Retail business owners are obsessed with the Internet of Things (IoT), and we can’t blame them. Internet of Business found that “by adopting IoT, retailers transform and become experience-based retailers. They combine the online and in-store experience for customers, and turn the store into a place of entertainment, thanks to the rise of Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and data analytics tools.” Seven out of ten retail decision-makers are planning IoT investments by 2021, according to new research from Zebra Technologies. Of retailers surveyed, 80 % agree that IoT will drastically change the way companies do business in the next three years.
Is your retail store successfully blurring the lines between digital and physical experiences with IoT disruption?
Efficient Logistics and Supply Chains
While much of the IoT wave is seen inside of physical stores, many retailers are focusing on the delivery process to track shipments and monitor products. Gone are the days of receiving a broken product, contacting the seller, sending back the broken item, and waiting for a replacement. Now, thanks to IoT, it’s possible to monitor the well-being of products while they’re in transit. If a product is damaged or experiences higher temperatures than normal, and alert is immediately sent to the shipper. The sender immediately disperses a replacement for the customer, and the customer is alerted to the situation before the first package arrives.
Increase Customer Engagement
Data is the currency of disruption. It is no longer necessary to blindly predict customer habits and operational productivities. Possibly the largest perk of IoT, data-driven insights from devices is enabling business owners to see real-time customer engagement, product statistics, and employee sales. Know exactly what you need, when you need it, and which salesperson is most likely to sell it to your best customer.
Prevent Inventory Distortion
As we’ve seen from brands like Levi Strauss, IoT reduces inventory lag and overstocking by up to 10 percent. Levi’s Retail Sensor Platform, an IoT gateway located at the back of the store, manages data by forwarding it to the cloud. The RFID tags immediately detect merchandise theft from staff and customers. This system enables retail owners to pinpoint exact inventory needs, the way customers interact with merchandise, and the best way to optimize store layouts. Amazon Go leverages similar technology to enable customers to enter a store, grab what they need, and walk straight out without manually paying for items.
Personalized Online Shopping
E-commerce is driving rapid sales growth, but brickand mortar is still the major player in the retail industry. It’s time for retailers to rethink their omnichannel strategies with store transformation. Retailers can receive real-time information about both physical and digital worlds through sensor data and connected devices. These insights offer timely and personalized customer services, make better operational decisions, and secure merchandising and supply networks.
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