Impact of Technology on Outsourcing in Retail Industry

November 9, 2016 5:08 pm | Updated 4 weeks ago.

The offshore outsourcing service providers are focusing on three areas that are critical to Retailers, both online as well as brick-and-mortar:

  • Procurement
  • Supply Chain Management and
  • Superior customer experience

As technology plays a very critical role in each of the above, we are seeing a marked increase in the volume of outsourcing to offshore vendors that have solutions or services which effectively leverage technologies like Cloud, IoT, AI and Machine Learning.

One of the recent surveys has indicated that roughly 30% of the Retail and Consumer Goods companies in the USA and the UK are offshoring their innovation activities, with China getting roughly half of the innovation offshoring activities. With Innovations being the single most critical driver of market share and profitability for the retailers, D2E sees a significant increase in the volume of offshoring of innovation activities in 2017. D2E’ specialty partners in Retail vertical have many innovative solutions leveraging the latest advances in technology.

Let us now look at the solutions that are available from offshore vendors for customers in Retail Vertical, both eTailers, and brick-and-mortar.

  1. Cloud: Most offshore vendors have POS and mPOS solutions available on the cloud, offering a wide array of choices to the Customers in the USA and the UK. D2E’ Specialty partners in Retail vertical have enterprise-class retail POS applications on the cloud for mid-size and large retailers and also iPad based POS for small retailers.
  2. IoT: Recognizing that New Channels and Revenue Streams, Supply Chain and Customer Experience are going to be the three most critical factors to the Retailers, the offshore vendors are focusing heavily on IoT and IoT-based solutions that connect the digital world to the physical world to enable bidirectional and real-time interactions between the retail store and the consumers, both within the store as well as outside. Using Bigdata Analytics techniques embedded in the solutions from the offshore vendors, the Retailers can analyze the data from these consumer interactions to improve the customer experience. For example, by analyzing the path taken by a majority of the consumers, based on the data from the sensors, the stores can improve the store layout etc. IoT-based solutions are available from offshore vendors not only for POS but also for Vending, Payment Technology, Retail Mobility (mPOS), Kiosk etc.
  3. Artificial Intelligence (AI): D2E’ Specialty Partners in Retail Vertical also have AI-based solutions that improve product discovery experience of the consumers. For example, given the picture of an item that a consumer likes, the AI based solution can visually search online and give a personal recommendation on what item to purchase and where it is located etc.
  4. Machine Learning: D2E’ Specialty partners are using technologies like Hadoop to do big data analysis to help the retailers with their decisions on customer experience, marketing, merchandising, supply chain etc. The specific solutions that are available from these D2E’ Specialty partners are in the areas of:
    1. Promotion Forecasting
    2. Omni-channel recommender system
    3. Content personalization
    4. Sentiment analysis
    5. Image classification and visual search
    6. Custom search with highly customized search engine