Innovation in retail
IT can provide the spark that differentiates one retailer
decades retail has been stagnant with organised retail amounting to little more
than a supermarket. Thats starting to change as retail chains employ technology
to deliver a smoother shopping experience. Take for instance the shopping carts
with scanners that Shoppers Stop claims to have deployed at HyperCITY. These
let shoppers scan the goods they are purchasing before they reach the counter
There are other such innovations being tested abroad and rest assured that theyll
land up in India, sooner rather than later. One such idea is Veggie Vision,
a gadget from IBM that identifies fruit and vegetables using a camera doing
away with the need to punch in a numeric code while weighing produce. Something
like this could let shoppers weigh their purchases on their own without waiting
for shop floor assistants to do the needful. IBM also has the Everywhere Display,
a sales tool that converts any old surface in a store into an interactive display.
One area where stores even in India have caught up with the technological curve
is in surveillance. CCTV cameras are a fact of life at any chain store and these
will eventually shift to IPcams as digitally storing and searching through recordings
is a lot easier than hunting for the right tape.
At the back-end theres a significant presence of IT in Indian retailbe
it CRM for loyalty programs and personalised service or ERP to run a retail
Theres a lot more that technology can contribute to making shopping a
pleasurable experience and by encouraging shoppers to spend more and come back,
boost the bottom line. Its all beginning now.
Prashant L Rao