Technological innovation used to land squarely in the realm of Silicon Valley startups — a dream investment made possible only by the bold, the risky, the disruptors. For retailers, that perception is changing, and fast.

Keeping up with technological advancements is less of an option now and more par for the course. While Amazon is an obvious leader when it comes to retail tech — from Amazon Go to the constant expansions of the Alexa ecosystem and ever more intimate delivery techniques — nearly every sector of retail has become more involved with perfecting the technology that most customers expect by now.

From giants to smaller companies, there are a lot of experiments in the works. Walmart recently dropped the Scan & Go service from its own stores, but the retail giant continues to play around with it in Sam’s Club stores and through a partnership with Chinese company Tencent. Even smaller players like Zara are investing in artificial intelligence and other tech solutions to solve day-to-day issues. “If you pick a technology and then say: ‘how are we going to make this work in our retail environment,’ it’s probably the wrong question to be asking.”

Vice President of Commerce Strategy at SapientRazorfish With experience-driven technology like augmented and virtual reality, the goals tend to be different, but the important thing is to make sure tech isn’t being added in just for the sake of having something shiny to show off, according to Steve White, vice president of commerce strategy at SapientRazorfish. “For me, that’s indicative of a technology back strategy,” White told Retail Dive in an interview.

“If you pick a technology and then say: ‘how are we going to make this work in our retail environment,’ it’s probably the wrong question to be asking.” Despite the plethora of augmented reality apps ushered in by Apple’s ARKit, experts agree that the full potential for augmented and virtual reality has not yet been reached in retail. Read more from retaildive.com…

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