The retail industry has witnessed transformative moments throughout its history, reshaping the way merchants operate and interact with customers. According to Bernie Brennan, Chairman at Digital Wave Technology, the top three game-changers during his career have been the introduction of the Universal Product Code (UPC), the popularity of smartphones, and the emergence of Generative AI.
One of the earliest pivotal moments in retail was the implementation of the Universal Product Code (UPC) system. This system revolutionized the tracking, pricing, and selling of products, streamlining processes, automating inventory management, and improving data accuracy. The introduction of UPC signaled to retailers that technology could be a strategic advantage, going beyond just operational efficiency, and laid the foundation for increased demand for retail technological advancements.
The development and widespread adoption of smartphones marked another game-changing event in the retail landscape. In the early 21st century, retailers recognized the immense potential of mobile devices in engaging and serving customers. This led to a focus on mobile interactions, the delivery of seamless experiences across various devices through mobile apps and responsive web design, and the rise of the omnichannel approach. The growth of smartphone ownership in the United States has been remarkable, with ownership increasing from 34% in 2014 to an estimated 90% today (Zippia).
A new and highly innovative game-changing technology that has emerged globally is Generative AI. Generative AI leverages algorithms to analyze vast amounts of data, providing unprecedented insights and transforming various aspects of the retail industry. Retailers can now make data-driven decisions, explore new revenue opportunities, improve operational efficiencies, and uncover unexpected benefits. Generative AI is revolutionizing retail, making it more intelligent and customer-centric, and enhancing consumer engagement.
When integrated with enterprise platforms, Generative AI has proven to be particularly successful. One leading example is Digital Wave Technology’s AI-powered enterprise (PXM) platform. This platform, built on Enterprise Generative AI and automation, combines speed and intelligence, and offers comprehensive generative AI solutions for product information management, digital asset management, master data management, merchandising, lifecycle pricing, and analytics.
By leveraging AI and machine learning, retailers can accelerate speed-to-market, improve content quality, create visually appealing presentations, and achieve widespread distribution. These advancements in automation and Generative AI drive omnichannel success, resulting in higher conversion rates, reduced abandoned carts, decreased returns, and increased revenue and profitability for retailers.
The introduction of UPC scanners and smartphones revolutionized the retail industry, and now Generative AI presents an unprecedented game-changer, with some experts believing it to be as impactful as the Internet itself. Retail leaders who embrace this technological advancement will position themselves at the forefront of the industry, adapt to changing consumer behaviors, and unlock new levels of success. It truly is an exciting time to be a retail leader.
About Bernie Brennan
Brennan has decades of experience investing in technology solutions and implementing operational efficiencies in retail. He is well-known as co-author of the book “Branded: How Retailers Engage Consumers With Social Media and Mobility,” which became a bestseller. Throughout this career, Brennan has held several CEO positions in leading retail stores and has served as chairman of multiple software companies.
About Digital Wave Technology
Digital Wave Technology is dedicated to helping brands and retailers accelerate their omnichannel growth and drive direct-to-consumer digital sales, marketing, and merchandising. With their enterprise-class AI-powered omni-experience platform, Digital Wave enables the unification of the entire product journey, from item creation and product information enrichment to management, syndication (PIM/MDM), planning, pricing, and merchandising.
By leveraging Digital Wave’s platform, brands and retailers can easily and efficiently centralize, organize, enrich, merchandise, and publish product content, leading to improved conversions, faster time-to-market, expanded channel distribution, reduced product returns and labor costs, enhanced collaboration among internal teams and suppliers, and ultimately, a more compelling customer experience. For more information, visit https://www.digitalwavetechnology.com.