2017 has been a difficult year for the retail sector, large companies have not been able to adapt to the new needs of users, increasingly inclined to make purchases through online services something that results in a drop in store visits Physical.

But the trend is going to change throughout 2018 and that despite the large number of products they offer, it’s retailers that are going to provide the technology needed for consumers to save time and come back again and again , after a satisfactory experience.

Technology-time-saving

According to a survey conducted by SOTI”The Connectd Retail Experience” that analysed the shopping habits of American consumers both online and in the store, it resulted in 76 percent of consumers indicating that they have a best in-store experience when sales are tied to technology. In addition, 67 percent of respondents said retailers using more mobile technology allow them to save time.

Carl Rodrigues, CEO and President of SOTI said:

“SOTI found that consumers have a better retail experience when technology is integrated, either through the availability of self-service kiosks or sales partners using mobile technology. However, consumers don’t want technology because it provides a ‘great’ factor, but they appreciate mobile technologies that help them save time. These factors make it more important than ever for retailers to implement mobility management, to ensure that technology integrates in the store, functions properly, and meets consumer needs.”

SOTI’s consumer survey also shows that 66 percent of buyers prefer self-service technology over interaction with sellers.

When it comes to different types of self-service technology, self-payment is by far the most preferred solution with 53 percent, followed by digital kiosks/scanners to allow price checks with a 23%. In fact, autopay is so popular that 77 percent of consumers would feel comfortable in a retail environment where only self-pay technology was offered.

New ways of delivery

Technology is not only transforming the way people shop, it’s also transforming the way merchandise is delivered, and that’s what that step has become a critical part of the overall retail experience.

According to the results of the SOTI survey, 60% of consumers are starting to prepare for new home delivery services, this percentage indicates that they would be comfortable with the new shipping methods offered by including drones (29%), autonomous vehicles (28%) and in-home delivery methods (33%).

Home deliveries

In late 2017, Walmart and Amazon caused a collective shudder when they announced their new in-home delivery services using smart locks and security cameras to allow the cast to enter the interior while buyers monitor the process remotely through an app. Giving the possibility to receive the goods, even if the buyer is not at the time.

Walmart & August Home

As advertised by Walmart, the service they offer is that once the customer, who must use August Home’s smart locks in their home, places an order on the Walmart website, the order is prepared, and once it is ready, the person who delivers it llev you will purchase to the house, and unlock the door by means of an access code that the homeowner has previously authorized. And if necessary you will put the items that have been purchased in the fridge, the person in charge of the delivery will leave, and the door will close automatically.

The owner can control the entire process through The August mobile app, and even watch the delivery as it happens in real time through the August home security cameras.

At CES 2018, August presented his partnership with Deliv, a leader in daily home deliveries. The great advantage of partnering with Deliv is that it will provide August with a large number of partners to help him expand the types of delivery services despite being used by Deliv. According to Daphne Carmeli, CEO of Deliv:

“Deliv offers the ultimate mile compliance solution for a wide network of retailers across the country, while August Home supplies the technology to take the final step at home, helping to live a fully integrated experience , from start to finish.”

Boxlock Home

A more consumer-oriented solution for this so-called “last mile” challenge comes from BoxLock, a startup that creates an Internet-connected security lock, and geared towards home deliveries. BoxLock Home, supports all major shipping operators and any locked storage container, opens only after scanning and verifying a code that comes next to the package.

Amazon Key

Amazon has taken its next step in its customer service policy and launched a service that will allow Amazon delivery people to open the front door and place packages securely inside customers’ homes, even if they are not there.

The service is called Amazon Key and is based on a new Amazon camera and a compatible smart lock. The camera is connected to the Internet via the home Wi-Fi network. The camera communicates via Zigbee, a wireless protocol used by many smart home devices.

When a courier arrives with a package to deliver at home, it scans the barcode and sends a request to the Amazon cloud. If all goes well, the cloud grants permission by sending a message to the camera, which starts recording. The delivery staff receives a message in their app, swipes the screen and the door unlocks. They leave the package and close the door again. The customer will receive a notification that their delivery has arrived, along with a short video showing the delivery to confirm that everything was done correctly.

Customer satisfaction is one of the most important points for retail companies. That’s why when launching an app where buyers place all the trust, opening the doors of their home for the delivery of the goods, companies have to ensure maximum security.

But recently an anonymous researcher has sent a video to the Amazon service showing how it breaches Amazon Key security, being able to unlock the lock and enter the house. The hacker managed to break the lock security using a Raspberry Pi equipped with a battery pack and a wireless device. In a video, he showed himself as a fake hacker, placing the Pi in a hidden place on the doorstep of a house. A fake dealer appears with a package, opens the door with your Amazon Key app, and delivers the package, before closing the door and leaving. Of course, the door is not locked, but the sound of the lock lock lock is just a fake audio file. When the hacker returns, he can enter the house.

Amazon belies that the attack is actually applicable in any real-world scenario. For starters, the researcher-tested application is not the same as the one used by delivery people, Amazon said. Kristen Kish company spokesman said:

“The safety features built into the delivery technology used for home delivery are not used in the demo. Security measures are in place when using controller technology: our system monitors 1) that the door is only open for a short period of time, 2) communication with the camera and not interrupting the no lock, and 3) that the door is locked safely again. The dealer does not leave without physically verifying that the door is locked. Security is built into all aspects of the service.”