2017: Retail To Get More Chatty

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I do love a new year: fresh start – sorely needed after the horrors of 2016 – and the chance to make a ton of predictions as to what is going to be hot this year in retail technology. This week we have a raft of insight from a range of experts as to how the world is going to change for the industry in the next 12 months, not least in terms of payments, customer engagement, mobile and convenience.

And very interesting reading it makes too. But what really stands out for me is how very different the predictions for this coming year are to previous years. 2016 and 2015 were very much about omni-channel and the ongoing need to persuade the retail industry that mobile was going to start to dominate. Not so with 2017.

It seems that following a very mobile Christmas – which started with Black Friday being quite mobile-centric and continues even now into the January sales – the message about mobile seems to have been heard.

But that masks quite how shopping has changed in the turbulent 2016 just gone. Of course mobile has become a key part of how people shop, but it has developed as a whole of the growth of online shopping with customers not necessarily being drawn to mobile per se, but rather just grabbing a device and doing what they want to do.

What we see in 2017 is much more of a focus on how to use peripheral technologies to make using mobile – and online and to some extent in store – easier and more engaging.

Chat bots, artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR), messaging, social media and even SMS are all going to play a significant role this year as businesses become more chatty.

Read the source article at Internet Retailing.