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Retail and payment innovation trends

New report titled “Innovation Trends in Global Retail and Payments 2017”, from Germany-based secondary market research firm yStats.com, highlights the recent tech developments in E-Commerce, store-based retail and digital payments. The report sheds light on innovations behind the major market trends such as conversational commerce, automated shopping, mobile wallets and virtual currencies. It also cites top predictions and provides examples of the adoption of these latest innovations in retail and payments.

The rise of technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality, the Internet of Things and blockchain has disrupted retail and payments along with other industries. Both consumers and businesses are adopting these innovative technologies, resulting in a number of trends which are covered in the yStats.com report.

Among them, the trend of conversational commerce arose from the latest developments in artificial intelligence and machine learning. Consumers can now shop by giving voice commands to virtual assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, and Google Assistant. A double-digit share of shoppers in developed markets such as the USA and the UK already report they would purchase less in physical stores and through traditional web browsing because of the new technology, according to a recent survey cited in yStats.com’s report. Besides virtual assistants, smart chatbots also come to consumers’ help in finding the relevant product or services and placing orders, all inside a messenger app. The cost saving for businesses through the use of chatbots are projected to explode to several billion dollars by 2022.

The Internet of Things is another technological innovation expected to make a great impact on the retail industry. According to a projection cited in the yStats.com report, more than nine in ten newly designed electronics products will have the IoT technology. Among other developments, IoT powers emerging retail solutions such as automatic replenishments and checkout-free convenience stores, for example, Amazon Dash and Amazon Go.

In payments, the deployment of NFC contactless technology has enabled in-store payments through mobile wallets, such as Apple Pay, Android Pay and Samsung Pay. Mobile payments are especially popular in emerging markets such as China, although the advanced economies of North America and Europe also witness the proliferation of smartphone payments, according to market statistics cited in yStats.com’s report. The technology behind another innovative payment method, virtual currency, known as blockchain, has also found application in the finance and payment industry such as for improving payment infrastructure and fraud detection. Industry surveys reveal that the use of artificial intelligence, machine learning and biometrics are also on the innovation agenda in payments.