Retail tech predictions


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By James Hughes, Retail CTO of EMEA region, Verizon Business.
The future of retail tech in 2024 is expected to be a monumental year for gamification and AI advancements following great breakthrough in 2023. 

While some companies are already integrating gamification into their strategies, this trend is poised for a surge in 2024. Currently, we've witnessed instances of gamification within marketing campaigns, drawing upon emerging web3 technologies. With the likes of holographic, AR and collectible digital assets, it's getting more interesting.

Luxury brands led the charge in 2023 by exploring the web3 technologies, but the trajectory of gamification expansion is going to come through other retailers. Retailers with larger scale, including supermarkets and FMCGs, are preparing  to collaborate on gamified experiences. This shift extends beyond mere engagement—it potentially delves into the realm of loyalty schemes. Whether redesigning or adapting these programs, those capable of swift adoption stand to gain more traction and customers.

Meaningful AI projects will emerge

Indeed, the utilisation of AI in retail has been ongoing for several years now, with substantial investments in leveraging data expected to yield tangible results, albeit in its initial phases. In 2024, we anticipate witnessing the fruits of these efforts.

Retailers are poised to harness AI to forecast and even predict customer preferences, enabling them to anticipate trends with greater precision and sophistication. They are facing a dual challenge. On one hand, overproduction leads to surplus inventory, which not only increases retailer’s carbon footprint but also results in reduced full-price sales due to excess stock. On the other hand, underproduction leads to missed opportunities and dissatisfied customers.

AI steps in as a critical tool, enabling a more meticulous examination of production and inventory needs, thereby aligning output more accurately with demand. The broader scope extends to the supply chain, offering opportunities for optimisation.

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