Matt Britton, CEO of marketing tech firm Crowdtap, said that the biggest disrupter for the retail industry in the coming year will continue to be Amazon — but there will also be plenty of innovation. For 2018, Britton predicted that the mass adoption of voice technologies will have more consumers completing orders from tools such as Google Home and Amazon’s Alexa.
Bridget Fahrland, SVP of client strategy at e-commerce platform solutions firm Fluid, agreed that the fast adoption of smart home devices with shopping capabilities will have enormous impact on the retail industry in 2018.
Augmented reality software and mixed reality headsets were also forecasted to be among the year’s biggest retail technology trends. Stephen Boidock, director of marketing and business development at engagement agency Drumroll, said augmented reality software and mixed reality headsets have become more widely distributed and affordable than ever.
Fittingly, Boidock believes that in 2018, brands will begin to treat these tools as viable shopping companions as opposed to novelties, as he noted they have often been treated in prior years.
Ed Kennedy, senior director of commerce at software company Episerver, added that artificial intelligence tech will deliver automated personalized shopping experiences to consumers in 2018. “By tracking and analyzing the behavior of millions of shoppers, AI technologies will detect patterns in shopping behavior and automatically respond to these to provide a better customer experience,” he suggested.
“This is a well-worn strategy for suggesting products to consumers, but in 2018, I predict we will see AI-powered technologies personalizing everything from what promotion we are offered to which channels we will most likely respond to (email, social, paid),” he said. “Put simply — the machines are going to know more about us than we do.”
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