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  • Writer's pictureMarc Primo

Why investing in retail tech matters this 2023

This is an article ‘Why investing in retail tech matters this 2023’ by Marc Primo

The retail industry is no stranger to technological advancements. With consumers spending more than ever, tech has become a necessity for retailers around the world. As more businesses and startups emerge in 2023, we expect to see even more significant disruption in the industry.

Let's explore five retail technology trends that modern retailers should look out for this year.

Automating brick-and-mortar transactions without cashiers or staff

As self-checkout alternatives gain popularity among customers, more merchants are attempting to break the mold by opening stores without cashiers and other employees. A test of Amazon's "Just Walk Out" technology, combining sensor fusion, deep learning, and computer vision, has already been launched in Seattle. Consumers may use the app to scan merchandise on their own, and the system will keep track of everything they pick up and charge their Amazon-registered cards when they leave the shop.

As personnel isn't confined to the cashier and there is more space for items, they increase in-store productivity. Also, customers appreciate the fewer lines and the little interference with their mobile phone conversations or audiobooks they are listening to while they buy.

More businesses will be making these kinds of investments this year, and to reduce human contact since COVID-19 taught everyone about social distancing, additional "contactless" checkout alternatives are being established globally and online.

Here are a few examples of how today's modern retailers are increasing their profits through innovative tech investments:

AR Shopping is in

Augmented reality (AR) is poised to disrupt the retail industry, particularly for clothing and accessory retailers. With AR technology, retailers can create virtual experiences allowing customers to see and interact with products in ways that were impossible before. It also helps customers make smarter purchasing decisions by allowing them to try on wearables or sample their features before they checkout.

One of the most notable ways AR has affected retail is through virtual fitting rooms. Customers can use AR to see how clothing, accessories, and even makeup will look on them without trying on the products physically. This feature has improved the shopping experience for customers by reducing the amount of time and effort required to find the right product.

Virtual fitting rooms allow customers to try on items without leaving their homes, with many retailers offering "try at home for free" or "free shipping return" policies. Ikea and Amazon use ARKit-based apps to show customers what furniture will look like in their homes with smartphone cameras.

Leveraging on experiential engagement

AR has also helped retailers increase engagement with their customers. For example, some retailers have used AR to create interactive displays that allow customers to learn more about the product and its features. This has helped retailers create a more immersive and engaging shopping experience, leading to increased sales.

From a marketing standpoint, the tech allows retailers to create more engaging and personalized shopping experiences. Retailers who invest in AR have better footing in creating custom experiences based on preferences and needs, which can further help build customer loyalty and increase sales. By the end of this year, experts project over 1.4 billion AR device users that retailers can tap with their AR-driven marketing campaigns.

Aside from increasing conversions, retailers can also reduce costs associated with traditional product displays. Virtual product displays are gaining more traction today than physical ads and displays which can be more expensive to produce and maintain.

Delighting loyal customers with subscription perks and POS convenience

Since 2020, more consumers have turned toward subscription-based goods. Amazon's "Subscribe & Save" feature offers users discounts on products when they subscribe to regular deliveries of goods like washing powder, tissue paper, cosmetics, and more. As it turns out, the move appealed to many customers who began purchasing subscription boxes.

Aside from gaining more advantages from reward points, loyal customers are also enjoying expanded innovations when it comes to point-of-sale (POS) systems.

Since the advent of the payment system, many shops are increasingly sending customers' receipts through email or SMS. Today, employees of large businesses like Apple and Walmart carry fewer point-of-sale devices for cashless transactions. These tools make it simple for staff to quickly check inventories, while Walmart's in-store tools let staff place orders.

Streamlining better productivity with tech

The way merchants create shift plans is changing thanks to today's modern productivity tools. Scheduling is now more uncomplicated than ever, with a single app that an entire team can utilize. Weekly work schedules can be tracked and monitored, employee accountability is increased, and communication and cooperation are streamlined with in-app communication, chat groups, and shared authorization tiers.

Retail businesses are revolutionizing how they manage their businesses by enjoying the conveniences of all-in-one apps and integrated systems that cover the entire workflow and facets of the company by linking departmental processes into one system. Feature-rich mobile apps for iOS and Android devices are widely available, so even small businesses can stay on top of things even if they are on the go. Through cloud-based technologies, more companies see improved productivity, faster turnarounds, and increased team cohesion, leading to better customer service, engagement, and conversions.

Retail tech will continue to evolve

The retail industry continues to evolve rapidly, driven by tech advancements that are transforming how we buy and sell. As it turns out, we've only scratched the surface when creating more innovative ways to shop and engage customers in both physical and online stores. More retailers also continue to invest in new solutions to improve their operations and enhance the shopping experience for customers.

From automated brick-and-mortar transactions to augmented reality shopping and subscription perks, retailers are embracing new technologies that make it easier for customers to find what they need and make purchases. These advancements are increasing productivity, building customer loyalty, and driving sales.

As a consumer, it's exciting to see how retailers leverage technology to create unique shopping experiences. On the other hand, business owners can take advantage of how these investments can lead to improved efficiencies, increased customer engagement, and, ultimately, a more successful business.

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