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Top technologies for retail at a glance

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In recent years we have seen the consumption of technology grow at an ever-increasing speed, writes Robbie Johnson, retail manager at DCC.
Sometimes, just as you have become accustomed to an operating system (OS) or a smaller mobile phone, it’s time to upgrade and move on to the latest version. Trends change on a daily basis and it’s impossible to keep up. So where are we with the current landscape of technology and where are we headed?
2015 has seen an overabundance of new technology for us to explore and use, making everyday life easier. Tablets have most certainly been the most pervasive technology of 2015, with record sales driven by consumers’ need to have instant access to the Internet from anywhere. In addition mobility power banks have also seen a significant spike in popularity largely due to the high uptake of mobile phones and tables, further driven by load shedding. Personal health and fitness is also something that has become somewhat of a trend in recent times, with technology not trailing far behind with the introduction of a magnitude of gadgets ranging from wearable devices such as smart watches and personal health and fitness products entering the mass market.
Again, in line with load shedding, we are also seeing an uptake in UPS’s. Although it’s safe to say in a South African context this may be driven by the context of essentialism. Households and business now require these to stay operational.
So with so much on offer and the festive season fast approaching, what do you get your loved ones that will bode them well into the new year? In the efforts of mobility and connectivity tablets and smartphones will continue to be on the top of people’s gift list as this has become almost somewhat of a necessity in our everyday lives. It’s no surprise at the exponential rate at which we consume as well create information on a daily basis that portable hard drives are still on the radar as a necessity. As of December 2014 Google confirmed that 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute.
“Big data” will definitely drive the trend of hard drives as gifting item for years to come.  As South Africans we have not had much option in terms of alternative “cable” television. However, with streaming Video technology such as Netflix gaining a lot of momentum it may be interesting to see how local models such as ShowMax adapt to the introduction of this cheaper alternative and if consumers may consider this long-term gifting choice?
The introduction of all these technologies is astounding only surpassed by the fact that many of these items have led to cross functionality, enabling us to utilise one device for many different uses. The main culprit being the smartphone. Smartphones have undoubtedly had a major impact on other technologies. Smart phones have almost totally destroyed the entry-level, point-and-shoot camera market, and new models are also putting pressure on the high end SLR cameras too, pushing high-end SLR’s into the professional market only. It must be said that little to no smartphone camera can compete with the picture quality of a midrange SLR, however, the convenience and mobility factor is the most appealing aspect.
It’s safe to say it’s no longer the 80’s and there will be no one product that completely monopolises the market, but instead our range of choice in our technology needs will only continue to expand. The best part is generalist retailers are now offering great off-the-shelf products now at great value and affordable prices. They have the best pre-selected devices, and even better, most of these exciting products are on the shelves right now. Technology although changing at a rapid speed has also become more attainable to the everyday consumer.