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Tech for Retail | Retail Tech Show | SOTI ONE Platform | SOTI

Tech for Retail | Retail Tech Show | SOTI ONE Platform | SOTI

This year’s Retail Technology Show (RTS) theme was The Magic of Retail. Like any good magic show, much happens behind the scenes in retail to deliver a memorable, wonderful experience.

Classic magic tricks such as pulling a rabbit out of a hat never go out of style. In retail, classic strategies like providing superior customer service always delights consumers.

At the SOTI booth, conversations focused on how retailers can use technology to enhance the customer experience, increase operational efficiencies and drive sales. Four tech trends for retail quickly emerged.

Trend 1: Embracing Scan-As-You-Shop

Consumers believe scan-as-you-shop creates a better shopping experience. In Techspectations: Consumer Demand for Digital Transformation in Retail, 34% of consumers have used handheld store scanners and 36% used scanners as a point-of-sale (POS) device.

That’s because scan-as-you-shop delivers the “three C’s” that consumers want:

  1. Customization
  2. Convenience
  3. Contactless

There’s also a fourth C: Consistency. Scan-as-you-shop devices should always work. When downtime occurs, the magic of scan-as-you-shop disappears, and consumers are left disappointed.

At RTS, retailers wanted insights into limiting their issues while enhancing the scan-as-you-shop experience.

Trend 2: Avoiding Problems with Batteries

A popular magic trick is predicting which playing card someone pulls. How does a magician know that person would pull that card at that time?

Retailers want similar predictive powers for batteries inside tech for retail devices. Battery failures are incredibly frustrating for both the retailer and the consumer. The common remark consumers make is “Why didn’t you change the battery?”

The response: “We didn’t know it was going to fail.”

Bad batteries can no longer be ignored. In Mobility in Motion: When Technology Transformation Meets Operational Intelligence, 77% of retailers agree they need better tools to predict issues – such as poor battery heath – in advance.

Trend 3: Moving Away from Paper

The magician’s trick of transforming a rabbit into a dove captivates because of how fast it happens. Rabbit goes into cage. The cage is covered by a sheet. Fingers are snapped, and presto – instant dove.

If transitioning from paper to digital was just as quick, the benefits would be felt immediately:

  1. Cost savings: In 2022, paper prices increased almost 13%. Not needing paper means not paying for it.
  2. Environmental impact: Going paperless reduces carbon footprints. It’s also good for business, as 56% of consumers would be more loyal to a brand taking steps to reduce its carbon footprint.

Retailers are prepared to make the shift from paper to digital. If they could, they’d do it in a snap.

Trend 4: Prioritizing Printers

There’s a famous trick where a magician walks through a door and suddenly, they’re on a beach on the other side of the world.

Mobile and industrial printers are critically important to retail operations. The trick is to effectively manage them all when they’re in various locations. It’s impossible to physically visit them all to check on their status. They can’t be ignored either.

At RTS, retailers spoke of four issues with their printers:

  1. Deploying printers takes too long.
  2. Downtime hurts operations and customer satisfaction.
  3. Troubleshooting problems requires someone to physically service the printer.
  4. No tangible way to measure the ROI of printer investments.

Printers must have the same level of management as other mobile devices. Unless retailers have a magic portal to instantly transport them to all their printers, they’re limited in their management capabilities.

Tech for Retail: Final Thoughts

From engaging speaking session on retailers’ ROI to vibrant booth experiences filled with happy hours and ice cream giveaways, RTS was a dynamic fusion of customer-centric innovation.

Interactive booths offered a glimpse into the future of retail. Attendees immersed themselves in a “real shop” experience by ordering drinks from a screen – as just one example. The gap between technology and consumer engagement has been truly bridged. And that’s when consumers experience the magic of retail.

We Want to Hear from You

Magicians never divulge their secrets. But much happens behind the scenes to predict that card or transform a rabbit into a dove.

For consumers to truly experience The Magic of Retail, retailers must have the same mindset. The tools used behind the scenes – Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM), Diagnostic Intelligence, Process Digitization and Printer Management – drive the magical, personalized shopping experiences that dazzle consumers and will have them coming back for more.

Want to know how SOTI can help you manage the critical technology your business and customers rely on? There are three ways to get started:

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About Author

Charlotte Le Roux
Charlotte Le Roux Senior Manager, Field & Channel Marketing

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