Retail technologies are becoming critically important as competitive tools. Progressive retailers are using advanced information technology and software systems to produce better forecasts, control inventory costs, order electronically from suppliers, send information between stores, and even sell to customers within stores. They are adopting checkout scanning systems, online transaction processing, electronic data interchange, in store television, and improved merchandise handling systems.
Perhaps the most startling advances in retailing technology concern the ways in which today’s retailers are connecting with customers. Many retailers now routinely use technologies such as touch screen kiosks, customer loyalty cards, electronic shelf labels and signs, handheld shopping assistants, smart cards, self scanning systems, and virtual reality displays. For example, in its new pilot store –Bloom-southeastern grocery chain Food Lion is using technology to make shopping easier for its customer.