24
June
2015

7 Ways the Internet of Things Will Make a BIG Difference to Retail

Retail has become convenient for all of us. Yes, when it comes to the experience of Shopping in Retail stores, it has become unbelievably simple and easy. It is not only easy, but also become incredibly networked as well as extremely accessible. Consequently, the relationship between retail storeowners and customers are getting better, and all of this has become possible owing to the Internet of Things (IoT). In just a few years time, the IoT will grow in leaps and bounds. As per estimates, it will grow almost to 50 billion connections, thus combining and reinventing the physical world and the world of the internet.

The Internet of Things has several implications for your Retail Business. Simply by connecting inventory (physical items) to the web, retail storeowners can make the most out of loads of data, and use it to enhance their business processes. This in turn will help retailers respond to changing situations quickly and effectively.

Keep reading this post to learn how the IoT is transforming the world of Retail, and benefiting both Retail owners as well as Customers.

internet of things in retail

1. Smart Stores with Smart Sensors

When you have sensors in your store, retail owners can have stores that notify managers about the essential things that are required to done.  Let us cite an example to explain this point better. Say for instance, a microwave has sensors and can easily detect when the particular model of this product is falling short of stock. Such an idea can be implemented to your store’s shelves too!

2. Customize the Shopping Experience

Do you know that there are other benefits of sensors as well? What is it? Well, it can help storeowners find out a customer’s demographics. Say for instance, a woman is shopping for a trendy dress and having a look at the mannequins of the stores. Now, if these mannequins are fitted with cameras, how will it help you? Well, with the cameras, you would be able to know:

  • The age, gender and race of that particular shopper, i.e. the lady
  • With the information, you can customize the shopping experience of the customer even better

3. Getting Rid of Long Queues during Checkout

The foremost use of sensors in Retail establishments have been RFID (radio-frequency identification) chips. As far as these chips are concerned, they emit a signal for the sensor to pick up. The signals picked up are beneficial because it helps you to ascertain what items a customer has added to his shopping basket. This helps in reducing the time when a customer is queuing for making payment. Therefore, with the information gathered from the signals about the kind of products chosen, along with self-pay kiosks, long queues near the billing counter would disappear. This in turn will help retailers to move more shoppers through the store, lessen the number of employees, and improve margins.

4. Leveraging Big Data in Brick and Mortar Stores

What does extensive use of sensors in your physical store mean? Well, it means use of more data for retail owners in their stores. When you have more information about your customers, you know exactly what your customers like, what they purchase, how they purchase, and most importantly you get to know about customer demographics. With loads of crucial data, you get a data-driven business model to help you:

  • Operate
  • Reduce costs
  • Improve revenues
  • Boost profits

5. Buyers/Customers Switch to In-Store Beacons

With the aid of this location-oriented technology, which uses Bluetooth to connect with smartphones, retailers can easily locate where exactly a shopper is in their store. This advanced location-focused technology also alerts shoppers about:

  • Custom or special offers
  • Additional information about products when they are shopping
  • Reviews of other customers who have already purchased the product, thus helping new customers to make an informed buying decision

This type of real time and highly targeted marketing not only helps in driving more revenues, but also assists retailers:

  • In building mutually beneficial customer relationships
  • Gathering very helpful information about a buyer’s journey
  • Increasing loyalty

6. Improved Customer Service

Customer service is also changing with the lapse of time. Today, customer service executives have the required data essential to answer customer queries and resolve their issues. All of this information is available at their fingertips! This has two distinct benefits such as:

  • Customer service representatives can multitask
  • They can resolve problems much faster than expected

7. Quick Delivery

No, it is not about your electronic gadget or fast food delivery. Logistics or freight companies are leveraging the Internet of Things to enhance safety, boost efficiency and lessen costs. Accelerated order deliveries have become possible because of the use of technologies such as big data, cloud and predictive analytics. These advanced technologies are getting less pricey, and competitive advantage has become easier to realize.

We see that the IoT is now more suitable for Retailers and beneficial for customers, as well. Smart storeowners are those who leverage it to gain a competitive advantage. The use of advanced technology will thus help retailers arrive at better and faster decisions, helping to make the bottom line look healthier.

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