With the rapid advancement of technology these days it is little wonder that the subject of emerging technology trends in franchising is a matter of much discussion. Technology is the key to making the playing field a little more level. It is the one thing that enables smaller franchisees to do more with less. Franchisees need to use technology to keep up with the larger more cash flow able businesses. So with that in mind, this article will discuss some of the trending technologies that smaller franchisees can use to help their franchise become profitable and successful.
Data science and analytics is the popular new “go to” for business today. It helps businesses to make better decisions based on the data collected about their customers. It helps them predict consumer behavior and trends. This then helps them to personalize the customer experience. This, of course, allows them to get more products in front of the customer that will in turn increase sales. Increased sales will then improve the revenue of the business.
Recommendation engines collect information about customer habits and use that information to make recommendations for different products that the customer might like. Over time, as the engine collects more and more information, it is better able to connect the customer with products to their liking.
Automated Order Fulfillment
One way that smaller franchises can use technology to make the playing field more level with the larger companies is to use automated order fulfillment. This cuts order processing time down so the product gets in the customers hands quicker. Another advantage of automated order fulfillment is that it helps the franchisee to not have to hire so many employees. The fulfillment system can do what employees could do and it can probably do it better and more efficiently.
Face recognition is probably going to be the most controversial technology that we discuss. This is because having a computer study, recognize and remember your face feels very personal. There are also other applications of this technology that seem like something “Big Brother” (I.E. oppressive governments) would use. People don’t like that. However, if it truly is used only for retail applications, then it’s an excellent way of personalizing a shopping experience as soon as the customer walks in the door. The system can recognize their face and have the data of their past purchases. Then it can direct them to the products they are probably interested in. This is efficiency at its finest.
Inventory tracking and management systems are automated systems that track how much of a certain item the store has in stock. When that supply gets low, or to a pre-designated level, the system can automatically order more. This makes sure you never run out of products, especially your popular products. Also, it enables your staff (your human staff, that is) to look up items and know if it’s in stock, where it is and how many of it you have. Of course there’s much more to this system but it is clear already how valuable it can be.
Chat Bots for Customer Service
Chat bots are extremely popular today and are in heavy use in industry already. They are very helpful in lowering cart abandonment. They can help with basic questions that a customer might have and expedite the search and check-out process.
So, to recap, some of the most popular technologies today that are emerging for franchises are data science and analytics to help with understanding past and future trends. Also, recommendation engines that literally make recommendations for customers. Then there is automated order fulfillment that helps the franchisee do more with less. There is the always controversial face recognition that has the ability to personalize the customer experience to a very large degree. Also, inventory tracking and management systems help the business to know what it has in stock and what it needs at any given moment. And, last but not least, are chat bots for customer service. Technology is the boost that smaller franchisees need to level the playing field with the bigger companies. There is no question it has the ability to do so.