The retail industry is constantly evolving to offer us an even better, more effortless customer experience. We all have our personal experiences on what we think works well and where we see some room for further innovation. Innovation in retail has accelerated during the last year to solve for new challenges in managing the supply chain and the store environment itself for employees and customers alike.
New shopping options have become available and many of us now order even more products online including groceries. Third-party services have popped up enabling online ordering from stores that do not offer their own online shop or delivery services. Many retailers also offer a hybrid experience with curbside pickup where the consumer drives to the store but does not need to go inside while their order is safely delivered to their car. Retailers have solved the curbside pickup option differently -- some have integrated it into their mobile app where you need to enter the parking lot number after you have arrived, some rely on text message technologies and others have you call a number and tell them that you’ve arrived and where you’ve parked. There are several companies that use Microsoft technologies which are building solutions where a camera reads the license plate and lets the store automatically know when the customer arrives and where they park. We cannot wait to see that feature rolled out to our favorite stores.