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Technology figures heavily in the retail world today as retailers transform their operations to provide individualized customer experiences. New tools such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, mobile communication and data-driven insights about customer behavior can power both online and physical stores.

The digital transformation of retail extends from digital signage in the storefront to the back-end servers capturing and analyzing data about inventory levels, customer preferences and supply chain information. A significant trend is the emphasis on delivering exceptional customer experiences. Many opportunities exist to build the applications, mobile communication tools for transaction processing, analytical tools, point-of sale equipment and in-store kiosks.

Applications of artificial intelligence—including machine learning and deep learning—give retailers a means to direct sales and marketing efforts to the behaviors and preferences of their customers. New developments made possible by technology include virtual reality enhancements of product features, automatic speech recognition so in-store computers can communicate with customers using natural language, product searches triggered by voice or gesture and custom digital signage displays individualized for each customer.
 
Retail technology solutions are in demand as retailers strive to enhance customer experiences and boost sales, in store and online. Avnet Integrated Solutions helps you craft solutions that leverage the latest technologies and work seamlessly in retail environments. The support and services we offer can take you from the earliest stages of design to the long-term support of the released product—rapidly and cost effectively. For software companies, our Virtual OEM program, lets you deliver turn-key solutions to your customers without the need to transact low margin hardware, improving profit margins while ensuring customer satisfaction.

Woman paying for items in store using smartphone

Application examples

Actionable insights derived from data and analytics software help retail businesses predict changes in buying patterns and react before the impact becomes severe. Mobile point-of-sale scanning devices can be used in grocery or hardware stores, allowing personnel to scan and tally cart contents before the customer reaches the register. Next-generation vending machines appearing in airports, hotels, and shopping malls let customers buy a wide range of goods, such as smartphone accessories, hot pizza, lettuce, fresh bread, cupcakes, sake, and ice cream.

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