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From The Plug and Play Perspective: Three Technologies Every Retailer Should Invest In

By Nicole Chen, brand outreach associate and Michael Olmstead, director, Plug and Play Retail

In today’s day and age, technology pervades into every aspect of our lives. With an emphasis on the fast and easy, nearly all of our day-to-day transactions are now being condensed and expressed through technological gateways. With new trends appearing in the startup space and technology industry every day, it is often difficult to choose what is a good investment and what may turn out to be a dud.

Plug and Play Tech Center, a tech startup investor in the Silicon Valley, has made it its mission to connect promising tech startups with retail corporations in an attempt to help these retailers transition into the technological age. Here are three technologies Plug and Play Tech believes retailers should take advantage of to better manage and adapt in this next fast-growing generation of digital retailing.

1. Mobile Technology

Our generation has a constant inflow of information, much of which we receive on our mobile electronics. From text messages and emails to world news to discounts on stores and restaurants, nearly all information is readily available and easily attained.

In recent years, many retailers have realized the importance of mobile technology and have begun to implement it to more effectively target customers. The ability to instantly send out time-, product-, and location-sensitive retailer information to a tailored group of consumers is an aspect of mobile technology that can bring more attention to retailer activity. This will establish a better retailer-consumer relationship by boosting both sales and consumer satisfaction.

2. Beacons

How many times have you received information about a retailer only to disregard it due to your inability to utilize the information at the give moment? Timing is everything, and as newsletters are given less and less attention due to their being received at an inopportune time, retailers are in need of a way to make the information they send out pertinent to the customer’s desires.

Utilizing Beacons will change the retail game. The ability to track the location of smart devices (and therefore the location of the consumer) would allow retail companies to send out store discounts, sales, and special events information directly to the smart devices of the consumer when they enter a certain radius. Similarly, this technology could potentially be used to track and assist in the clocking in and out of retailer employees as well as store traffic.

Employing this technology would increase the efficacy of almost every facet of information distribution and gathering in the retail sector.

3. Image Recognition

As the world moves away from paper and onto electronic transactions, it seems only logical that the hassle of barcodes, price tags, and SKUs has got to go.

The transition of current methods of product tracking in-stores towards image recognition will redefine how retailers manage their stock. Imagine being able to simply snap a photo of the product of interest and immediately receive the specifications of said product – from style and materials to price and availability – right there on your smart device. Applying this type of system could greatly reduce the clutter and simplify organization process in the retail business.

The possibilities of what today’s budding technology could provide for retailers is endless, and at Plug and Play we firmly believe that adapting to these advances will not only benefit retailers in the long run, but be imperative when keeping up with online giants like Amazon.


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