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7 tech innovations changing the landscape of Retail Supply Chain Management


retail supply chain management
7 tech innovations changing the landscape of Retail Supply Chain Management

Digital transformation has drastically transformed purchasing, online experiences, and even customer expectations in physical locations. In addition, the upheaval caused by the COVID-19 epidemic has thrown the industry on its head, bringing with it unprecedented technical breakthroughs.

It is critical to evaluate where these advancements will take us next by recognizing the technology trends that have directed us through 2020 and 2021 and will continue to guide us in the years ahead. With our experience in software development, we've identified seven crucial tech trends that will shape the retail industry's destiny for years to come.

1: E-Commerce-Friendly point of sale Systems

Due to the constraints and anxieties associated with in-person buying, e-commerce has increased during the COVID-19 epidemic. This has prompted company owners to enhance their e-commerce systems to increase online sales in retail supply chain management.

Unfortunately, lockdowns and health dangers caused by the pandemic have resulted in a record number of retail closures in 2020. Many of these closures, such as the Microsoft Store and Pier 1, have been permanent. Others, such as JCPenney and Macy's, have temporarily shuttered locations or decreased the number of open sites. However, other businesses, such as Walmart and Target, made significant profits last year.

The ever-increasing need for a fully integrated POS in retail supply chain management and e-commerce solution is discussed by a SaaS supplier of a cloud-based ERP system for merchants. Retailers want solutions that enable them to sell things online with the same efficiency, system integration, and customer pleasure in physical locations.

Having an online and in-person option may not be enough. Businesses will soon need to connect these two areas through e-commerce and POS integration. This will help them better integrate online and offline transactions, inventory, and promotions across all in-person locations and internet retailers during and after the epidemic.

2: Machine Learning for Demand Forecasting

COVID-19 has significantly altered client demand in retail supply chain management. Understanding how to forecast and capitalize on these trends is critical to keeping on top of the business.

Data is critical to the demand forecasting process. Forecasting client demand becomes much more accurate when machine learning is used. These advancements improve automatic demand forecasting, inventory planning, customer and supplier relationship management, logistics, production, and marketing.

ML-based demand forecasting systems are far more adaptable and versatile than previous approaches. Because machine learning can be applied much faster, it can better track client demand patterns.

It is feasible to improve demand forecasting accuracy by optimizing demand forecasting systems with NLP and cascade models, short-term POS data, and current data from external resources (exchange rates, market conditions, economic variables, and others). That is why ML-powered demand forecasting has become a valuable addition to smart retail, as it helps minimize overstocking, cut warehousing and transportation costs while also minimizing adverse environmental effects and promoting sustainable consumption and manufacturing.

It is feasible to improve demand forecasting accuracy by optimizing demand forecasting systems with NLP and cascade models, short-term POS data, and current data from external resources (exchange rates, market conditions, economic variables, and others). That is why ML-powered demand forecasting has become a valuable addition to smart retail, as it helps minimize overstocking, cut warehousing and transportation costs while also minimizing adverse environmental effects and promoting sustainable consumption and manufacturing.

Even when the epidemic is over, demand forecasting will be helpful. Analysts feel that the retail environment has transformed for the foreseeable future because customer habits and connections with new purchasing technology have changed substantially in retail supply chain management during 2020.

3: Virtual fitting rooms

Gartner forecasted the rise of augmented reality to 100 million customers by 2020, and they were proven true. The consumer conversion rate for AR engaged users grew by 90% by 2020. The potential of augmented reality in the retail business in 2021 cannot be underestimated.

Virtual fitting rooms are one of the most exciting augmented reality-based retail ideas in retail supply chain management. Because the "try-before-you-buy" method is more challenging to handle while following public health standards during the COVID-19 pandemic, augmented reality is in a unique position to assist customers in making product decisions.

Whereas many other stores suffered losses due to the epidemic, Sephora realized significant benefits because of its augmented reality technology in 2020. For example, customers might use their cellphones to 'try on' things such as jewelry and cosmetics by using virtual fitting rooms. Other shops, such as Kendra Scott and Etsy, are also employing virtual fitting room technology.

4: Personal Interaction Based on Data Science

Personalization is vital to the retail supply chain management industry's success, with data science and machine intelligence as key drivers. Therefore, personalization's capacity to automatically construct personalized suggestions to customers, powered by these technologies, is critical.

In 2021, consumer demands will be critical to this technology development. Machine learning can adapt to each user and steer their shopping experience by leveraging consumer purchase data to generate shopping profiles for specific customers. As a result, e-commerce shops have historically been more successful in customizing the purchasing experience.

However, traditional brick-and-mortar retailers in retail supply chain management are not far behind. Bluetooth Low Energy and RFID technologies employ minimum power to capture customer data that may be used to improve retail customization experiences.

When collecting data, retail firms must be mindful of client privacy. Treading carefully to stay in compliance with privacy protection regulations might work for a firm's benefit, as consumers may feel more comfortable trusting the brand and are more inclined to return.

5: Staff-Free and Cashier-Less Stores

Cashierless and staff-free businesses are an important retail trend to examine in 2021, with social separation still vital for public health protection. Shekel Brainweigh Ltd, a weighing technology company, surveyed customers to see whether there were any changes in buying habits due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Customers favored establishments with contactless or self-checkout alternatives in retail supply chain management, according to the findings.

RFID tags, computer vision systems, machine learning, IoT devices, and facial recognition can all be used to accomplish this purpose. These technologies were used in Amazon's Just Walk Out system, which their Amazon Go Grocery model drives. The project used computer vision, sensor fusion, and deep learning in particular. Amazon's IoT network in the store monitors what customers put in their shopping cart. When a customer leaves the business, the store will immediately charge the credit card that the customer has on file.

In the future, health can be enhanced by minimizing consumer interaction in stores to avoid cross-contact. For example, consumers' cellphones can scan barcodes and QR codes to obtain extra information about products without touching them.

6: Voice Commerce

In 2021, artificial intelligence and natural language processing (NLP) will continue to progress. With Google Assistant, Alexa, and Siri as the key frontrunners in the consumer voice assistant industry, each has made numerous enhancements to serve users better. In addition, their use has surpassed what was previously thought conceivable because they do not require a screen, simply the ability to detect your voice.

With more than 77 million households in the United States likely to have smart home devices by 2025, the voice commerce trend is proven to have significant promise for the retail industry. Smart mirrors and intelligent screens in consumers' homes, for example, can assist provide product content in non-intrusive and valuable ways.

Screens may not even be required. Smart speakers need to hear the consumer's voice and respond accordingly when it comes to voice commerce. Customers may use voice commands to discover things or even make transactions.