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August 2019

What is the importance of implementing Augmented Reality & Virtual Reality in Retail?
What is the importance of implementing Augmented Reality & Virtual Reality in Retail? Raju G

What is the importance of implementing Augmented Reality & Virtual Reality in Retail?

In the current scenario, the retail industry can be considered as one of the leading industrial segments which plays a crucial role in strengthening the pillar of the global economy. It is also the idle platform for utilizing the recent technologies, hence it is a suitable site for Virtual and Augmented Realities to display their value.
The marketing aspect in a retail segment is considered to be the most suitable space for innovating with Virtual and Augmented Reality solutions implementation. It is obvious that one of the biggest obstacles in experimenting AR & VR solutions in any real-world scenario is the insufficiency of the suitable business model to keep it moving as a standalone product. The situation is much easier in retail.

Statistics 2018

Source: Statista

Prediction of augmented and virtual retail market shares shows there is still a lot of scope for industries to adopt this technology, retail is not at the bottom of the list as well, occupying seventh place in TOP-10. According to the predictions, it has the capacity to grow almost 300% over the coming few years.

According to the Retail Perceptions report:

  • Out of the total, nearly 77% of customers desires for product customization features;
  • Around 65% of customers seek more extensive product information;
  • Nearly 55% claim that mixing augmented reality with shopping experience makes it more interactive.

With the implementation of VR & AR, now the overall customer success process is much more simplified and customized without much of an effort.

Both VR and AR solutions are relatively easy to learn and can be used in a very short span of time.

Together VR and AR work so well with retail business and retain the ability to find solutions of crucial problems with customer experience – i.e., lack of user engagement and absence of immersion into the product value proposition.

The digital avatar of the user can try-on new clothes or experience different products in a virtual reality store, another variation of the immersive product catalog is fully operational. In comparison with the AR retail apps, the practical element is not present or rather absent at the current scenario. In the coming years, VR Retail Stores might be able to establish itself successfully for various kinds of products.

Conclusion

In the current scenario, AR and VR are not fully used in a retail business, but these advanced technologies will certainly provide an entirely new space to work with. Currently, both technologies are in their dormant stage and improving their services rapidly in a variety of ways. But it can be easily predicted that both VR and AR have a long way to go in the coming days.

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How Business Intelligence coupled with cutting-edge technologies are transforming the Banking & Financial sector?
How Business Intelligence coupled with cutting-edge technologies are transforming the Banking & Financial sector? Raju G

How Business Intelligence coupled with cutting-edge technologies are transforming the Banking & Financial sector?

Business Intelligence (BI) can be held accountable for boosting up banking operations like spotting designs, analyzing networks, and solving blockers in real-time, etc. Major financial institutions have already started implementing BI and getting enormous benefits from BI technology. However, its full capability is yet to be unearthed.

The road towards successful BI implementation is not that smooth, the banks and financial companies face very hard times with a few prominent issues in its way. Two of the major roadblocks are the unstructured data and lack of capable resources with hands-on experience in gathering data, analyzing and implementing it for more business profits.

Future of banking with implementation of Business Intelligence

In the long run, to avoid significant loss and gain huge profit margins, BI solutions are very crucial for banks as they empower them with several techniques to identify frauds, reduce risks, and lowers operational costs and more. Currently the modern customers already introduced themselves to BI through firms performing in ecommerce, social media or app production spaces, they expect a similar type of user interface and experience through their financial and banking services providers.

Trending technologies that are transforming the way banking sector operates:

Artificial intelligence

Artificial Intelligence (AI) with Machine Learning (ML) are the new trends in the banking industry. The huge potential of AI and ML together have helped banks to manage risks much efficiently, be compliant and save costs.

According to Goldman, “AI technology will deliver up to $43 billion in savings and revenue opportunities in the financial sector by 2025.” So, major giants in financial institutions are investing billions of dollars in AI technology.

Internet of Things

To acquire more and more customers and to retain them, these days financial institutions are implementing IoT (Internet of Things), using this technology they can stay ahead in the race. This technology has the potential ability to increase BI capabilities through various advanced ways like contactless payment methods, payment through wearables and more.

Also, IoT possess the capability of analyzing data combined through all such devices and thereby assisting the organizational business heads to focus on strategies for creating more revenue. E.g. IoT can help businesses like banks, retails and more to identify consumers individually and engage them through push notifications for promotional offers and discounts, thus generating maximum profits.

Fraud Detection

The banking or financial sectors are known to be the hub for storing private and confidential information of customers regarding various norms like KYC regulations etc. Due to this, there is a huge risk of frauds and other malware or spyware threats on banking and financial institution rises. Business Intelligence solutions provide excellent fraud detection technology in banking. BI platform supports cyber security, threat detection and prevention of fraudulent transactions through its highly advanced techniques.

Modern technology is rapidly changing the banking and financial sector, and there is lot more to come in the coming days. These institutions that embrace and implement BI solutions to tackle risk, increase operational activity, and deliver products and services that satisfy customer requirements will be better positioned to achieve sustained growth, profitability and a competitive edge for years to come.

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How cloud computing impacts retail business health?
How cloud computing impacts retail business health? Raju G

How cloud computing impacts retail business health?

How cloud computing impacts retail business health?

Retail organizations are witnessing a huge change in terms of using advanced technologies, many giant retail industries and small businesses are realizing that there is a huge potential with cloud technology and most are implementing it to grow their businesses. Asos, a British online fashion retailer, implemented cloud technology to grow its business services in the global market. Other retail giants such as Wallmart and Amazon, also utilize the cloud computing techniques in similar manner.

Companies are now understanding that cloud computing can lower the IT implementation costs in managing current as well as fetching new systems, Cloud computing refers to the services that are provided by a combination of remote servers over a network. Cloud computing has contributed a lot to increase the world’s economy tremendously. The list of companies are increasing dramatically, who are noticing how cloud computing can lowers the IT costs and simplify systems.

Cloud computing in retail – impact and usage

  1. Improved Channel Operations:

Retailers who have not implemented cloud technology are still operating on old systems and operating models that are out of trend in the current scenario. Retail as a Service (RaaS) can combine the different verticals. The best advantage of adopting the cloud is the flexibility payment system that reduces costs and increases efficiency.

  1. Better Supply Chain Visibility:

With the involvement of cloud computing, retailers can possess wide supply chain visibility. With the implementation of cloud, retailers can have much improved supply chain systems which are capable enough of handling their day to day business processes with zero stock-outs option, fast deliveries, or increased inventories. Cloud also enables live status of deliverables, digital documents from suppliers, delivery agents, logistics service providers etc.

  1. Better Merchandising Decisions:

Cloud computing and Big Data can generate meaningful insights about consumer buying behavior that can help in making better merchandising decisions. Retailers can examine consumer buying patterns and can conclude about what to store, how to store and how to boost. It also reduces the time of marketing for retail products.

  1. Improved and Personalized Customer Service:

Big data shows real customer insights and hence it proves to be very beneficial for retailers as now they can offer more personalized promotional offers and better customer service. Cloud services can integrate the in-store data with the digital data to present the most efficient solutions to their customers.

  1. Improved Insights into Business Performance:

Cloud computing, enables retailers to build a wide supply chain visibility. Now, retailers can have supply chain systems which are enough capable of easily handling their business with zero stock-outs, accelerate deliveries, or high inventories. Cloud also helps to monitor store-wide operations, streamline data from POS systems, beacons, motion sensors, virtual mirrors, in-store cameras and customer facing mobile apps, resulting into a 360 degree view of customers and operational health.

With enormous technological flexibility and capability of cloud technology, it can be utilized to gain a better customer success rate, lowering operational costs and helps to build a strong and profound business process.

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Mobile experience for a retailer
Mobile experience for a retailer Raju G

Perks of building engaging mobile experience for a retailer

In the current scenario, the growing popularity of mobile apps is evident from the total number of mobile apps available in the market today. As the demand for apps keep on growing day by day, the fact is well accepted that these apps are one of the most suitable choice of interaction among customers in the digital age.

E-commerce and online shopping brought shopping experience out of store into the computer screens of customers, but mobile apps are far more advanced, bringing it to their fingertips. Few ways of how retail mobile apps are assisting businesses to achieve maximum sales.

  1. Increases Reach

To reach potential customers, it is very important to know where they are; it is the most crucial state of sales and marketing. This is where mobile app fetches the biggest advantage.

Here are some facts and statistics to prove that mobile devices are the best way to reach consumers.

  • Nearly 70% of web traffic comes on a mobile device.
  • S. consumers’ generally spends 5 hours per day on mobile
  • Interaction of customers with brands increases to 2x on mobile devices.

These statistics show that mobile apps are the place where retailers can find their customer and that is where retailers must increase their focus.

  1. Builds Loyalty

Mobile apps give an independent platform to the customers to communicate directly with the company. In-app notifications, push notifications and recommendations on mobile devices keep the consumers engaged and hooked to brands at all times. Many mobile apps provide loyalty programs and gamification platforms into their mobile apps. This helps in increasing interaction with consumers.

It also prevents customers from browsing elsewhere – the more they shop, the more they win, and the more loyal they become.

  1. Improves Efficiency

Besides bringing products to consumers, mobile apps do much more than this. They help in creating and designing efficient process and also provides easier access. Several features like integrated shopping carts, advanced payment gateways help to create a smoother buying process.

In operations segment, this turns beneficial to store, track and monitor invoicing and inventory management systems.

Three essential features in Retail mobile apps

  • Seamless User Interface

This is one of the crucial aspects to focus on while designing a mobile app. These days, apps are the first point of interaction between the companies and clients. It is the platform where the consumers will decide whether they want to continue. Simplicity, Ease and Brand Recognition are the key principles. It is advised not to complicate your app’s UX with ample amount of information. It is necessary to check whether brand colors, logo and other aspects of the organization’s brand image are clearly described in the UX.

  • Hassle-Free Purchase Options

Impulse buys are very common and it provides a great advantage for retailers even on mobile apps. The best way to generate revenue on this, is to make sure that the customer’s purchase journey is effortless and quick, without any hiccups. The moment customers face an issue in the buying process, the consumer gets disappointed, which could overrule the consumer’s impulse to buy, resulting into significant downfall in customer loyalty.

  • Personalized Experience

Machine Learning has bring the online shopping experience a long way from what it used to be. Shoppers don’t have to witness spam emails or searching through millions of products to recognize what they want.

Apps are continuously learning consumers’ buying behavior and seeking ways to personalize the user experience for them. Push notifications displaying the products they like and attractive offers for those products will give consumers added incentive.

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AI vs Machine Learning vs Deep Learning
AI vs Machine Learning vs Deep Learning Raju G

AI vs Machine Learning vs Deep Learning

What is More Relevant for Retail Industry?

These days when it comes to technology, everybody seems to be talking about AI and machine learning. So much so that they are often used as interchangeable terms. People believe that AI and machine learning are similar concepts. To this mix, deep learning also gets added naively. But it is the trained mind who knows that these three are not interchangeable.

In fact, machine learning and deep learning are branches of AI as a bigger discipline. Think of them like the Matryoshka dolls, each one of them sitting inside the other. That’s what happens with machine learning, deep learning, and AI.

So, let’s explore each one of these concepts independently. Let’s start with the smallest piece first.

Deep Learning

So, what is deep learning?

As mentioned earlier, deep learning is a technique of machine learning that empowers computers to perform human like tasks. It allows computers to perform activities that come naturally to humans like recognizing voice, images, sentiments, motion etc.

What makes this technique extremely popular is the fact that if implemented properly, the computers can exceed humans in performance.

So, where do we see deep learning practically implemented? In more places than we even realize!

We all know that driverless cars are getting a lot of attention these days. What fuels these cars? Deep learning algorithms! We have heard about facial recognition. Once again, deep learning is at work here. Speech recognition solutions are powered by deep learning technology.

So how can retailers use deep learning? There are many creative ways.

Retailers can allow customers to use voice recognition technology to guide them in product search. Instead of walking through different aisles looking for a particular product, the voice command can help them in navigation.

They can also use facial recognition to identify the loyal customers as they walk into the store and offer them special prices on products through dynamic pricing.

There are many practical uses of deep learning technology for retailers. To explore deep learning solutions, you can get in touch with us.

Machine Learning

Now that we have understood deep learning, let’s take the next bigger piece which is machine learning. So, what is machine learning?

It is a part of artificial intelligence that enables learning and improving from experience. As the name itself suggests, it enables machines to learn and self-evolve without any explicit code. It is this learning ability that sets machine learning apart from other programs.

While other computer algorithms are coded for a specific purpose with all the data and conditions fed in, machine learning algorithms are not restricted to these. They make computers almost human like by instilling the learning feature.

While machine learning seems quite simple, it is one of the most complex technologies around. The calculative and deductive power used in these algorithms is often beyond human comprehension.

So how can retailers use machine learning? There are many exciting ways of using it.

We know that retail industry is focused on hyper personalization and localization. Machine learning can help here. It can allow retailers to personalize their business for every single customer. You can set up personalized offers, communications, and even products for customers based on ML recommendations.

E-commerce retailers can improve logistics and product delivery.

Retailers can also deploy self-learning chatbots to engage with customers in a meaningful conversation. The ML powered chatbots can improve the quality of conversations, reduce the in-queue time for customers, and reduce operations costs.

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Artificial Intelligence

Now let’s see what is artificial intelligence or AI as it is popularly called.

AI is the science of developing simulated intelligence in machines. In simple terms, it is computer programming that empowers a machine to think and act like humans – basically emulate human behavior.

AI is the larger discipline which includes machine learning and deep learning. So, all that we have seen as part of ML and DL technologies is a subset of AI.

There are many practical examples of AI in retail industry today. There are voice assistants, accountants, billing anomaly identifiers, search assistants, etc. A retailer can have multiple AI applications available. But what really matters is the fact that you have the right kind of solution.

Conclusion

Many retailers are known to jump the bandwagon of AI and invest in solutions that have very less relevance to their business, focused geography, and even strategic objectives. We work with retailers as a technology consultant to help them through the decision-making process. We recommend solutions that would do maximum justice to the brand and its business goals. We help them understand whether they should invest in machine learning or deep learning solutions. We also help them identify potential areas where AI solutions would make most difference. To get your artificial intelligence solutions strategy evaluated get in touch with us. To know more about path-breaking AI solutions for retail, contact our AI specialists.

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