The Future of Retail: Top 6 Retail Technology Trends for 2023

Even before the start of the pandemic, the retail space has been integrating some technological tools here and there. Since then, we’ve seen this new normal of tech-infused shopping experiences. With the hottest technology trends being integrated in almost every industry, what will the future of retail look like? Rajendra Roul, Content Promotion Specialist at G2, along with retail experts around the globe, share 6 retail technology trends for 2023 and beyond

  1. AI, machine learning (ML), and generative AI. “AI and ML technologies have infiltrated all industries, including retail. In fact, the retail industry has been the testing ground for AI solutions for a long time. The most popular use of AI by a retailer is the recommendation engine released by Amazon over two decades ago. The ML algorithm recommends related products to customers based on their previous shopping history, location, and purchase habits of other similar customers. Going forward, retailers need to double down on AI and related technologies.”
  2. Automation. “Another area retailers must step up investments in 2023 is automation,  the process of using technologies to perform repetitive tasks with minimal human intervention. The ongoing labor gaps have fueled the need for automation in every area within the retail sector, from warehousing, inventory management, and order fulfillment to consumer-facing features like contactless payments, noted Gabriella Bock, director of editorial relations at Rethink Retail. The recent advancements in AI, ML, and robotics are powering a new age of intelligent automation where machines are capable of making data-driven decisions on their own.”
  3. Augmented reality (AR). “AR is the next big thing for retailers. It has been popular for quite some time now in the retail space. But after the pandemic, AR technology has become more important as shoppers try to bridge the gap between online and physical shopping. Augmented reality provides interactive experiences by adding computer-generated digital content to real-world objects. AR has many applications in retail such as product visualization, interactive in-store experiences, in-store navigation, and marketing campaigns.”
  4. RFID, QR codes, and other smart store technologies. “Adopting smart store technologies is paramount for brick-and-mortar retailers looking to enhance their omnichannel experience. DeAnn Campbell, chief strategy officer at Hoobil8, noted that a top priority among them for any brand should be tools to manage inventory, including radio-frequency identification (RFID) and QR codes. RFID and QR codes are technologies that help identify and track an item using tags and codes. It helps with real-time inventory checks. Cameras and sensors are also essential to other upcoming smart store technologies, like smart carts that help with automatic billing and smart shelves that track inventory.”
  5. Mobile technologies. “The ubiquity of smartphones makes mobile technologies like shopping apps, mobile payment systems, and personalized marketing via phones inevitable in retail. Two-thirds of shoppers use their phones to look for more product information while shopping in-store. Further, mobile commerce or m-commerce, the shopping that happens exclusively via mobile phones, is set to exceed 10%of all retail transactions in the U.S. by 2025.While the pandemic accelerated its adoption, Tim Koopmans, CEO and founder of Retail Rush, noted that mobile technologies have tremendous potential for enhancing customer experiences and optimizing store operations in the future. Mobile technology helps retailers promote special events and deliver pertinent information to customers, driving foot traffic. Combined with RFID, QR code, and other in-store technology, mobile technologies help with faster checkout, online order fulfillment, and better customer service.”
  6. Datafication. “To fully harness the power of technology, retailers must leverage robust retail data analytics and insights platforms. Problems like siloed data, legacy infrastructure, and the inability to share and receive data from different sources often hold back retailers from fully utilizing analytics today. Integrating granular store-level data collected from online and brick-and-mortar stores provides retailers with unprecedented insight, added Brad LaRock of Datasembly. These insights can be used for personalization, product management, price optimization, and  streamlining store and warehouse operations, driving more sales.”


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