Fujitsu Americas is predicting a highly automated future for the retail industry. In a statement, the company’s retail experts announced that they expect half of all retail to be automated by 2020.
In many ways, the company’s predictions are extensions of trends already underway. New technologies are helping to make shoppers more informed and reducing the need of sales associates, for example, and are going to “catapult mobile platforms, smart sensors and social media to allow new ways of shopping by 2020.” Meanwhile, in-store shopping is on the decline and is being replaced by increasing online shopping, with analytics expected to play an important role in helping retailers to track how their products are being sold; even technologies like gaze-tracking could help companies to determine how their offerings are appealing to consumers.
Fujitsu also points to data from retail marketing firm InReality indicating that 75 percent of consumers currently use mobile devices in-store, suggesting an increasingly important avenue through which to interact with shoppers. Indeed, we’re already starting to see the rise of mPayment platforms, and Fujitsu suggests that “electronic/biometric payments” could be increasingly prominent.
Fujitsu has long been exploring biometric technology and recent developments like its randomized biometric encryption system could prove highly valuable in the world of electronic payments. In any case, the current trends do point to a future very much like the one Fujitsu’s experts describe.