We have previously written extensively about how video conferencing is shaping the retail industry, but what will the future of consumerism look like? With artificial intelligence, smart advertising, augmented reality and, of course, video conferencing technology, there are many new methods for making the retail experience more exciting for the customer.
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Ensuring customers come through the door and have a good experience the key to improving their journey in the long term. Before the introduction of new technology, improving current ways of communicating and sharing ideas is an important step. In our new eBook, we look into the reasons why face-to-face training is imperative in order to improve employee knowledge to lead to better customer service. Video conferencing helps the whole supply chain reach the same levels of knowledge and understanding, as well as improving decision making time and quality assurance processes.
Future Tech for the Future Consumer
In this blog, we will be delving into the impressive technology that is beginning to make waves in retail, and how other innovative ideas may be implemented in the future. Let’s first look at customer facing technology:
- Cisco’s Remote Expert Solution
The latest retail offering from Cisco is the Remote Expert Solution. Coming in three forms – immersive space, kiosk, and mobile application – this video conferencing technology is aimed at bringing together the consumer with knowledgeable staff members to help influence their buying decision.
Cisco’s offering is there to enhance the shopper’s experience, with help for every step of their journey. This state-of-the-art, highly stylised and yet extremely helpful technology looks to inspire repeat custom and give the consumer an overall feeling of being looked after by staff, whatever they are purchasing.
- Artificial Intelligence
The Cisco tech leads into the idea of AI for retail businesses. With AI becoming a highly talked about and quickly advancing medium, it is not too hard to visualise a future where consumers ask robotic floor staff for their opinions on clothes or nutritional information on food products for example.
Of course, the intelligence of these robotics is artificial, meaning they are only as intelligent as the code that defines their being, which means that there is little chance of jobs being replaced by robots just yet. However, in terms of customer experience, having AI that knows the size, style, likes and dislikes of a customer based on their previous shopping habits can only enhance how valued the customer feels.
- Augmented Reality
Augmented reality is making a huge dent in the audio/visual industry, offering entirely new ways to video conference. Although the technology has been around for a while, it is still in its infancy, meaning applying it to the general business world will take some time. Microsoft have been working tirelessly on their HoloLens, and games consoles like PlayStation are already selling virtual reality headsets.
For retail, the opportunities are endless. Choosing a product from a computer catalogue and seeing it on oneself using augmented reality is an exciting prospect for many. This could be extended to any number of retail businesses, giving a ‘try before you buy’ aspect to many purchases, such as furniture and home improvements for example.
Smarter Staff = Contended Customers
But what about internal uses? The future is already here in that respect, and it is video enabled! We have long been singing the praises of Video as a Service (VaaS) and its uses in the retail sector. One of the most important benefits of video conferencing is improved training. Relying on staff from a number of shops or sites to all work in unison, with the same brand message, is hard. Often, area managers are tasked with looking after multiple levels of training for multiple staff members, all learning at different stages. With video, they can be brought together to learn at the same time, from the same trainer.
Able to join a seminar from any device and any location can be a key differentiator for your retail business. You will be able to share many things that can influence the levels of customer service your clientele experience. Demonstrate promotional displays, shop window layouts and product reveals, or record best practice videos for review at a later date. With our Intelligent Cloud Experience – or ICE – platform, we offer recording and streaming, meaning you can create an archive of useful training videos for any member of staff.
The future of retail looks to be set firmly in the realms of new technology, and not just what the customer can see. The modern consumer is changing every day, wanting their retailers to put more effort into retaining their custom. This starts with a contemporary training program that works to the strengths of staff members, which is more often done through the simple and reliable video conferencing solutions from Videocall.