As conventional retail and brick and mortar stores struggle around the world, these five retail tech trends are set to have an impact on business strategies and the retail industry in 2018.

  1. Shopping will become even more personalized. Analysts report that more than 90% of organizations are focusing on personalizing their shopping experience for customers, yet only 40% of those same customers report even receiving personalized information from the stores they frequent. Though store staff and call center reps have long been behind the ball on personalization, new tech will allow retailers to use both structured and unstructured customer data to develop more complete, dynamic customer profiles. That means better, and more personalization.
  1. Flexibility at checkout. Fixed POS systems are on the way out as retailers take advantage of digital wallets like Apple Pay. A fluid and centralized approach makes shopping easier for staff and customers alike.
  1. AI tech is here to stay. Observers say retailers are moving away from flashy AI tech, as in customer support and marketing, to integrate them behind the scenes in supply chain management and more.
  1. Automation is speeding up. Centralized data and software are pushing retailers to harness the cloud and machine-learning to better understand their business and integrate with automated services even faster.
  1. Increased employee engagement. As Millennials become an even larger portion of the workforce, employers are integrating more graphical and visual content that is personalized to their employees. Creativity doesn’t stop at the door to the marketing department anymore.