With rapid advancements in technology, the retail industry is currently going through a digital transformation – one that has not gone unnoticed by the specialist Software-as-a-Service provider BRIDGE.
What will the retail landscape look like in the future? How much will retailers be led by technology? And will the online world eventually spell the end for traditional brick-and-mortar stores?
These are some questions retailers are asking today. Based on studies of current trends and developments in the sector, BRIDGE has offered some answers in the form of an infographic, containing predictions for the future of retail – one year, five years, ten years, and fifteen years from now.
There are already visible signs of where the industry is heading, according to BRIDGE. Retail is currently experiencing a technological revolution, ushering in innovations such as ‘digital aisles’, online stock-checking, and the start of product deliveries by drone, all of which are safely predicted to become more common in a year’s time, and they will impact how consumer packaged goods and retail verticals operate.
In five years, things would start to look very different. Customised, virtual-reality experiences are the big predictions here, with BRIDGE noting how some fashion brands have already started to introduce virtual-reality dressing rooms in their stores. Another expected change is the shrinking in size of physical retail spaces, as the ever-increasing shift to online shopping leads to customers using stores more as pick-up locations for already-ordered products.
Ten years on, the predictions feel even more sci-fi by today’s standards: interactive in-store maps, and payments transacted through facial recognition and iris scans, among others.
Fifteen years from now? Here, things become more difficult to predict. However, BRIDGE expects certain developments to be inevitable, such as ‘smart’ homes and appliances on a mass scale, and products being 3D-printed from home.
Vincent Naigeon, Managing Director of BRIDGE said, “Would I say that the offline retail is dead? Definitely not, it has had to adapt for sure, but digital has formed a critical part of the research process. Technology is evolving at such a high rate for bigger retailers it makes sense to create innovation teams so that they can rapidly prototype and test. The digital and physical world will continue to grow closer together. Retailers that can harness technology that blurs those lines will succeed.”
It is a fascinating picture of things to come in the world of retail, with BRIDGE highlighting the need for organisations to be more innovative in order to stay competitive – or even relevant – in the years to come.
Picture of virtual reality/digital display in store: Intel Free Press