As January is traditionally the month in which we pause to reflect on the new year and the emerging trends that will shape the industry, we take a minute to ponder a crucial question: Which technological advancements should we be on the lookout for in 2023? From the increasing importance of Web3 to the Metaverse and so forth, we look ahead to identify the tech trends that will shape the future of retail.
1-The Rise of the Metaverse
Well, let’s call it a “continued” rise instead. As retailers look for more ways to engage and connect with consumers, they turn to the Metaverse, a virtual world where people can immerse themselves in exciting digital experiences and interact with each other and with a series of digital objects. The increasing use of VR technology in the retail sector has generated a rapid growth that is expected to reach $45.09 billion by 2027, according to a report by MarketsandMarkets. As the Metaverse continues to evolve, it will be offering its global audience the possibility to explore virtual stores and showrooms, allowing retailers to tap into new markets, enhance customer experience and drive business growth through valuable data. Both VR and AR are making their way through the world of innovative retail, introducing new concepts such as the virtual dressing room trend, which is expected to become more and more common in 2023.
2-The Development of Web3
For those of you who are not familiar with this concept, Web3 is the decentralized web, powered by blockchain technology that enables the creation of secure and transparent networks. These networks can be used for various purposes and allow users to connect directly to the internet, giving them more control over their online experiences. And so, Web3 can also take the form of decentralized “play-to-earn” video games that reward players with crypto tokens, and platforms that allow people to buy and sell NFTs. By giving users greater control over their data and interactions, Web3 is ushering in a new digital era, reshaping the internet as we know it without a central authority.
3-New Heights for AI
The global artificial intelligence in the retail market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 23.9% from 2022 to 2030 to reach USD 40.74 billion by 2030. Indeed, AI is transforming how retailers interact with their customers by ushering in a new era of digital innovations, from chatbots to personalized recommendations, automated customer service, and predictive analytics. But it’s not just about improving customers’ experience, it’s also about helping retailers optimize their operations such as inventory management and supply chain logistics.
Additionally, in this increasingly competitive market, Al is being utilized to analyze customer data and offer insights that can aid in smarter business decisions. Retailers may hence better understand the interests and behaviors of their customers, which will result in more focused marketing efforts and sales.
4-A Warm Welcome to Hybrid and Omnichannel Customer Journeys
First and foremost, what’s a hybrid customer journey? It’s a combination of online and offline channels, allowing consumers to shop both in-store and online…or even through a combination of both formulas.
But then what’s an Omnichannel customer journey? It’s a seamless experience that makes switching between online and offline purchasing smooth across all channels. By bringing the best of both worlds together, retailers can thus offer consumers the same immersive shopping experiences they can enjoy in real life with cutting-edge technology, customization, and applications for Virtual and Augmented Reality. As the customer journey becomes more and more complex, and as consumers continue to demand flexibility and convenience in their shopping experiences, it only seems fair that retailers turn to hybrid and omnichannel approaches.
5-Connecting the Digital and Physical Worlds through Augmented Reality
One of the top trends for 2023 is “bridging the gap between the digital and physical worlds,” which means combining the online and offline shopping experiences. To make it easier, it’s about finding ways to use technology and AI to enhance the physical shopping experience. And yes, this obviously means going through Augmented Reality, Virtual Try-Ons, personalized product recommendations, and so on. In fact, in just a few years, Virtual Try-On technologies have exploded in popularity as consumers have been craving a unique and immersive customer experience above all else. It’s through this connection that retailers will be able to create a seamless journey for their customers.
What’s the final take on tech trends?
One thing we know for sure is that retailers are turning to technology in a series of innovative ways, on both online and offline platforms. Technical advancements are expected to cause significant changes in the retail sector over the next few years, affecting the way we purchase and do business in the digital era. Nike, Burberry, Ralph Lauren, and Adidas are among the numerous well-known brands that have already ridden the tech wave; it’s only a matter of time until the Metaverse and AI become integrated into our everyday lives.
Retailers have been leveraging the power of technology to provide customers with exciting new ways to browse and buy products. As we become more digitally connected, we enter a new era of digital transformations and usher in new ways to keep consumers on their toes. So, here’s an overview of some of the top tech trends on our radar for 2023. Read on to learn more.