Top 8 Tech Trends in Retail

The retail industry suffered a massive setback due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It almost felt like the "retail apocalypse" was near. But ever since the lockdown restrictions ended, the retail industry can be seen bouncing back - with greater force. Thanks to technological innovation, in-store commerce is revamping. 

Top 8 Tech Trends in Retail

Not just from a business standpoint, but many shoppers are shifting towards tech-enabled shopping experiences, which is also why the e-commerce industry is booming. But does that mean it's the end for retail? Not at all. 

Even though adopting various technologies is a risky attempt for many brick-and-mortar businesses, it comes with many benefits. With self-checkouts and "buy online, pick up in-store (BOPIS)" systems, retail stores are streamlining their business operations to focus on high-priority tasks. They are also gathering valuable consumer data to leverage technology for sales generation. 

If your business is considering leveraging technology for sales, consider the following ways you can do it. 

1. Tech-driven Point of Sales (POS) System

Because of the pandemic's restriction on human contact, many retailers like Walmart introduced omnichannel POS systems. Long in-person queues at retail stores made shopping hectic for customers. Technological innovation has made payment contactless by allowing shoppers to tap their bank cards or smartphones at the checkout terminal to complete the purchase. Instead of positioning an employee to scan items and process payments, customers can do it themselves. If you're wondering where to find a barcode reader with Bluetooth to enhance your brand's shopping experience, check out Code's unmatched code-scanning technology. 

2. Inventory Management using RFID Technology

Radio-frequency identification or RFID technology incorporates electromagnetic technology to detect objects, people, and animals. The RFID technology has streamlined inventory management for retail giants like Amazon Go. RFID technology has streamlined inventory management, where businesses spend hours cross-checking stock to match with sales, with a high chance for human error. RFID tags are small chips on items that transfer stock or product-related data to the inventory management system when a customer picks up a product in-store. The RFID scanners also relay information to the store's payment system so the customer can pay for it. RFID technology's accuracy has made inventory management easy and efficient. 

3. Augmented Reality (AR)

If you use Snapchat or Instagram, you've probably engaged with AR without realizing it. AR is the technology behind Snapchat and Instagram filters, like the dog ears or glasses. These filters appear on your face as if they're real and correspond to your motion and gestures. With millions on social media, usage of AR is increasing, and it has also stepped into the retail industry. To make shopping easier for germ-conscious customers, AR has made it possible to shop without physically touching the product. Like in virtual fitting rooms where RFID technology transmits product data to the live-stream camera and virtually places it on the shopper's body. AR makes browsing more effortless, and customers can shop safely without worrying about catching an infection. Shopify states that AR interactions result in 94% more conversions than usual. 

4. Store Management

No matter how big of an R&D and technology budget you allocate for investment, as a B2C organization, retailers need humans to manage the business effectively. No matter how tech-enabled Walmart or Costco become, they need employees to open the store, place products on shelves, and help shoppers who require assistance. You can use technology to empower your store management through payroll automation. Digital payroll systems keep track of employee commissions and salaries. Other store management interventions make assigning staff duties and tracking progress easier. Retail stores can also use analytics like customer data or revenue from self-checkout systems to strategize their business operations. 

5. Indoor Positioning Systems

Indoor positioning systems (IPS) help users of this technology make their way around indoor areas where location-tracking systems are unavailable or lack accuracy. Around the world, IPS technology is installed at airports, hospitals, and retail stores like Target and Lowes. Though the technology requires huge hardware investment in Bluetooth beacons and Wi-Fi routers, it's worth the money for huge stores. For instance, Target installed IPS technology in its locations where customers can navigate through the store on Target's mobile application and find what they need without any external help. Besides simple navigation, IPS systems can help strategically place commonly-bought products to boost sales or track store traffic. 

6. Buy online, pick-up in store (BOPIS) 

Another omnichannel POS strategy is the "buy online, pick-up in store" (BOPIS). A crucial way of shopping in the early stages of the pandemic, BOPIS has enabled retail stores to generate sales without expanding by offering home delivery or creating large brick-and-mortar stores. A relatively small store or center is all you need with a BOPIS system. A lot of customers, due to the COVID-19 restrictions, avoided in-person shopping and unnecessary human contact. BOPIS POS systems are the perfect solution to that. BOPIS systems also eliminate long queues or waiting hours for shipping. To install a BOPIS POS system, retail stores must invest in research and analytics, mobile applications, and inventory management tools to keep employees and customers updated.

7. Smart Shopping Baskets

Smart shopping baskets are the perfect cloud-based blend between online and in-person shopping. Customers can add or remove their favorite products from a digital shopping cart and pay digitally or in-store. Some retail businesses have also integrated "Omnichannel Customer Profiles" with these smart baskets. The profile collects information from customer interactions with the store's products and offers recommendations based on their data. In addition, customers can edit and purchase these smart baskets from any digital or physical channel. Not only does this flexibility save customers time and boost sales, but it also gives retailers a better idea of what their customer wants to buy.


As with every industry that has changed with technological innovation, retail businesses are upkeeping to enhance their customers' shopping experiences. Through self-checkout, contactless payment, smart shopping baskets, AR-driven shopping, and BOPIS POS systems, customers can enjoy an improved shopping experience. Not just for the customer, but technology has changed how the retail industry manages inventory and store operations. With the rapid technological advancements, there is more in store for the retail sector.


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