Retailing Technology: Everything Retailers Need to Know

Written by 
Dee Set Staff
7 June, 2023

Retailing technology such as image recognition software has revolutionised the way businesses interact with customers, providing innovative solutions to enhance their shopping experiences.

From enhancing customer experiences to streamlining operations and boosting sales, retail technology has become an indispensable tool for retailers worldwide. To navigate this dynamic landscape and stay ahead of the curve, retailers need to be well-versed in the various facets of retail technology.

Think of retail technology as your secret weapon to conquer the hearts of customers, streamline your operations, and skyrocket your sales.

Throughout this blog, we'll delve into the types of retailing technology and innovations that will continue to shape the industry. We will explore the wide array of benefits that retail technology offers, including:

  • Enhanced customer experiences
  • Improved operational efficiency
  • Increased sales and revenue

What exactly is retailing technology?

Retailing technology is like having a tech-savvy sidekick who helps you conquer the challenges of the modern world. It's all about leveraging the power of digital innovations to transform your shopping experience into a streamlined effortless process. 

Some of the latest retail technology trends include the use of augmented reality, natural language processing, and advanced analytics. Augmented reality offers a more immersive experience for customers, allowing them to try on clothes or visualise products before making a purchase. Natural language processing helps businesses better understand customer behaviour and answer customer questions more efficiently.

Retailing technology can also help you with merchandising. With the assistance of point of sale (POS) systems and other technology, you can more effectively determine what is the best product positioning and what will give you the best visibility on the shelves. 

Whether it's online or offline, retailing technology is rapidly changing the way businesses operate and engage with their customers. By partnering with the right retail technology solutions provider, you can leverage the latest digital solutions to improve your business performance and compete effectively in a fast-changing industry.

Types of retailing technology

There are multiple types of retailing technology to choose from, ranging from easy-to-understand tech solutions all the way to straight sci-fi-worthy technology. 

Image recognition software

Image recognition software functions as digital eyes that can see and understand the world of visuals! This remarkable technology utilises artificial intelligence and advanced algorithms to analyse and interpret images, allowing computers to 'see' and make sense of visual content.

Image recognition software is like an assistant with the ability to identify objects, recognise faces, and understand the content of images - just like a human except, well, it isn't. That's the power of image recognition software.

It can identify and classify objects, such as everyday items, animals, or even specific products such as your own brand products. In the retail world, it can be used for visual search, allowing customers to find products based on images rather than text. 

Here are some of the uses of image recognition software:

  • It can assist in inventory management by automatically identifying and categorising products.
  • It can recognise different types of clothing or track the freshness of perishable items.
  • It can quickly identify on-shelf availability and address problems with stock.

Point of sale (POS) systems 

It's the all-in-one tool that handles everything from ringing up purchases to tracking inventory and managing sales data. At its core, a POS system is a combination of hardware and software that enable retailers to process transactions efficiently and accurately.

POS systems let you ring up purchases with a few taps, scan barcodes like a pro, and even accept various payment methods like credit cards, mobile wallets, and maybe even futuristic payment options we haven't even dreamed of yet.

But a POS system is more than just a fancy cash register. It's a multitasking system that can do it all! Need to track your inventory in real time? Check. Want to generate sales reports to analyse your business performance? Check. How about managing customer loyalty programs and issuing gift cards? You got it!

Still have questions? Check how we significantly improved Tommee Tippee's sales with a POS system and visual merchandising!

Inventory management systems 

An inventory management system keeps track of every product in your store, from the hottest-selling items to the tiniest widgets.

It knows exactly what you have in stock and where it's located. At its core, an inventory management system is a sophisticated software solution that helps retailers manage their inventory efficiently and effectively. It allows you to monitor stock levels, track sales trends, and streamline your supply chain processes. 

Say goodbye to the days of manual counting and Excel spreadsheets – an inventory management system automates and simplifies it all.

Customer relationship management (CRM) systems

These powerful systems are here to help you build strong relationships with your customers, understand their needs, and provide exceptional service.

CRM systems offer a wealth of features to enhance customer engagement. They allow you to capture and store customer information, including contact details, purchase history, and preferences. You can segment your customers based on demographics, behaviours, or other criteria, enabling you to create tailored marketing campaigns that speak directly to their needs.

E-commerce platforms

Not exactly what you think of when it comes to retailing technology, but it is a form of technology that has progressed the way retailers trade. E-commerce platforms are digital marketplaces that bring the thrill of shopping right to your customers' fingertips!

These platforms are the technological backbone of online retail, enabling businesses to showcase and sell their products to a global audience. It's a 24/7 marketplace where you can showcase your products, process transactions, and deliver a seamless shopping experience - all from the comfort of your customer's computer screen. 

The impact of retailing technology

Retailing technology has had a significant impact on customers and businesses alike. Through the implementation of advanced technologies, retail businesses have been able to improve their sales and operational efficiency while at the same time reducing their carbon footprint. 

One of the most notable impacts of retailing technology is that it’s allowed retailers to provide personalised and efficient customer experiences, online and offline. 

Technology advancements such as predictive analytics, natural language processing, and advanced inventory management have enabled retailers to: 

  • Better understand customer demands
  • Segment customers into demographics
  • Make informed decisions that lead to increased customer satisfaction and sales

Online shopping experiences have also been transformed through the implementation of digital solutions that provide customers with immersive experiences that are engaging and simplified.

Not to mention that retail technology advancements have led to increased productivity in businesses. With the use of technology such as autonomous delivery vehicles, faster delivery, and supply chain management tools, retailers can streamline their operations and improve their bottom-line performance. The use of technology has also led to improved workforce communication and collaboration, allowing businesses to delegate tasks and track projects in real time, leading to increased productivity and efficiency.

The future of retailing technology

Technology has been revolutionising the retail industry, and it will keep doing so. New trends are emerging constantly and it's important for retailers to stay up to date with the latest trends in order to remain competitive.

  • Virtual Try-Ons: With the increasing trend of online shopping, there is a never-ending quest to enhance customer experience. Virtual try-on, which uses augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technology, allows customers to visualise products before making a purchase. This technology enables businesses to provide personalised recommendations, create a more engaging shopping experience, and increase sales.
  • Artificial Intelligence: Artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming more advanced and is transforming the entire retail industry. AI has changed massively in the past decade and is taking over many sectors, including retail. Should you be worried? No - AI is a friend, not a foe. Retailers can use AI-powered chatbots to improve customer service by providing 24/7 assistance to customers. AI is also being used to analyse customer data, generate personalised product recommendations, and optimise inventory management.
  • Internet of Things: The Internet of Things (IoT) is an interconnected web of everyday objects that transforms them into smart, data-generating devices. In simpler terms, it's the concept of connecting physical objects to the internet, enabling them to communicate and share information with each other and with us humans. The Internet of Things (IoT) has already started to play a major role in the retail industry - with the likes of Amazon Go stores leading the game. Retailers are using IoT to improve supply chain management, automate inventory tracking, and deliver personalised shopping experiences. IoT-enabled devices such as smart shelves, beacons, and RFID tags allow retailers to track inventory in real time, resulting in more efficient operations and increased sales.
  • Digitalised Shelf Edge Labels: Or sometimes known as electronic shelf labels (ESL). ESLs do the same as shelf labels: provide pricing and product information on store shelves but instead of the traditional paper, it is a digitised version on an electronic display. It is currently being trialled in Aldi and Lidl stores - with other stores such as Morrisons and M&S using them on a smaller scale. The idea is to create a more dynamic shopping experience and it allows for real-time updates and synchronisation with the store’s pricing and inventory database. 
  • Mobile Point of Sale: Mobile point of sale (mPOS) systems are similar to any other POS system but instead they are on a mobile device. They're becoming increasingly popular among retailers. These systems allow sales associates to complete transactions on a mobile device, providing a seamless checkout experience for customers. This technology is particularly beneficial for retailers with smaller stores or pop-up shops, as it provides flexibility and mobility in terms of payment processing.
  • Click and Collect: The ultimate convenience for shoppers, with the rise in online shopping, it opened space for a new form of shopping that combined online with offline shopping. We have also seen a rise in the consolidation of high street retailers partnering up with larger supermarket stores to create more destinations across the country. Ultimately, adding to the overall efficiency of Click and Collect and enhancing the customer’s shopping experience. 

The impact of these technology trends on customer engagement and sales cannot be understated. As the retail industry continues to evolve, businesses that keep up with technological advancements are more likely to succeed in the ever-changing market.

Looking to implement retailing technology? Here's how Dee Set can help you.

At Dee Set, we offer a people-led approach to field marketing. Our goal is never to replace individuals with technology but enhance the individual experience with retailing technology.

Retailing technology can help you enhance your customers’ experience and also the people that work in retail. It increases productivity, leading to innovation and creation. 

Our data-led approach is what sets us apart from the rest. We use retailing technology to gather actionable data that your business can use to achieve your goals. 

Interested in our approach? Contact our team today to see how retailing technology can help you.

Dee Set Logistics Ltd/Dee Set Confectionery Ltd, trading as Dee Set, registered in England, Scotland and Wales. Registered No: SC208421/04297287.Vat No: 896110414.