In recent years, retailers have had to adjust to rapidly changing conditions. With the maturation of online shopping habits, the high street has been forced to revise its approach to customer experience. Although only in the early stages, brick and mortar stores had begun to rediscover their purpose in the retail landscape, fuelled by the increasing adoption of new technologies, recorded worldwide at +20% CAGR.
The arrival of COVID-19 changed all of this. Stringent lockdown regulations brought almost all physical retail to a standstill and the ongoing situation means that even as shops reopen social distancing measures will greatly impact how they do so.
Some retailers, economists and consumers have argued that the pandemic may mark the end of brick and mortar stores and by extension the need for smart technology in retail. Retailers would be wise to disagree.  With such a high level of commitment to high street premises in retailers’ business models and no clear end to social distancing in sight, to the contrary, technology solutions will offer an antidote to this industry dilemma – from stockroom to store-front.
Managing resources and logistics
Supply chain management needs an overhaul to become more flexible. Many retailers were beginning to embark on the right path before the lockdown, but now accelerated adoption of smarter systems will be a crucial factor in minimising costs to mitigate against unpredictable demand and revenues.
The availability of supplies is now unpredictable since social distancing conditions made supply chain disruptions harder to rectify. Retailers need faster and more accurate tracking and recording to optimise stock management and cost-control.
Starting with stock, GPS tracking and RFID (radio-frequency identification) technologies use live-tracking to optimise supply chain and inventory management. Used in conjunction with analytics capabilities, these technologies allow retailers to automate precise stock management thus simplifying the task of adjusting stock to better

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