Consumer Trends: RFID Tech and VR Shopping

3 min read

Author: Mia Beyerl

2020 is teeming with new marketing and consumer trends that businesses are taking advantage of to draw more consumers to their products and services.  Now more than ever, they are able to analyze consumer behavior, allowing them to target us more closely. On the flip side, some of these trends and technologies are also making consumer lives easier! In this new short series- Consumer $ense is bringing you a new consumer trend over the next several weeks from marketing students who have done the research and want to keep you up to date on the latest trends and technologies.

The start of a new, highly-anticipated decade means one thing: the arrival of new technological developments, and their natural impact on the consumer environment. Primarily, increased use of predictive analytics has already impacted how mass data can be broken down, contextualized, and interpreted in order to make strategic business decisions. Recommendation engines are expected to be more efficient and tactful as well. Retailers have utilized this tool to push sales onto consumers that may not have occurred in the first place. Forbes notes that “retailers get to benefit from higher cart sales and improved customer satisfaction thanks to the ease of use”.

Another noteworthy tactic is order fulfillment automation, which is a comprehensive solution to being understaffed in the warehouse. Forbes reports that by 2025, “more than 580,000 autonomous mobile robots (AMR) will be deployed to help warehouses fulfill customer orders”. Increasing the flexibility and speed of operation will help retailers stay abreast of heightened demand. Smart equipment in stores and marketplaces are expected to become more common within the next decade. This would entail sensor-embedded shelving that tracks inventory, for example.

Scholars note the growth of the Industrial Internet of Things(IIoT) in the market as well, which will present itself in many forms: predictive maintenance, smart grid, motion control, big data analytics, smart medicine, and M2M (machine to machine transmission).

A facet of M2M is RFID technology, which is expected to be largely used within the next decade. RFID Technology uses radio frequency, also called electromagnetic waves, to transfer information from an RFID tag attached to a product or device to the RFID reader. Essentially, if the RFID system was to replace the traditional barcode system, retailers could utilize electric billing— a system that avoids the waiting time in queue for billing and extensive lines. RFID technology largely prevents theft from occurring as well, as the retailer can more effectively track inventory count.

Another rising development could be the rise of interactive storefront displays in the brick-and-mortar retail environment. Research from Emerald Insight claims “[storefront appearance] facilitates decision making and consumer engagement, thus influencing utilitarian shopping value.” A study from Amazon news reported that VR (virtual reality) shopping could revolutionize traditional online shopping. Experts note, “Users can get the experience of a mall from home & compare prices from various competitive shops. Users can see the objects in a 3D environment with 360°. This application provides a new way of online shopping by surfing in a virtual mall”. 

VR technology would help consumers make the purchases that best suit them, and help retailers with less need to “return” items– and preventing their subsequent damage, theft, etc. Overall, advanced technological developments will equally help both consumers and retailers going into the following decade.

Consumers will have the luxury of shopping more efficiently at their fingertips, while retailers will reap the benefits of enhanced security tracking.

As the retail industry continues to utilize new technology to keep up with the fast-growing online shopping experience, Consumer $ense continues to keep you up to date with the latest trends to increase the ease of shopping while saving you time and money in the marketplace. From Consumer $ense- we’re here to make sense for you!

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