It’s a brave new world out there for cutting edge customer-facing technology. It wasn’t that many years ago that retail technology was limited to electric cash registers that only took cash and checks. Along came debit cards and easy access credit cards, and then phone pay and many other whiz bang features to make it easier for customers to send their money to retailers, until it was thought that point of sale technology was the very height of customer service (and data gathering.)
But now retailers are branching out to keep their brick and mortar stores relevant in this age of online shopping. The big retail chains are putting in kiosks where customers can order and pay for merchandise they don’t see on the floor, with delivery guaranteed the same day from a nearby warehouse.
Robots patrol the sales floor, constantly on the alert for shoplifters and to interact with customers looking for specific items and/or brands. And big box stores, with high ceilings, are employing drones for help in crowd control and to spot any customer emergencies that require immediate intervention.
It’s all part of the great technological surge that is turning the physical shopping experience into a George Jetson wonderland for consumers. And how do customers feel about this tidal wave of new tech? The reports coming in from focus groups and polling specialists indicate that, on average, eighty percent of customers like the new technologies and would gladly use them again when they go shopping. That’s a pretty high approval rating by anyone’s standards, and so the American consumer should expect to see more and more new technology in their shopping centers and big box stores, as retailers do everything they can to squeeze every last penny out of consumers — who have already forgotten the Great Recession of 2007 and are ready to spend again.