Retail Technology of the Future: Self-Service Pharmacy, Hardware Investment, and More

Innovation is the name of the game these days and retail technology is no different.

When we think retail technology, it’s to make it about the micro details — what POS system you use, your e-commerce store website, digital signage, etc. — but there are some big, macro-level changes happening that are shaping the future of retail.

Technology is becoming more and more integrated into our daily lives, and our businesses. If you’re not embracing it, you’re likely falling behind. Here are some examples of retailers who are taking it a step further:

  1. Home Depot’s $11.1 Billion Tech Investment

The hardware giant Home Depot announced its intention to spend approximately $.12 billion over the next five years on technology — specifically upgrading its eCommerce capabilities. They are looking at adding up to 170 distribution facilities, and hiring 1,000 technology professionals. It expects a revenue of $114.7 to $119.8 billion by the fiscal year end of 2020.

  1. Medavail Self-Service Pharmacy

Medavail is “pharmacy-on-the-spot.” A self-service pharmacy kiosk lets customers dispense prescription and over-the-counter medications — no pharmacist necessary. Kiosks so far are in the U.S., Canada, and Switzerland, located at employer sites, retail pharmacies, retail stores without traditional pharmacies, hospital emergency rooms, urgent cares, community clinics, universities, and medical office buildings.

  1. Associate Technology

Store associates are being armed with more technology than ever. Handheld devices, inventory management technology, in-store operational analytics tools are just some of the new methods being deployed. Brands such as Apple and Nordstrom are even giving their associates handheld POS machines, so customers can checkout anywhere in the store. At Cabela’s, store associates can also do an inventory size and colour check with the customer right there.

  1. Convenience Ordering

Everyone is busier these days, and retail technology is emerging to give people time back. Buy online, pick-up in-store tech is clearly being well-received, especially at stores with grocery departments, such as Wal-Mart Canada, but the future could bring with it even more ordering options. Voice commerce is on the rise — meaning people could order items through their virtual devices, such as Google Home, Amazon’s Alexa, and other similar systems.

  1. Augmented Reality

Lowe’s is one retailer who is embracing augmented reality software (also known as virtual reality). In the fall of 2017, they introduced a mobile app that lets customers measure and view what Lowe’s furniture would look like at scale in their home or commercial space. Similarly, Lacoste has developed an app that lets customers try on shoes virtually.  More than 30,000 users engaged with products while using the app.

These developments in retail technology make it an exciting time for retailers and manufacturers. Now, more than ever, you can put the shopping experience directly into the hands of your customers. How can you create more convenience using technology with your brand?

If you’re not sure where to begin, or how to continue growing, Storesupport can help. We can make sure your brand is getting the attention it deserves in store. We can also perform a retail audit to see opportunities for improvement.

Storesupport can also help with self-serve technology, ensuring functionality and stocking of these units is readily available at all times.

Contact us today to learn more: call 1-877-421-5081 or visit www.storesupport.ca.

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