(R)Tech | (R)Tech Briefs
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(R)Tech Briefs

Overview

A three-dimensional, computer generated environment that is interactive to the user.

 

Retail Perspective

In retail, VR is being used in both operations and customer engagement. The technology allows retailers to experiment with store layouts and training methods, while continuing to become more cost-efficient. It offers practical adaptations for traditional business tasks, as well as, a unique and fun experience for customers.

 

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Overview

Digital images that are superimposed over, and interact with, the user’s real-world environment through a smartphone, headset, or other computerized device.

 

Retail Perspective

AR opens a wide array of new customer engagement opportunities that provide consumers with increased accessibility to and autonomy over the virtual and in-store shopping experience. This technology can also facilitate the redesign process for store layouts and displays, as well as bolster employee training procedures that increase worker productivity, efficiency and satisfaction. However, one major challenge AR will face in becoming mainstream will be to create a universal platform for all users to access AR content.

 

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Overview

Translates a digital model into a three-dimensional physical object, layer by layer. Materials such as plastics, metals, resins, and woods can now be used to print a wide array of consumer and industrial goods.

 

Retail Perspective

3D printing has already revolutionized the manufacturing world, but as everyday consumers demand greater personalization and more on-demand options, retailers have begun to adopt the use of this technology as well. Today, 3D printing mostly takes place in the first few phases of product development—such as proof of concept, prototyping, production—as it can increase production flexibility and significantly reduce the time to market in more cost-effective ways.

 

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Overview

A computer system or machine’s capacity to learn how to perform tasks by incorporating cognition, perception, and voice and image recognition independent of human interaction.

 

Retail Perspective

AI’s cognitive computing techniques are being woven into the fabric of the entire retail industry within store operations, throughout the supply chain and across marketing functions. The technology can perform powerful tasks such as visual perception and voice recognition that can be used to help inform business decisions backed by algorithms and learned behaviors derived from consumer data.

 

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Overview

A vehicle that can guide itself without human interaction.

 

Retail Perspective

As the growth of e-commerce and the digital marketplace continues to grow, different types of autonomous vehicles can be used alongside human workers to improve efficiency within distribution centers and warehouses. While fully autonomous vehicle technology is still years away, today’s consumers expect fast, flexible and cheap delivery of their goods, and retailers have begun to identify numerous ways to meet these burgeoning expectations.

 

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Overview

A digital database of continuous and verifiable transactions programmed to record the exchange of data without an intermediary. They are inherently resistant to modification, as individual transactional “blocks” cannot be altered once entered into the “chain.”

 

Retail Perspective

Blockchain was originally constructed to safely and securely track, record and store transactions of digital currency, such as Bitcoin. However, it has since emerged as a revolutionary technology with the potential to bring transformational change to the retail industry through more innovative payment systems, fraud reduction, the use of smart contracts, a more transparent and secure retail supply chain, and ultimately ensuring that the consumer shopping experience is consistent and transparent.

 

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Overview

The final and often most expensive leg of delivery to a consumer from a transportation hub.

 

Retail Perspective

As consumers increasingly expect on-demand services, last mile has become a leading priority among retailers. To keep up with the shifting consumer standards, retailers should be aware of alternative last mile methods including click-to-collect, drones, robots, and same day services. As customer expectations rise, successful last mile delivery becomes necessary for retailers to invest in.

 

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