Three technological trends that change trade and consumer

    Nassim Taleb says: "We create toys, and some of them are changing the world." We, as manufacturers, sometimes really make toys. After all, the human desire for “fan” is the driver that leads to changes in life. And some things have already changed people's habits. People buy more often and more online than 3-5 years ago. They are used to once “toy” chatbots, and they use virtual fitting rooms with might and main. And if earlier sellers of clothes laughed at “stupid fantasies”, now they are looking for virtual dressing rooms for themselves and open online stores. Because the trading infrastructure and the ways of shopping are changing. Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence and IoT redraw the trade. We are sure of this - by virtue of experience.

    Working with retail, we note that Russian retail is in no hurry to believe in IoT and “these are your IT things.” Food retail is especially strong. Many believe that they will always buy bread, and you only need to monitor the prices of competitors. And if you take the parser program and reduce the monitoring time by 5-10 times? .. It seems that the time has come when you are “fast or dead”. Or you sell bread in the old fashion, without asking questions “Why are sales falling, and where to get new customers?” Or you introduce smart technologies and fit into the new reality of consumption. Working in any of the necessary areas, which we discuss below.

    Trend 1. AI technologies, as well as AR and voice assistants

    In e-commerce, they are not at all surprised by any AI assistants. By 2020, up to 85% of people's communication with online retail will be based on AI, and leading global companies are preparing to reduce the number of call and contact centers. People will switch to self-service and communication with robotic assistants . What to do under these conditions, the regional network of mini-supermarkets "Zhuravushka"? .. To develop digital communications and begin to communicate with customers in social networks and instant messengers. Start, if you can, virtual assistants.

    Our favorite topic is the voices. By 2021, the world is promised to be 7.5 billion devices with built-in voice assistants, and 1/3 of the Internet search will be carried out with them. Already, the "voices" are looking for information, reminding about important events, helping to order a taxi in Uber or coffee in Starbucks. In Russian reality, switching to a “voice” is a bit more complicated. After all, working with the Russian language is not so simple as with idiomatic English.

    Developers of Yandex.Alice (the first adequate Russian-speaking assistant) are struggling with the problem of "machine speaking" in Russian. And we are developing "from the opposite." We are not trying to teach the car to speak lively, but we are learning to hear and process sets of key phrases. By the end of the year, the voice assistant REDMOND SkyFriend will appear, which will read the user's commands. Entering the house, you say: “Give me tea” or “Make a coffee”, REDMOND SkyFriend will process the command and transfer it to the smart kettle for execution.

    Previously, Russian fashion gurus laughed at the idea of ​​“virtual fitting rooms” - but now many people are involved in them, from Amazon (this was recently written on Habré ) to Skelkovo residents Texel . It is necessary for the client - it is also necessary for retail, you can’t do anything!

    The first in interior design was IKEA - it released a catalog with an AR code : by activating AR, it became possible to see furniture that had not yet been bought in its real interior. Now there are furniture aggregators from various networks and stores that help to “try on” it to your interior. You may not believe in the effectiveness of the “virtual fitting”, but it’s clear: even if a person doesn’t buy the goods immediately on the site, he’ll come to an offline store with specific knowledge of what he needs and how much. The buyer has fun and rationalizes!

    Yes, REDMOND stuck his nose in here too: in about a year, we intend to present our AR solution for managing a smart house (and equipment in it). We hope that with the help of Microsoft Hololens technology ( AR-glasses) You can control the equipment without a voice and buttons. Hand movement, for example. While Microsoft Hololens is a little expensive (glasses cost about 300,000 rubles), but the development together with the Singapore Ready for Sky partner has already begun. Because the whole group of "virtual-intellectual-voice" developments and technologies is in demand by the user - that means sellers and manufacturers will have to integrate this into their processes, products or sales.

    Trend 2. Accounting, monitoring and computer vision

    “Normal retail” is used to daily losses. Incorrect calculation of purchases, errors in the calculations of managers = loss in turnover. Miscalculation of the manager in the number of cashiers per shift = queues at the checkout and loss of customers. Not to mention theft. It seems that this can only be partially controlled. And the average Russian retailer looks like a pipe dream at Amazon Go : people pick up groceries, do not stand at the checkout, there are no crowds and security guards. All that is needed, computer vision recognized, associated with the account and wrote off the money. We really like this concept: just the dream of a modern city dweller, struck by sociophobia.

    It is beneficial for the seller: in addition to minimizing the costs of “manual” maintenance, he can regularly update the balances and reduce the cost of inventory of warehouses by 80-90%! “Computer vision” instead of difficult manual accounting, and automation of control instead of hiring retired security guards is one of the technologies of the future that (although not on a massive scale) is beginning to be implemented in Russia.

    Or, the mentioned price monitoring. Many food chains still do it manually, comparing price lists and bringing search queries into an Excel plate. One employee of a large regional FMCG network says: “Our management has such monitoring: priority products are priority - bread, onions, potatoes, milk, etc. Because any grandmother knows where potatoes are cheaper, and there she will go. This whiskey buyer does not have the habit of checking prices, and they can be monitored once a month, not more often. Therefore, when competitors make the promotional price for a product not of prime necessity, information about this takes too long for managers. And our “price response measures” may be late and pointless. ” If monitoring were automatic and total, then decisions would be made easier and faster. And the whole pricing policy would become more flexible and independent of the human factor. And the time of employees would be saved!

    The founder of Magnit, Sergei Galitsky, said : "With a reduction in the price of bananas by 2 rubles, we sell them 100 tons more per day." You only need to know what and when to overestimate. And there are already parsers for automatic, quick and error-free monitoring of competitors' prices. Of course, first of all, parsing is done based on data from online stores. It is more difficult with food retail, which does not “dump” the prices of the entire range on the Internet. But here there are already opportunities for semi-automatic collection and processing of information for pricing - as in the domestic Beorg project .

    Most likely, for Khabrovsk residents such things are obvious, like snow in the winter. But for retail decision-makers, this, alas, is often - "an unnecessary waste of money, we will launch the girls here, they will take pictures and write down prices from catalogs." Many of those who make decisions in retail are often people of an older generation. They can hardly master new technologies because they do not understand how to control all this virtual “diversity”. Nevertheless, the technologies for accounting and monitoring are quite clear and transparent. Here you can calculate everything and see the effectiveness almost immediately. Therefore, for example, cinemas have already begun to use computer vision (a face recognition system) - this will help not only to accurately view attendance, but also to analyze the repertoire and set up rental advertisingdepending on the type of audience in the room .

    Trend 3. Strengthening online shopping and growth in the segment of product delivery.

    This is the most important trend that determines the distribution of all other technologies and "bells and whistles". People buy more and more online - period. According to the latest data, in 2017, 73% of Russians got access to the Internet. And by 2020, the Runet audience will already grow to 85% . It is clear that these 110-120 million people will not only have fun and watch TV shows on the network, but also buy something!

    We are following with interest the growth of online food sales. Abroad, this market is growing at 25-40% annually, in Russia - a little less. But we have our own “bombs” - such as the metropolitan service “ChefMarket” and the St. Petersburg “Food Party”which over the past year increased by 2-3 times. It is clear that Moscow and St. Petersburg always "set the tone", but it is quite obvious that this will happen in the regions too soon. Moreover, for us, as developers of kitchen appliances, it is obvious: food delivery services do not compete with restaurants, but with supermarkets. Because the city dweller is still not so rich as to consider going to a restaurant a common thing, and he will "go out" there. But he is no longer hunting in the traffic jams to the supermarket. Why, if you can save money, time and gas, and order food or groceries at home? It seems that Russian retailers do not yet recognize this trend.

    This trend of growth in “food deliveries” also supports the fact that kitchen appliances have become much smarter in recent years. She can now do much more than before. The Russians appreciate this: we are leading the world in the number of units of smart technology per capita . How can you stop coming up with an increasingly clever technique? No way. In 2018, we will complete the “final and irrevocable” smartization of equipment, and then ... Your slow cooker will be able to send an order to the supermarket for the products necessary for the selected recipe. And you will have to stop by the way from work either to this supermarket or to a special point of delivery and pick up your grocery set. Or get a package of products from the courier. And then upload everything to the slow cooker and get the dinner ready. And most importantly - no extra shopping in a hungry rush around the supermarket after work!

    We work with several food tech startups and large networks to integrate REDMOND's delivery, trading, and smart technology capabilities. We understand the prospect: a smart technique ordering products saves both time and money.

    Morgan Stanley promises by 2020 global growth in online sales of consumer goods by 21%, and retail growth - only 4%. This means that sellers who are “not interested in everything” will have a hard time. They will be supplanted by the “progressives," the layman for joy.

    Finally, the last but not the least Various observers and experts claim that both software, components, and development will become cheaper in the next few years. And soon, AI, and AR, and so on will become commonplace. To work for us, the manufacturers. And to the delight of ordinary people. What began as toys changes the world as a whole. Therefore, sellers of the "old format" will inevitably have to introduce new technologies into their trading processes. And we, for our part, will help them with IoT developments.

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