Three Technology Upgrades Retailers Should Make Right Now

Brian Gallagher

It feels like so much has changed in the past six months. The supply chain is broken, both for your business and for the digital transformations you had planned. Inflation has skyrocketed. Labor and experience shortages have impacted both your business and the digital transformations you had planned. Consumers have shifted spending priorities to experiential segments like dining and travel.

As tumultuous as all of this has been, the good news is that each one of these challenges require the same digital transformations you probably planned to invest in anyway. The “why” might have changed—but not the “how.” These three technology transformations can drive employee productivity, employee satisfaction, supply chain management, customer experience, and revenue all at the same time.

  1. Smart stores improve experience and optimize available labor: The amazing thing about a smart store is the ability to meet customer experience (CX) and employee experience (EX) expectations at the same time. Smart store technologies are wide reaching, but some of the most impactful areas include CameraVision, AI, and IoT devices. AI solutions that allow businesses to react in non-linear ways to elevate a shopping experience are creating the new “wow” experience. CameraVision is driving automated solutions for digital marketing, employee engagement, checkout, and security. IoT devices are eliminating mundane tasks and activating more productive employee activities. Applying AI to your most significant pain points not only eliminates the pain, it also elevates the business outcomes for customers and employees. These types of solutions are available for all sizes and segments within retail and hospitality. It sounds scary, but these solutions can fairly easily provide amazing new experiences for customers and employees.

  2. Mobile solutions are critical to support CX and EX: We can all agree that we live in a mobile world. Simply put, mobile solutions are the only way to keep employees engaged and productive. There were approximately 6.2 billion smartphone users worldwide in 2021, and retailers need to embrace this world across all positions within the brand. The savviest retailers will look to elevate the role of associates in the overall store experience through mobile technologies.

  3. Networking and security infrastructure is your top priority: Finally, the foundation of our new digital world can take center stage. For years, retail’s CIOs and CSOs have begged for investment. They warned of the ramifications to both customer experience and business productivity if smart investments were not supported. Retailers must now invest in infrastructure, while also implementing these new technologies at the same time. The digital foundation has never been more critical. The ability to meet customer expectations and improve employee productivity cannot be achieved without optimizing your networks and security solutions.

In a world that has seen enormous amounts of change in just the last six months, there is one constant. Technologies are leading the way in improving every single pain point you are facing. Prioritizing and implementing these technologies is a heavy lift for most lean IT retail organizations. Identifying the right partners to support fast and efficient deployment will be the key to all digital success. A great partner like Connection can support your new retail digital world from conceptual design through configuration and deployment.

If you’d like to talk more about how these technologies can impact your retail business or how Connection can help bring them to life, please contact us today!

Brian is the Retail Strategy & Business Development Director at Connection. Brian joined Connection in 2016 as the Retail subject matter expert (SME) after leading National Store Operations teams for more than 20 years. Brian has a deep understanding of today’s Store Experience and Customer Engagement solutions requirements and works collaboratively with customers and partners to create complete business solutions to drive customer engagement and revenues. Outside of work, he enjoys traveling with his wife and cheering on the Cleveland Indians.