Blockchain has recently emerged as a revolutionary technology with the potential to bring transformational change to retail supply chains, payment systems, and other operations. Originally constructed to safely and securely record, store, and track digital currency transactions, blockchain technology has the capacity to reduce fraud, enable smart contracts, create a more transparent and secure retail supply chain, and ensure that shopping experiences are consistent and transparent.
Virtual Reality (VR) is an interactive, virtual, three-dimensional, computer-generated environment. Augmented Reality (AR) allows digital images to be superimposed over a user’s real-world environment through a smartphone, headset, or other device. Both technologies open an array of new customer engagement opportunities that enable autonomy over the virtual and in-store shopping experience.
The “Internet of Things” (IoT) allows varying devices and other appliances–including phones, tablets, TVs and refrigerators–to communicate to one another through the web. The IoT movement offers retailers opportunities to enhance the customer experience, supply chain effectiveness, and create new channels and revenue streams.
3D printing translates a digital model into a three-dimensional physical object, layer by layer. Materials such as plastics, metals, and woods can now be used to print a wide array of consumer and industrial goods. This technology has already revolutionized the manufacturing world, but as 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 product design, proof of concept, and prototyping—as it can increase production flexibility and significantly reduce the time to market in more cost-effective ways.
Future webinars will address autonomous vehicles, drones, digital traceability, and computer vision.