There are several new technologies that are reshaping small and large retails, from artificial intelligence, virtual reality, 3D printing, networks, mobile apps among other. The way these technologies are and will continue to change the future of retail, specially for entrepreneurs these are opportunity to embrease. As a matter of fact, take a look how big e-commerce giants such as amazon, alibaba, wal-mart, ebay are digitizing the retail industry, changing the market place and impacting directly to companies such as Sears, JC Penny, Toys r Us, just to mention a few companies that have either lost massive market value or currently are already bankrupt. Moreover, if we look at the positive side of all these, the big shift is helping other small companies to develop technologies to speed the the race to innovation. This has very positive implications, to start the e-commerce massive growth, AI and VR retail experience, in-store experience change, consumer fast adaptation and adoption.
E-commerce trends are exponentially growing. Today there are about 4 billion people connected online, in a few years and accordingly to trends by 2024, technologies such as 5G and open networks will come to speed up the coverage of online population to reach about 8bn people. All of them with a fast internet speed. There will be 4.2 billion new e-commerce consumers, that opens a world of opportunities. Now, entrepreneurs at the same time will be seeking to service these new 4 billion new consumers while skipping the costly steps of searching, hiring and procuring retail space and sales people, training them and developing process to serve consumers and standardize through training. Today, thanks to global connectivity, contract production options, and watched pack-and-ship logistics, an entrepreneur can go from an idea to building and scaling a multi-million-dollar businesses from anywhere in the world in record time.
For business owners artificial intelligence will deconstruct e-commerce operation with automated customer service, accurate supply chain design, content generation and advertising segmented to personal levels. For example, imagine Cortana, Watson, Siri, Alexa or any other small business artificial intelligence software for entrepreneurs, such as Ava, that will learn from every customer interaction to answer any question perfectly, offer feedback on product or services. Moreover, machine learning will be capable of optimizing product ordering and supply chain models. For example, Skubana, is a platform for online sellers, the product leverages data analytics to provide entrepreneurs with constant product performance feedback and maintain optimal warehouse stock levels, something that before was complex to many small business specially when managing large number of SKUs. However, for customers, Amazon Alexa is shifting already consumers behaviors and becoming and importan user inter phase that will accelerate e-commerce growth even more.
Last year was a record brick and mortal in terms of stores close, surpassing the record high during the 2008 financial crisis, even though retail is booming currently. The Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, and computation are exponentially improving the in-person consumer experience. We will have options for personalized 3D printing products, Virtual Reality experience, Augmented Reality, to mention some of the big changes that will transform retail, because you will be able to experience everything in your home. The convergence of exponential technologies has already revamped how and where we shop and how we use our time, and how much we pay and how... many opportunities for entrepreneurs to think about
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