Technologies That Are Transforming Retail

Like any industry today, retailers are starting to use many new ways to increase sales and raise their profitability. While this can be through new marketing techniques, customer relations, or even new products, many people don’t realize that technologies are changing retail too. The top technologies that are transforming retail are tech-driven applications to enhance customers satisfaction and ensure fast, efficient transactions for a smooth shopping experience.

Augmented and Virtual Reality

Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are changing the retail industry with their improvements to customer satisfaction and sales. AR uses an interactive experience where real-world objects use computer-generated information to depict a certain image. In retail, customers can use it to see how certain pieces of clothing or items would fit in their homes. This way, these customers feel more confident in their choices and are more likely to make the purchase. Additionally, retailers use VR to redesign stores or compare different products before any actual development takes place.

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence is making a big impact on retail today. One of the main duties of AI in retail is processing customer data. AI records buying patterns to use for merchandising to create a more personal shopping experience. Likewise, many retailers implement facial recognition software to remember customers facial data. This way, when repeated customers return, their facial scans show their shopping patterns. This allows the retailer to retrieve the right products or services beforehand. Not to mention, using facial recognition technology can deter theft because it would improve store security.

POS Software

Lastly, one final piece of technology to change retail is a point-of-sale system. Modern POS systems provide full functionality to process credit card payments, handle gift card balances, and manage employee and customer information in addition to payment processes. Many of these systems are EMV and PCI compliant to protect against credit card theft. Also, each transaction is smooth and efficient. Rather than use an older POS system or even a cash drawer, new POS systems can use cloud-based technology for each payment.

What to Know About Smart Factories

Like any industry today, manufacturing has changed to become more techno-savvy. The purpose of this is to improve production rates and quality assurance. This new type of manufacturing, often called smart manufacturing, utilizes internet-based systems to manage large data processes and quick changes. For more information, read below on what to know about smart factories and how they’re changing the manufacturing industry today.

What Is a Smart Factory?

A smart factory refers to the utilization of modern technologies and innovations in the realm of smart manufacturing. It employs computer-based systems to adapt and change designs rapidly, process digital information, and optimize the supply chain. This leads to more efficient production and a flexible workforce. Unlike previous automated techniques, smart manufacturing uses intelligent automation and interoperable network systems to increase data storage and manage supply chains. This can handle large data sets easier and react to orders or changes faster.

The Current Impact on Manufacturing

Given its reliance on new technologies, smart factories have changed manufacturing significantly. Smart manufacturing relies on what’s called the industrial internet of things (IIoT). This refers to the interconnected sensors, instruments, and machines networked via a computer’s industrial applications. This is to increase integration and data storage through cloud software and computational metrics to track workflow. The interconnectivity allows for more efficient data processing to enhance the flow of production. Additionally, the various benefits of industrial robots has tremendously improved production rates and speeds. Many robots work with humans to evaluate sensory input and solve problems. They are flexible and can reconfigure to handle different problems when needed.

More so, industrial robots ensure a safer work environment. This is because less error on the manufacturing floor mean less accidents. Also, robots can handle different high-risk applications that too dangerous for humans, such as high temperatures, exposure to certain materials, or other occupational hazards that humans cannot handle.

Industries That Use Smart Factories

With this, it’s interesting to see which industries use smart manufacturing in their daily operations. Two main industries that do this are the automotive industry and the energy industry. The use of robots in these factories mean 24-hour production times, more accurate inspection findings, and more detailed assessments. These devices also help these industries take a greener approach in their daily operations. Specifically, IIoT devices integrated with sensing systems can optimize energy consumption while balancing power generation and usage. Robots are especially useful in the automotive industry where IIoT devices process data to effectively manage and customize vehicles, as the robots conduct the heavy repetitive tasks.

5 Creative Ways to Use Digital Signage in your Store

If foot traffic and sales in your brick-and-mortar retail outlet are lagging, it might be time to shake things up. Devise a new marketing strategy for in-store promotions and re-engage your customers. The human eye is drawn to a screen—marketing professionals and ad execs have known this for decades. As we go through our daily lives surrounded by screens, we can’t help but try to look at all of them. Use screens to your advantage by placing them in your store. Smart business owners use visuals to engage their customers and boost sales inside their stores. Here are some ways to use digital signage to improve your business.

Promote Your Other Platforms

People are in your store because they like your products and services. They’ve already decided that they like you and your shop, so give them more. Use digital signage to promote your other platforms and services. Show customers what else you have going on, such as your social media, YouTube channel, or an upcoming tradeshow you will be attending. If your store has another location, promote that as well and get more traffic in there, too.

Create a Window Display

It’s not enough to hope that people see your store from the street as they walk or drive by. You have to grab their attention and pique their curiosity. Set up a window display that dazzles the eye and brings people in. Run promotions, product demos, or clips of whatever—just use that screen as a big hook to bring people in.

Run Product Demos

Use the screen to demonstrate your products. Set up a simple demonstration, infomercial style. There is a reason those still run on TV—they are effective. Show customers how great your products are and how to use them in different and creative ways.

Tell Your Story

Consumers want to connect with a brand now, not just buy products. They want to feel that the brand speaks to them and has similar values. Use the digital space to tell customers about your business and how it came to be. Tell them what your business is doing to help the community at large. It’s your story, so craft it however you like but be genuine in the approach. Everyone loves a great story about overcoming odds, not a fantastic story full of embellishments.

Inform About Coming Promotions

Make the display a bulletin board for your customers. Provide information about upcoming promotions and sales, shows you will be at, and whatever else you think they need to know. Be a resource for your customers and tell them what new products are coming in and when they’ll be available for purchase. If you don’t tell your customers about your services, no one else will.

Ways to Improve the Audio Quality in Your Car

We tend to spend a lot of time in our cars, in large part due to work commutes. One way to instantly improve your work commute is to listen to music, but you might be dealing with audio issues that prevent you from jamming out. Here are some ways to improve the audio in your car and enjoy your favorite songs on the way home.

Replace Factory Speakers

The first order of business you should do is replace the factory speakers that you are given with your car. Factory parts in general are known for being lower quality, but the good news is you can easily replace them. When you get new car speakers, consider adding a subwoofer; it will enhance the sound even more.

Get a New Head Unit

If you are someone who owns an older car, then your head unit is likely outdated with a CD and cassette player. The good news is you can easily replace the unit and get a brand new one with satellite radio, USB outlets, and Bluetooth capabilities.

Download High-Quality Music Files

While many people tend to stream music off apps today, but this could be a reason why your audio quality is low. To avoid this, download your music at a higher quality because you will get a more consistent sound because it’s already stored on your device.

Consider Sound Deadening

Another way to improve the audio quality in your car is to consider sound deadening. Sound deadening will essentially soundproof your car. You might be driving a truck or a Jeep, which are known for making a lot of noise. To soundproof your car, install sound deadening foam on your vehicle’s floor, insulate the doors, get new tires, and get a new muffler if you need one. These changes will greatly improve how you listen to music in your car.

Free Up Storage on Your Mac with iCloud; Why Doesn't Additional Free Space Become Available After Transfer from Mac to iCloud

According to Apple, optimized Storage in macOS Sierra and later can save space by storing your content in iCloud and making it available on demand. When storage space is needed, files, photos, movies, email attachments, and other files that you seldom use are stored in iCloud automatically. Each file stays right where you last saved it, and downloads when you open it. Files that you’ve used recently remain on your Mac, along with optimized versions of your photos.

You can transfer older files to iCloud by manually dragging files from your local Documents folder to a folder you name ArchiveDocuments if you wish. For example, you can free up local space by dragging all of your file from 2016 to folder you could name "Documents2016."

Lets say you move 3 GB worth of files from your local Mac to iCloud. You might not see the 3 GB extra space immediately. It will likely show up after a restart, but you can also prompt the extra space to display by opening the Storage Management window:

Access the the Storage Management menu from Apple Menu: About This Mac: Storage Tab (in the Storage Management). On slower Macs it may take awhile for space capacity, partitions and availability to display. You will see "calculating" perhaps for a few minutes before the information properly displays. When it displays, you will see the latest space available with the extra 3 GB available.

Store in iCloud
Click the Store in iCloud button, then choose from these options:

Desktop and Documents. Store all files from these two locations in iCloud Drive. When storage space is needed, only the files you recently opened are kept on your Mac, so that you can easily work offline. Files stored only in iCloud show a download icon , which you can double-click to download the original file. Learn more about this feature.

Photos. Store all original, full-resolution photos and videos in iCloud Photos. When storage space is needed, only space-saving (optimized) versions of photos are kept on your Mac. To download the original photo or video, just open it.

Messages. Store all messages and attachments in iCloud. When storage space is needed, only the messages and attachments you recently opened are kept on your Mac. Learn more about Messages in iCloud.

Storing files in iCloud uses the storage space in your iCloud storage plan. If you reach or exceed your iCloud storage limit, you can either buy more iCloud storage or make more iCloud storage available. iCloud storage starts at 50GB for $0.99 (USD) a month, and you can purchase additional storage directly from your Apple device. Learn more about prices in your region. In March 2020 2 TB of storage costs $9.99 per month (50GB: $0.99 and 200GB: $2.99).

Optimize Storage
Click the Optimize button, then choose from these options.

Automatically remove watched movies and TV shows. When storage space is needed, movies or TV shows that you purchased from the iTunes Store and already watched are removed from your Mac. Click the download icon  next to a movie or TV show to download it again.

Download only recent attachments. Mail automatically downloads only the attachments that you recently received. You can manually download any attachments at any time by opening the email or attachment, or saving the attachment to your Mac.

Don't automatically download attachments. Mail downloads an attachment only when you open the email or attachment, or save the attachment to your Mac.

Optimizing storage for movies, TV shows, and email attachments doesn't require iCloud storage space.

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