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Written by Andréa Williams, Head of Marketing
1000s of retail tech heads gathered at Olympia, London, last week as we reunited once again at the Retail Technology Show 2022. A lot of the distractions from the last two years were set aside whilst we all looked forward to the future of retail and how we can get there!
Here are our highlights from last week:
One key takeaway is that although the metaverse is coming, it’s not a retail priority, and shouldn’t be for another few years. There are a lot more pinch points for retailers at the moment and a lot of macro factors to navigate whilst we still come out of the pandemic period, all issues which will continue to disrupt the sector for a few more years.
“What does the future of retail look like? Well, one thing for sure is that it won’t be in the metaverse… Retail is a human interaction, it’s a personal thing.” Andrew Busby, Global Retail Senior Director at Software AG and Founder of Retail Reflections
Although now isn’t the time for the metaverse in retail, that doesn’t mean it should be neglected. Get to know what is happening in the space, check out what the social media giants are doing with it and think about how you could eventually use it. But don’t just use tech for the sake of tech, how will it add value to the customer experience? How will it enhance the relationship you have with your customers?
Andrew Busby, Global Retail Senior Director at Software AG and Founder of Retail Reflections, spoke to Retail Assist about what he believes the future of retail looks like:
Amazon’s walk out technology was arguably the highlight of the show floor. Amazon plan to elevate the retail experience with their ‘Just Walk Out’ technology, meaning shoppers can simply walk into a store, grab their products, and leave.
The tech already exists in retail, many Amazon own stores, hospitality environments and stadiums. In the UK, Amazon have rolled out the technology to a Sainsbury’s store in Richmond and eventually you’ll be able to tap and go with your card or mobile payment, as you would on the tube.
The tech works through a mix of AI and cameras mounted on the ceiling of the stores to track shoppers around the store, charging them on their departure. This enables a seamless and truly convenient experience for shoppers and is expected to be a big hit in the convenience sector.
Sarah-Jane Nightingale, Business Development Manager at Retail Assist, describes the Just Walk Out tech in her highlights from the Retail Tech Show: