Connected technology is empowering retailers to meet the needs of connected consumers. As technology continues to influence the ways we engage with every industry, the big question is which innovations will have the biggest impact on the industry in the next five years. I had the opportunity to speak with experts to get their predictions.

For Ian Hutchinson, head of business development for the retail vertical at Samsung Electronics America, the onset of 5G will enable businesses to obtain rich information quicker and better than ever before.

According to B2B social media influencer Evan Kirstel, back office retail technology will transform the way retailers measure and monetize the products they sell. Meanwhile, in the front office, mobile tools, augmented reality and voice-activated technologies will equip associates to serve customers and deliver novel experiences.

Digital signage is helping retailers capture data about who customers are, what they are doing and what they are ultimately buying. Signage also enables retailers to mold messaging to particular customers, producing more personalized and interactive in-store engagements.

“The big thing right now is analytics,” said Mike Graham, director of enterprise sales at Samsung Electronics America. Data drives most innovation in the retail industry and has been especially significant to the advancement of artificial intelligence (AI).

Mike Cassidy, lead storyteller at Signifyd, believes AI will be the most disruptive retail technology — specifically by giving businesses the ability to better connect with their customers at the individual level. “It’s going to be vital for retailers to be able to identify their customers down to the specific person,” Cassidy said, “because it goes through the whole customer journey — from personalization, during discovery, right up till payment.”

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