Story image

5 retail technology predictions from Manhattan Associates

09 Mar 18

Manhattan Associates predicts five key technology trends that will influence the Australian and New Zealand retail environments and business strategies in 2018.

“As consumer expectations continue to rise in a fast-changing retail environment, retailers are seeking new ways to succeed,” says Manhattan Associates’ A/NZ managing director Raghav Sibal.

“With the pace of innovation increasing, we anticipate retailers will double down on technology deployments in the year ahead.”

Increased personalisation of shopping experiences

Digitally-savvy consumers are demanding personalised shopping experiences from retailers.

However, store staff and call centre agents historically have been unable to offer a personalised experience, lacking an omnichannel view of the customer and their behaviour.

In 2018, new technologies will enable retailers to combine unstructured customer conversation data with structured order information allowing store and call centre staff to improve service.

Retailers have long struggled with multiple applications and disparate data points lacking a single, comprehensive view of the customer.

More flexible checkout experiences

Retailers are expected to move from traditional fixed POS systems to more flexible approaches as consumers increasingly adopt Apple Pay and innovative contactless payment experiences.

Retailers are expected to seek standardised mobile POS systems that enable payment throughout the store and act as a one-stop shop for inventory management, browsing, recommendations and customer data, driving engagement with fast, easy to use technology applications.

Accelerated automation integration

Retailers have delivered huge service level improvements and accelerated goods flows in recent years by deploying advanced warehouse management systems and automated equipment within their warehouses.

Long-term success is dependent on striking the right balance between man and machine and using centralised software that synchronises both human and technological capital.

This year we will see retailers do more than just dip their toe in the water when it comes to software and automation adoption, but they must remember to start this process from the ground up.

The machine will evolve over the course of many years which will mean the centralised software orchestrating everything – technologies, people and processes within the warehouse – will need to evolve with it.

This is why retailers are seeking centralised cloud-based systems that can be upgraded to advance innovation.

Reimagined use of AI-based technologies

This year, retailers are expected to pivot from futuristic AI, virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies to embrace more pragmatic uses of machine learning within their back-end supply chain operations.

Warehouse management systems will advance in 2018. With a machine-learning capability they can sense and learn, so retailers can optimise the release of work to the warehouse floor to maximise service levels and operational efficiency.

Greater implementation of employee engagement solutions

Millennials are the new workforce and more of them than ever before are working in retail, presenting retailers with an engagement challenge.

Employee engagement today requires more visual, graphic-based content that is personal and digital.

In 2018 retailers will look beyond traditional engagement channels to facilitate the sharing of thoughts and feedback in more creative and intuitive ways.

Workday customers start deployments to AWS infrastructure
Business software vendor Workday has turned it's previously announced AWS partnership into a reality.
Royole's FlexPai: So bendable phablets are a reality now
A US-based firm called Royole is delivering on that age-old problem of not being able to fold up your devices (who hasn't ever wished they could fold their phone up...)
How to leverage cloud for data-driven business ops
The next gen of cloud-based data platform services are flexible and cost-effective so even small organisations can unlock data insights.
What MSPs can learn from Datto’s Channel Ransomware Report
While there have been less high profile attacks making the headlines, the frequency of attacks is, in fact, increasing.
Cisco expands security capabilities of SD­-WAN portfolio
Until now, SD-­WAN solutions have forced IT to choose between application experience or security.
IDC - Global digital transformation spend to near $2T by 2022
Hardware and services spending will account for more than 75% of all DX spending in 2019.
AlgoSec delivers native security management for Azure Firewall
AlgoSec’s new solution will allow a central management capability for Azure Firewall, Microsoft's new cloud-native firewall-as-a-service.
Gartner - Global RPA spending hitting its stride
The biggest adopters of RPA today include banks, insurance companies, utilities and telecommunications companies.