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The Trends Fueling Technology Deployments in Retail

Mike Korcuba
03 October, 2023
by Mike Korcuba

093023-Blog-SelfpayThe retail digital transformation has been underway for quite a while. Driven first by wireless, mobile technologies and self-checkout, it was accelerated by the global pandemic. In 2023, the retail digital transformation is still evolving and accelerating in unexpected ways.

Telaid recently evaluated data from our own business in an attempt to characterize critical retail technology trends. The results were too interesting not to share and are detailed in 5 Trends Driving Lightspeed Retail Transformation. If you haven’t already, I highly recommend you review this study.

Our internal numbers echo third party sources citing continued growth in retail technology deployments, despite economic uncertainty. Technology deployments surged an eye-popping 88% in 2020 over 2019, jumped 11% in 2021, and grew another 18% in 2022. Another year of double-digit growth in on track for 2023. It’s quite clear that there’s more to these deployments than POS upgrades and new wi-fi infrastructure. So what’s driving the growth in technology deployments? Here are some thoughts.

Labor shortages in retail

Did you know 87% of retailers worried about labor shortages in 2023? Grappling with high turnover and too few employees, retailers are turning to automation technologies for relief. Self-serve kiosks, automation technologies, AI and a host of other advanced technologies are improving efficiency and performing menial tasks previously handled by employees.

According to Advantage Outlook, 49% of retailers say they are using self-checkout to reduce reliance on labor and expect the changes to be permanent. The use of technology to reduce reliance on scarce labor resources is driving urgent technology deployments in retail.

Demand for a true omnichannel experience

New generations of shoppers demand a seamless omnichannel experience. Gen X shoppers, in particular, expect to order online and arrive within the hour for curbside pickup. You’d better have systems in place to deliver. In a survey of 1,000 U.S. adults, more than 75% feel that technology makes shopping better. Technologies that make the customer experience better are those that provide real-time inventory visibility, reduce friction in the checkout process, and deliver relevant promotions and messaging.

Staying ahead of the curve

With consumer spending cooling and the retail space more competitive than ever, technology is the key to staying ahead of the curve. In many ways, the use of advanced technologies is uncharted territory. As a result, retailers are designing innovative solutions and then piloting them to assess impact and build more tangible ROI models. Once insight is secured, they are racing to deploy nationwide.

We’ve had cases where customers are deliberately asking us to deploy technologies as uninstall-ready in case they change directions. The retail landscape is a live experimentation lab, where use cases are explored, options compared and results are tracked.

Getting retail technology deployments right

Given the speed of the retail digital transformation, retailers have every incentive to pursue careful planning, intentional design and accelerated technology adoption. Telaid can help you design deploy and support technologies across your store, from self-checkout to infrastructure, automation technologies, physical security and more. Connect with me on LinkedIn to talk about how we can help you achieve your business objectives faster.

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