Retail Tech Is Changing How We Shop

Retail tech is changing the way people shop
By Carlos M. Gutierrez, Jr.

The advent of new technologies has impacted nearly every business. It is difficult to identify any industry that has been spared of the disruptive power of technology. From transportation, to entertainment, to banking, new innovations have forced long time market actors to either adapt new technologies or cede market share to more agile, technologically savvy competitors.

One could argue that no industry has been more directly impacted by new technologies than retail. The development and continued growth of e-commerce, improvements in mobile technology, and increased social media use have not only forced retailers to re-evaluate long-standing practices, but more importantly, they have forever changed consumer behavior, habits, and expectations.

As technology and consumer behaviors have changed so has the traditional retail model. Once favored by consumers, in-store shopping has been steadily losing ground. Driven by increased internet accessibility and growing smart phone market penetration, in 2016, 51 percent of Americans reported preferring purchasing products online, with 67 percentof millennials preferring e-commerce to in-store shopping. Globally, in 2016 e-commerce sales increased at a year-over-year rate of 26 percent, while at the same time, traditional brick and mortar stores faced flat or declining sales. Not surprisingly, the impact of technology and changes in consumer behavior are being felt by traditional retailers; in 2017 alone, 9 U.S. retail chains entered bankruptcy protection and since October of 2016,90,000 retail employees have lost their jobs.

Read more at Huffington Post.

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