Automation is bringing new trends to the retail industry and impacting retail touch points and retail tech. Consumers are benefiting from it and so can small businesses.

The Growth Story

The key factors driving the growth of retail automation are the:
• Need to reduce cost;
• Demand from customers to improve the quality; and
• Appreciation for automation in retail.

Automation of Engagement

#Use surveys: Customer surveys not only fetch actionable insights, but also function as a medium to engage with customers. Nevertheless, you need automation for that.
Most automated survey platforms have:
• Customized survey templates
• Proprietary metrics for measuring satisfaction

Automated UGC can be clubbed with paid initiatives. See the ad content below:

The ad features ratings by a customer. Just as UGC can be automated, so can ads. Programmatic advertising automates all aspect of advertising. Not too many retail brands are merging advertising with UGC. Had they been doing it, we’d have seen a slew of automated tools for this. But in the future, such tools will hit the market in droves, taking automation to a new level and offering retailers a good night’s sleep.

Internet of Things

The eRetail industry welcomes Internet of Things (IoT). According to sources,
Tier three companies in the infographic above are typical small businesses and they are receptive to IoT.
The IoT technologies used in the retail segment include
• Smart devices
• Non-Smart devices with sensors
• Remote device control
• Bluetooth and WiFi

Here’s a list of functional areas where IoT is used
• Security
• PoS
• Vending machine
• Inventory management
• Advertising
• Analytics
In short, small retail enterprises, with or without physical outlets, are using IoT for almost everything. Clearly, automation is in full swing. In the future, the IoT devices will incur newer functionalities such as product search and checkout, and automation adoption will become the norm. Smart retailers are the ones who are doing it already.