Silicon Valley has a way of making a headline. Amazon grabbed consumer attention with drone delivery and no-checkout stores. The announcements gained Amazon acres of free media coverage in the run up to the holiday shopping season. The fact that both technologies are years from impacting consumers hardly mattered. They were great stories.

No less headline-grabbing was Bodega, a startup that planned to replace c-stores with large vending machines. Now the future of retail is Robomart, which announced a self-driving fresh produce store at CES.

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I don’t mean to suggest these technologies are not important. But the reality of the likes of automated vehicles is still years behind the hype. Even when they do become available, big changes play out relatively slowly. We are now 20 years into the internet and mobile revolution, and 91% of US retail spending still takes place in brick & mortar stores.

The productive retail tech investments of 2018 are of a more ordinary kind - retailers still have a lot of work to do just catching up to consumer behaviour in the present. A typical millennial trying to buy a brand or product of interest will take out their phone and search for what they need. This is still a deeply broken experience. They may see dozens of results, but almost no information about where the product is available locally.

There is a big opportunity for retailers to up their game on everyday problems like these. Large players like Google and Facebook have put increasing focus on local product discovery, and new players such as Pointy have made it simpler for retailers to unlock inventory information. Marketing attribution is also improving due to Facebook’s Offline Conversions API and Google’s Store Visit tracking.

Autonomous vehicles may change the world some day, but meanwhile it pays to ask more basic questions. Is your store information available online? Is local inventory accessible? Can you measure digital marketing impact on offline sales? Improvements in these areas may generate fewer headlines, but will likely generate more customers in 2018.

Mark Cummins is CEO and founder of Pointy