What Tech From Will Millennials Expect in the Coming Years?

By Jasmine Glasheen, Generational Marketer for Retail Minded.

It seems like every journalist’s favorite topic is writing about how Millennials are obsessed with technology. Yet if Millennials are so enamored with tech, why do many retail stores look about the same as they did 10 years ago (with the exception of a few extra “Sale” racks)? We are in the midst of a technological revolution and we keep being told to prepare for a new retail landscape based in tech, but where is the physical evidence of this tech-based storefront?

As a correspondent for, I came face to face with the newest technologies in retail and I had the opportunity to witness firsthand how tech may soon be used to evolve the customer’s shopping journey.

The platforms in the Tech Lab were among the most notable inventions at the conference. Listed below are technologies that are not just tech for tech’s sake, but instead can be used to streamline and augment the shopper’s journey Here are a few of the most innovative technologies with practical and applicable benefits for retailers looking to appeal to the next generation shopper.

Augmented Reality to Scale

AR will being used to help customers visualize home and fashion items. By uploading a photo and dimensions of any room in their home, customers can use augmented reality platforms to visualize the size of a piece of furniture to determine where to place it and how it will look in a specific area. Similar technology will come to be in fashion, where customers can upload their height and weight to check the length of necklaces on their frame, or even to assess the size of a handbag.

Since Ulta and Sephora have already begun to offer virtual makeup applications where their app users can virtually try on products, independent retailers who invest in augmented reality with applicable benefits will be ahead of the curve. To learn more about these technologies, check out EverThread and Tangiblee from the Tech Lab.

Next Level Messaging Apps

At this point, you’ve definitely heard of personalization and chatbots. Although chatbots are a burgeoning technology, the kinks are still being worked out by a lot of solution providers. Chatbots with artificial intelligence are ideal, since they’re able to learn and adapt to questions and speech patterns. Beyond artificial intelligence, however, it comes down to applications for the technology. The newest chatbots will have the capability to respond to make sales recommendations based on the customer’s preferences in conversation. They will be prepared to handle the entire sales conversation, from start to finish, personalizing their recommendations throughout the dialogue with a savvy algorithm.

The most relevant retail technologies save time or money and these applications do both, making it possible for retailers to immediately respond to the (admittedly, slightly impatient) Millennial customer. Check out Headliner Labs from the Tech Lab for more info.

Talk to Your Local Grocer 

We are all about small businesses at Retail Minded and thus far voice-activated home assistants such as Alexa and Google Home have only been able to create grocery orders from mega stores like Amazon and Whole Foods. Yet the modern customer, especially the Millennial customer, is well aware of the value of shopping local. This customer prefers to support their independent grocer with their food budget instead over an online conglomerate.

The future of retail is voice-activated. To appeal to the Millennial desire to shop local as well as the need for convenient tech, software installation Unata from the Tech Lab enables customers to create carts with their local grocer with voice-activated home assistants such as Alexa and Google Home.

Projection Is the New Poster

Posters waste paper and can start to look pretty dingy after being up for more than a week. Furthermore, next generation customers are so inundated with advertising that we completely tune our any type of advertisement that doesn’t rouse our curiosity. Projection-based displays let retailers provide customers with  dynamic, ever-changing marketing messages that can be updated with new information at the touch of a button. This keeps advertisements relevant and makes them a source of information, instead of a paper relic from months passed.

The purpose of advertising is to generate customer interest and new projection-based displays are poised to do just that. For more info, check out Glass Media from the Tech Lab.

Wrapping Up

The face of retail is ever-changing and independent retailers need to keep up in order to compete with the big dogs like Amazon and appeal to next generation customers. Steer clear of tech for tech’s sake when considering new technologies for your retail store. Instead focus on technology like the products listed above that have applicable value for your retail operations and can provide you with the tools you need to facilitate your customer’s shopping journey.

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