indicates their purchase for ease of curbside pick up and can be quickly scanned for confirmation of pick up.        

Try the Dynamsoft Barcode Reader SDK

Find out how Dynamsoft Barcode Reader SDK, an enterprise-grade barcode scanning SDK help your retail business keep up with the changing trends by downloading its free 30-Day trial. With our SDK, you can create high-speed and reliable barcode scanner software to meet your business needs. Contact us to know more.

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