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8 In-Store Technology Innovations We'll See More of in 2024

8 In-Store Technology Innovations We'll See More of in 2024

It’s 2024, and in today’ retail landscape, technology isn’t just about elevating the “cool factor” in your store; retail tech has grown to be a critical part of the retail experience. From interactive displays that captivate your senses to contactless payment solutions that streamline checkout, the powerful combo of tech and retail is transforming how we shop. 

Join us as we explore the cutting-edge innovations that are not just reshaping stores but revolutionizing the entire shopping journey. 

We’ll tackle:

How to survive and thrive as a multi-location retailer

Read this guide to get the 5 strategies successful multi location businesses are using to operate efficiently and scale their businesses.

1. Artificial intelligence 

Artificial intelligence is a game-changer for many industries, and retail is no exception. While the technology has been around for a while now, 2023 was the year AI truly went mainstream. Retailers are experimenting with AI, applying it to things like smart chatbots, personalized product recommendations and customer behavior analysis.

Beyond that, it has the potential to transform supply chain management, predicting demand patterns to ensure optimal stock levels. 

As far as in-store technology innovations go, AI-driven analytics help in understanding customer preferences, enabling retailers to tailor their offerings and store layouts. 

Walmart, for instance, is utilizing  AI-driven analytics to optimize their store layouts and product placements. The company looks into shopping patterns, purchase histories and foot traffic data  to determine the most effective arrangement of products and sections in their stores. 

2. Contactless and embedded payments

Contactless payments have become a cornerstone in the retail checkout experience. They allow customers to complete transactions quickly and securely by tapping a smartphone or contactless card near a payment terminal. 

This method streamlines the checkout process and minimizes the need for physical contact, catering to the growing demand for efficiency and hygiene in public spaces. As a result, contactless payments are increasingly favored in the retail sector for their convenience and safety.

Of course, not all contactless payment solutions are created equal. The best payment providers are the ones that pave the way for embedded payments—i.e. payment software that’s natively built into the point of sale system. 

An embedded payments solution functions as part of your POS system (rather a third party entity), which leads to effective operations and reduced error margins.

Case in point: the apparel retailer Brande Group. Using Lightspeed Payments enabled the company to reduce time and errors in transaction management

“With this embedded system, we don’t have variances [in transaction amounts]. The only variances that could happen is if someone took, you know, a penny instead of a dime or vice versa. So, it takes 90% less time for sure,” says Tyan Parent, President at the Brande Group.

Guillaume de Laplante, the company’s Retail Planner and Buyer adds that the efficiency and accuracy of the system significantly improved their operational workflows.

“For Lightspeed Payments to be embedded, that was perfect for us after having issues with two receipts and having to reconcile errors on payments because it was manual human entry [on our old processor]. Closing the cash and having this embedded with Lightspeed was like 99% of the job done.”

3. Augmented reality

Augmented Reality (AR) in retail is transforming the in-store shopping experience by blending digital elements with the physical environment. Customers can use their smartphones or AR-enabled devices to view products in a highly interactive and immersive way, such as visualizing how a piece of furniture would look in their home or trying on clothes virtually. 

AR not only enhances customer engagement but also aids in informed decision-making. When implemented well, AR offers a unique and personalized shopping journey that bridges the gap between online and offline worlds.

Take for example, IKEA, whose mobile app allows customers to visualize how furniture and home decor items would look and fit in their own spaces before making a purchase. 

Users can browse the IKEA catalog and see realistic, 3D rendered models of furniture overlaid in their actual living spaces through their smartphone cameras. 

4. Smart shelves

Smart shelves (particularly those that use the Internet of Things) help retailers keep their shelves stocked with the right products while streamlining inventory management. These systems use sensors and RFID tags to automatically track inventory levels on shelves in real-time, providing accurate and up-to-date stock information. 

Some retailers are using to provide product information based on what shoppers are picking up.

Smart shelves not only optimize inventory management by alerting staff when items need to be restocked, but they also enhance the customer experience by ensuring products are always available. 

Additionally, smart shelving tech can offer valuable insights into shopping behaviors and trends, enabling retailers to make data-driven decisions for inventory planning and store layouts.

5. Hyper-personalization

Forward-thinking retailers are experimenting with—and in some cases fully implementing—hyper-personalization in-store. 

They use a blend of data analytics, AI and IoT devices to create a shopping environment that responds to the unique needs and interests of each customer. 

Nike, for example, once launched a concept store in Los Angeles called Nike x Melrose, which used data analytics to stock its shelves. The store’s inventory was driven by data from online purchases in the area, ensuring that the products in stock were precisely what local customers wanted. 

Additionally, Nike members could use the Nike App to reserve shoes online to try on in-store, where they are kept in a locker that can be opened with the app.

Another interesting example comes from Rebecca Minkoff, whose stores feature interactive mirrors in fitting rooms. These mirrors allow customers to request different sizes or colors, adjust the lighting and even get product recommendations. The technology helps to create a personalized and futuristic fitting room experience, 

This hyper-personalized approach not only elevates the shopping experience for customers, it can also increase sales and customer loyalty for retailers.

6. Sustainability initiatives

Retailers are increasingly committing to more sustainable business practices. According to Deloitte’s 2023 CxO Sustainability Report, 73% of Consumer Industry CXOs have increased investments in sustainability over the last year, indicating a significant shift in focus towards sustainable practices

We can see this in action in the retail world. Companies like H&M and IKEA have pledged to become 100% circular and climate positive, targeting a complete shift to recycled or sustainable materials. In the grocery sector, chains like Kroger have committed to zero waste by 2025, with a focus on eliminating single-use plastics.

Other retailers focus on renewable energy sources for store operations. Take for instance, Apple, which invested heavily in renewable energy. 

According to a press release, Apple “supports about 1.5 gigawatts of renewable electricity around the world to power all corporate offices, data centers and retail stores, spanning 44 countries. The company has also invested directly in nearly 500 megawatts of solar and wind in China and Japan to address upstream supply chain emissions.”

7. Facial recognition

Facial recognition technology in retail stores represents a cutting-edge approach to enhancing security and personalizing the shopping experience. Utilizing sophisticated algorithms, this technology can identify individuals entering the store, offering multiple applications. 

For security, it helps in detecting and alerting staff about known shoplifters or individuals with a history of fraudulent activities. 

On the customer service front, facial recognition can enable personalized greetings and tailored shopping suggestions for loyalty program members. 

One example of this in action comes from Walmart. The retail giant tested facial recognition technology to detect and reduce shoplifting and other retail crimes. Another use case was facial recognition technology helped Walmart identify when shoppers were unhappy or frustrated, so the team could serve customers better. 

Despite its benefits, this technology raises privacy concerns, necessitating transparent policies and customer consent. Of course, when implemented responsibly and ethically, facial recognition can significantly contribute to store security and customer engagement. 

8. Retail security tech

Innovations in in-store retail security have significantly evolved. Advanced surveillance systems with high-definition cameras and real-time monitoring capabilities are now commonplace, enabling quick responses to security incidents. RFID tags on merchandise not only streamline inventory management but also act as a deterrent against theft.

And as mentioned above, some stores use facial recognition to identify known shoplifters or individuals with a history of fraud. 

Beyond that, integrated security systems allow for centralized control of alarms, access controls and surveillance from a single platform. These technological advancements provide a more robust security framework, deterring crime and ensuring a safer shopping environment.  

There’s also more advanced data analytics (again, with AI). Advanced data and reporting help retailers identify and predict security risks, so they can proactively address vulnerabilities. 

In-store technology innovations: what’s next?

While no one can predict what the future holds, we can make an educated guess, especially when it comes to in-store technology. Looking ahead, we anticipate even more integrations between the solutions above, and the lines between physical and digital retail will continue to blur. 

But regardless of what will happen in the future, one thing is clear: retailers that want to thrive need to equip themselves with the tools and in-store technologies required to provide valuable shopping experiences. 

To that end, Lightspeed Retail has your back. Manage your inventory, coordinate suppliers, oversee staff and run efficiently across multiple channels and locations. From easy-to-use POS and ecommerce tools to advanced reporting, Lightspeed has what you need to help you scale and succeed. Talk to one of our retail experts to see how Lightspeed can help to ignite the potential of your multi-location retail business.

FAQs about in-store technology innovations

What are in store technologies?

In-store technologies refer to a range of digital and electronic tools used within a retail environment to enhance customer experience and streamline store operations. These include Point of Sale (POS) systems, inventory management systems, digital signage, interactive kiosks, augmented reality (AR) for product visualization, smart shelves and facial recognition systems for security and personalization.

What are the new technologies in retail?

New technologies in retail encompass a variety of innovative solutions like Artificial Intelligence (AI) for customer behavior analysis and inventory management, Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) for immersive product experiences, Internet of Things (IoT) for smart inventory tracking, blockchain for supply chain transparency and advanced data analytics for personalized marketing and sales predictions.

What is storefront technology?

Storefront technology typically refers to the digital tools and systems used at the front end of a retail store to engage customers. This includes digital window displays, interactive touchscreens, beacon technology for sending personalized offers to customers’ smartphones and QR codes for easy access to product information or online store platforms.

How is AI used in retail?

AI in retail is used for a range of applications including personalized product recommendations, customer service chatbots, inventory forecasting, sales trend analysis and optimizing store layouts. AI algorithms analyze customer data to offer tailored shopping experiences and improve operational efficiency in stocking and supply chain management.

What are the disruptive technologies in the retail industry?

Disruptive technologies in the retail industry include AI and machine learning, AR/VR, IoT, blockchain, robotics for warehouse management and delivery and mobile payment technologies. These innovations are transforming traditional retail models, enhancing customer engagement and creating new opportunities for efficiency and growth in the sector.

What devices are used in retail?

Devices used in retail include POS terminals, barcode scanners, RFID tags and readers for inventory management, digital signage and electronic shelf labels for product display, mobile devices and tablets for sales assistance and inventory checks, self-checkout kiosks and security cameras with advanced surveillance technology.


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