“Change is the only constant thing” said Heraclitus – the philosopher from Ephesus who lived BC, 535-475. We already lived the first 2 months of the new year and we are curious about the advancements we will encounter in 2018 and as a player in the information technology space, I want to talk about what the industry should expect and how it will evolve.
In 2018 the trends of the previous year are expected to rise and converge. I will make my points in five headlines and this post will host the first two; Mobile and IoT.
Mobile: In 2018, mobile apps will continue to offer the customers a unique experience in the physical store and online, offering recognition, personalization, and interaction. In 2010, the share of mobile commerce in total digital commerce was around 2%, but today it is more than 20%. This increase will continue for sure, however, it is foreseen that around 2020, business models providing services on voice and AR will enhance the customer experience, make it easier & more natural and this may reduce the impact of mobile.
Considering that checking a mobile device frequently and looking at it for a considerable time brings some negative health issues, Voice and AR – technologies that deliver experiences more suitable for the human nature – will gain ground.
In 2018, mobile will play an effective role in sales conversion and payment. With more advanced barcode recognition standards and image recognition technology, products will be scanned easier and this will help increase the usage. Recently, Kroger announced that they will launch a new concept called ‘Scan, bag, go’ that will enable the customer to use their own device (or a device provided in the store) for checkout and payment, with no need for a cashier. This was an extraordinary announcement since this was the first time that a checkout model with no cashier will be running in a considerable number of stores.
Store associates will use the mobile devices more effectively and efficiently while giving service to the customers. Especially for retail segments where customer service is crucial such as fashion or consumer electronics, the associate should have instant access to up-to-date information on the product and inventory, should be able to recommend other products, without leaving customer’s site. This will inevitably increase the impact of mobile in the store. Customer returns will be received with less effort by the staff using mobile devices.
IoT: It is anticipated that in 2020, on a global scale, 34 billion connected devices will be on the market and $ 6T will be invested in IoT devices in the next 5 years. Which developments are supporting this rise? The decrease in sensor costs, the reduction in data processing costs, the reduction in bandwidth costs and the reduction in storage costs have great impacts on this growth. With these developments, the use of RFID will also increase. With this prevalence, retail customers will receive better service by accessing product reviews, high stock availability and digital coupons specifically used for the products with certain expiration dates, freshness and location. For in-house use, it will contribute to dynamic pricing and automatic ordering as well as real-time, up-to-date inventory and product information.
Combined with the blockchain, IoT exposed us to a new concept, BIoT. BIoT – the combination of real-time and secure data – will emerge new business models. For example; product traceability will be possible at last. Combined with the reliable environment provided by the blockchain technology, real-time data will make it easier to securely share business data across organizations, improving collaboration and efficiency, supporting collaborative business culture and customer experience.
I will continue the series in my next post and write on the impact of AI, blockchain and AR.