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FuturistU > Retail > Omnichannel Retail > Module 5 / 5

Artificial Intelligence in Retail

Instructor: Ady Floyd
Shopping Habits
Download the Shopping Habits Trend Report
In this module, rooted in Trend Hunter's Megatrend Artificial Intelligence, Ady explores the larger technological retail trends that are shaping this space. While technology can be vast and complicated to implement, there are three core pillars that work in curating an authentic omnichannel experience. As such, this section focuses on voice-activated shopping, cryptocurrency, and blockchain. Many consumers use these platforms daily, but it's more challenging for brands to seamlessly integrate them into the shopping journey.

This module will look at specific technological retail trends that are currently being embraced by brands and consumers alike. These trends are applicable to all retailers from large corporations to smaller start-up companies. With consumers today being more connected than ever, technology is simply an essential part of the omnichannel shopping journey.
Related Trend Report: Shopping Habits
Workshop Questions:
1. How do you plan to use AI to disrupt your industry?
2. How can you ensure your company isn't displaced by new technologies?
Get Better and Faster

Featured Insights

Traceable Transparency
Emerging blockchain platforms offer increased transparency for consumers
Implications - Platforms that allow consumers to trace their goods through to the path of purchase shine a light on one of the most anticipated uses of blockchain technology. From concert tickets to poultry supply chains, these platforms help to increase transparency at various stages of the transaction in question. By using blockchain to allow consumers to see more of how products reach their hands, brands are able to establish a more authentic connection with their consumers, thus adding brand equity.
Workshop Question - Where in your business might you add an increased level of transparency to help develop a more authentic connection with your consumer?
5.1
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Patterns
Megatrends
Voice-Activated Retail
Retailers leverage voice assistive technology in the purchase journey
Implications - Brands are taking inspiration from Amazon’s Alexa by offering their own platforms and voice activated technologies that allow consumers to shop by speaking to their phones, or home control devices. From a consumer perspective, this distinct purchase journey offers an amalgamation of the personalization offered in in-person shopping experiences, coupled with the convenience of shopping online.
Workshop Question - How can your brand take inspiration from brands in its space that may be changing the game?
3.6
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Patterns
Megatrends
Cashless Retail
Retail stores go entirely cashless in order to streamline processes
Implications - With more consumers opting to pay for things digitally rather than with cash, retailers are removing the option of cash transactions entirely – with Amazon going so far as to remove in-person payments altogether. This shift speaks to the adaptation, and enhancement, of already-established consumer purchase habits, while creating a shopping experience that prioritizes convenience.
Workshop Question - How can your brand better incorporate consumer purchase habits into its products/services?
4.9
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Patterns
Megatrends

Insights by Trend Hunter AI

Retail Finance
Banking apps are including online retail features and functions
Trend - Banking apps are becoming increasingly functional, now with extended features that allow people to shop (or sell) within the apps. These features help customers consolidate some of their lifestyle habits, merging banking and shopping to create simpler online experiences.
Workshop Question - How is your brand prioritizing convenience for its customer base?
6.1
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Patterns
Megatrends
Virtual Changing
Virtual fitting rooms are growing in popularity amidst the pandemic
Trend - Virtual fitting rooms are becoming an increasingly popular alternative to in-person fitting rooms, particularly as the ongoing pandemic has put restrictions on in-person shopping. Now, consumers are able to see how clothing may look on them without having to worry about hygiene or being inconvenienced.
Workshop Question - What long-term pandemic-related changes could your brand better adapt to?
7.2
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Patterns
Megatrends
App-Powered Store
Brands in China are partnering with WeChat for experiential in-store experiences
Trend - The use of WeChat to create in-store shopping experiences that feature digital experiences and enhancements is on the rise in China. These partnerships allow for more seamless interactions considering the prevalance of the WeChat app--allowing customers to engage in-store without having to download any additional apps.
Workshop Question - How is your brand catering to the digital habits of younger demographics?
6.1
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Patterns
Megatrends
One-to-One Retail
Stores serve one customer at a time to give safe, ultra-custom experiences
Trend - The retail industry has seen a lot of transformation in light of the pandemic. One recent development is the growth of storefronts or services dedicated to limiting the shopping experience to two people: the retail worker and the customer. This is being executed virtually as well as in person and has the benefits of both safety and full personalization.
Workshop Question - How will you satisfy the opposing consumer need for experience and safety in the new normal?
4.9
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Patterns
Megatrends
In-Mall Support
Brands are making it easier to support businesses located in shopping centers
Trend - The closure of in-store browsing and shopping in several regions due to COVID-19 has prompted shopper centers to create simplified solutions to help consumers shop locally. These include in-mall restaurant ordering platforms and mall-specific curbside apps.
Workshop Question - How can your brand make its products or services easier for consumers to support amid fluctuating shopping restrictions?
3.9
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Patterns
Megatrends
Experiential Addition
Retail brands make the store a destination post-Pandemic
Trend - Still betting on the experience economy, brands are launching retail initiatives that are seemingly unrelated to their products or services. These are solely designed to provide such a high level of surprise and delight to override concern for visiting public spaces. These activations are created with COVID-19 safety and hygiene guidelines in mind, yet also draw over-the-top inspiration from adjacent industries.
Workshop Question - Conceptualize an experience that will fit into the COVID-19 climate.
6.7
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Patterns
Megatrends
Blockchain Transparency
Alcohol brands are introducing blockchain technology to packaging designs
Trend - In a bid to verify the authenticity of a product, as well as to increase transparency between the brand and its consumers, alcohol companies are incorporating blockchain technology into the experience. Through scanning a code on a bottle, closure, or label, consumers can access a ledger with information about the product, its quality, how it was manufactured, and so on.
Workshop Question - How might you strengthen the transparency between your brand and consumers?
6.2
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Patterns
Megatrends
3d Shopping
3d virtual shopping platforms aim to elevate the purchase journey
Trend - 3d visuals on e-commerce platforms are increasingly popular as consumers seek out more immersive forms of virtual retail. These aesthetics have the benefit of showing customers the products in a more realistic and all-encompassing way.
Workshop Question - How is your brand enhancing its virtual shopping experience for customers?
7.6
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Patterns
Megatrends