It has been 18 years since Amazon.com sold its first book and, as a result, altered the face of retailing. Of course, they did not change things overnight. It took several years before they became a prominent retail player and several more before they reached dominating retailer status. If there is a lesson to be learned from Amazon, and many other online retailers, its that technology can change how business is done and how an industry evolves.
Of course, technology is not the only reason retailers have thrived or withered, but anymore it seems to be at the top of the list for what makes for retail success or failure.
This story from Forbes presents a nice summary of a few technologies retailers, both store-based and online-only, are now using to improve the customer experience, which is a key factor in retail success. Technologies discussed include: streamlined checkout, interactive product displays, and augmented reality mobile apps.
While the discussion of the impact of each technology is nicely presented, the story also offers detailed insights from retailing executives. The executives from store-based retailers Lowes and Ikea, and from online retailer Zappos, offers their take on how technology is being used, and the benefits they are experiencing.