01/16/2018 | Debra Akins So good to share...Pinterest0Facebook0Google+0TwitterLinkedinAfter the holiday season where everyone spent a lot of time shopping, 2018 has come and a new era is to be expected in terms of shopping. Giving gifts are no longer the same many years ago as people prefer personalised wedding gifts instead of buying ready-made ones. Last year was a challenging year for retailers because of the rise of online shopping but this year it is expected that retailers will have a comeback. Despite this, expect to see more retail shops closing but not at the same level as the previous year. Technology will play a great role in the changes that will happen among retailers. This is not an easy task to incorporate technology in the industry nor is it a guarantee that it will bring success. Better opportunities will comes to retailers that incorporate technology in smaller scale instead of a major overhaul. According to the co-founder of Millennial 20/20, Rupa Ganatra, the success of retails in 2018 will depend greatly on the changes that retailers will make especially in terms of adapting with the needs of their customers. In order for them to remain relevant, they should be able to evolve and adapt accordingly. The managing director of Fung Global Retail & Technology, Deborah Weinswig, said additional opportunities will come to retails if they embrace chatbots, robotics, and facial recognition technology as well as image recognition. Artificial Intelligence will benefit retailers because of the huge amount of data they have to process. AI will also help them provide personalized and custom experiences which will raise their customer’s satisfaction. Loeb Associates Inc.’s president, Walter Loeb, said that the previous year was the digital discovery and this year technology will take center stage in the retail industry. Operating models of retailers will no longer focus in the competition between brick and mortar shops and online shops but they will focus in creating more ways by which customers will be able to have a more convenient shopping experience. It is expected that technology will play a bigger role in 2018 as businesses aim to deliver better services. Shoppers will have more to look forward to aside from personalised wedding gifts as new technology will bring new products ideal as gifts as well.