Digital tools such as smart shelves and AI inventory tools can help retailers reach new customers while better serving their existing customers.

After years of experiencing necessary shifts in business to accommodate the changing needs during the pandemic, retailers have realized the importance of digital transformation and digital tools. Having robust digital options can really help increase the bottom line.

Online retailers brought in $1.7 trillion in the past two years, according to the Adobe Digital Economy Index. The digital shift was necessary for staying competitive in today’s market.

Even as the world slowly returns to a sense of post-pandemic normalcy, consumers have grown accustomed to the convenience of delivery, pick-up options, and touch-free shopping. However, ever-increasing inflation creates a new challenge for retailers to face.

Digital Tools To Attract New Customers

To combat the economic realities of today’s inflation rates, retailers can turn to emerging digital tools to help attract new customers and better serve their existing customers.

For example, smart shelves and AI inventory tools can solve a major pain point for modern shoppers – the frustration of checking a website to see if a product is in stock, seeing that it is, then driving all the way there only to find out that the product is not available. Smart shelving uses real-time data to keep customers informed through a website or app so they can ensure a product is in-stock when placing an order.

Another technology that is a game changer for retailers is cashier-less shopping options. During the pandemic, retailers were hit hard by the Great Resignation, with in-person retail jobs becoming harder to fill. Cashier-free shopping technology helps with that, plus it lets the in-store employees focus on customer service rather than ringing up purchases. From a business aspect, the investment in this technology can pay off from the money saved from the cashiers’ salaries.

Digital Tools Meet Consumer Needs

The changes in the way people shop require a plethora of digital tools to keep up. Since shoppers are making purchases in a number of places based on what is most convenient, not having a presence across multiple shopping platforms could cost a business a sale. Beyond the shopping options on more traditional online locations like websites and e-commerce platforms, there is also social media, emails, push notifications, and more.

Not only do businesses need to be present where their customers are, they also need the analytics to make the most out of their technology and marketing budgets. Data management tools allow companies to mine for data that can really pull back the curtain on their customers shopping habits and needs.

Digital tools continue to be an essential part of marketing as well, with CMOs spending more than half of their marketing budgets on social media advertising, according to a recent spending and strategy survey from Gartner.

From social media to AI and everything in between, digital tools help fight inflation using a tried and true principle of working smarter, not harder. The right tools can attract and retain customers, because they allow shoppers to make purchases in the most convenient way while also reducing some of retail’s problem areas. These investments are a great way to push through some of the losses that inflation can bring.