Ways Technology Is Innovating Big Box Retailers

by Carter Toni

Technology has driven the evolution of big-box retail for decades. It has become synonymous with convenience, from self-service checkouts and automated kiosks to voice recognition for mobile shopping apps. As technology evolves, so do the ways shoppers and brands interact. Intelligent technologies are quickly changing how big box companies compete. Here are some primary examples of how they’re innovating the future of retail.

Streamlining Store Operations

By gathering data to find ways to complete simple tasks efficiently, large companies have created opportunities for employees to use their time on activities with a higher impact. For instance, implementing a more significant amount of self-checkout stands in their stores frees up time for employees to assist shoppers with questions and other purchase-related opportunities. A self-checkout system minimizes long checkout lines and provides customers with added features for convenience. Contactless payment options and customer-facing displays that show digital receipts for purchases and loyalty membership rewards are valuable attributes that ensure an excellent customer experience.

Connecting With Customers

Innovations in technology provide big box retailers better support with higher resolution messaging capabilities. Replacing traditional marketing text messages using rich communication services, or RCS, allows big companies to send high-resolution audio and video messages across multiple channels. It offers real-time experiences similar to a mobile app and provides larger file sizes and better encryption, a valuable cybersecurity tool. Most importantly, it allows enterprises to reach customers on a larger scale than traditional methods.

Utilizing Robotics

Multiple time-consuming tasks need attention in large retail stores. For instance, returning misplaced items and restocking and tracking inventory take a considerable time for an employee to execute. Implementing a robotic system can facilitate these tasks, saving enormous labor costs. A robot can do a simple job like general scanning of merchandise. By pairing machine learning with artificial intelligence, it can improve customer experience and inventory accuracy while reducing employee turnover.

Using Automation

In back warehouses of large retailers, automation has become a primary process to handle inventory efficiently. Machines can load and unload inventory from supply trucks, place items on a conveyor belt, and prepare them for the store shelves. The process is a faster and more efficient way to get the merchandise ready for sale and is accomplished in a fraction of the time it can take by hand. The automation frees associates to shift their priorities to customer-related tasks, such as selling more products on the store’s main floor.

Revolutionizing Curb-Side Pick-Up

The implementation of same-day pick-up for large retail stores has revolutionized the customer experience. It allows the customer to shop for their products on a company website or mobile app from the convenience of home or wherever they need to be. They can view real-time inventory at a location that is nearest to them. Shoppers can quickly have their products available to them without having to enter the store. It has become a popular way for consumers to get the items they need when they have a busy schedule. For example, after picking up their children from school, a parent can stop by a large grocery store and pick up their items for dinner without taking the extra time necessary to sift through a large store for all their merchandise while their children are with them.

Taking Advantage of Intelligent HR

Big box companies are using technological advances to hire associates on a larger scale. Data-powered pre-employment screenings using artificial intelligence and predictive analytics have become valuable instruments for these large organizations. For instance, these tools can forecast a potential employee retention risk, financial impact, and performance level. It reduces the cost of replacing new associates showing limited skills. The use of this strategy saves billions of dollars for larger retail enterprises.

Technology has changed how people shop and how big box retailers do business. Big box retailers have decreased costs and enhanced supply chains by implementing various technologies. Advanced technology has allowed large retailers to analyze customer purchase trends to create a better customer experience.

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