Online retailers have been taking advantage of technology for years: using things like RFID, apps, personalization and more. Brick and mortar stores have been slower to use the same, but that is changing.
Let’s start with personalization and apps. Retailers these days have to make the shopping experience more personalized. In person that’s more easily said than done, so some retail outlest are trying to use apps to make it happen. Basically, the apps can do a few things. One type can scan barcodes or QR codes as people shop to give them more information, build lists or help them find other items that can complement a purchase. Another kind of app does things like help find coupons or instant savings as they shop.
Another kind of technology is RFID. This also helps with personalization, but it does more. It helps track a lot of information for the retailer. This helps them market items, find information to assist customers and track merchandise. RFID allows information about the product to be gathered, such as how long it stays in stock, how it moves around the store, who purchases it and even if there are ways to help with the purchase (such as rebates, etc.).
Chip-and-PIN technology is being used for credit and debit cards in store. It uses a microchip instead of a magnetic strip on credit or debit cards and can help consumers and retailers keep track of a lot more information. The chips can store customer loyalty and rewards programs, making the huge stack of separate “store cards” a thing of the past. They are also harder to breach for data, so are safer for consumers and stores alike.