The interconnection between everyday objects through the internet, called as Internet of Things has
transformed the way we live and work. While the debates continue on whether retail shops are here to survive amidst online e-commerce stalwarts, quite a few of the progressive retail shops have opted in to challenge the status quo and adopted e-commerce tactics and have been fairly successful in their pursuit of happiness in reaching their goals.
IoT enabled retail outlets are powered by technologies like Global Positiontioning Systems (GPS), Near Field Communication (NFC), Beacons and Wi-Fi signals allowing them to grab a customer’s attention when he is close to their shops. Imagine you walk past your favourite apparel store where you shop regularly and have accumulated loyalty points as well. When you walk past this store today towards the coffee shop without wanting to buy anything from this store, and you get a offer on your phone with a offer or new arrivals? Makes you stop and think for a second, you may very likely end up spending some time shopping and may make a purchase too. Voila! The retail outlet’s IoT enabled system could predict your location, give you a fair offer and make you purchase. Not to mention you are beaming with joy on your new purchase.
Consumers today adopt IoT devices at a unimaginably high rate. The number of wearable devices and home automation purchases have seen exceptional rise in the recent times. With so much data floating around, its crucial to be able to make communication between various IoT systems to process and enhance the user experience. Common usecases where Retail has really adopted and intelligently made use of IoT are listed below:
Along with being able to maintain stocks and inventory, smart shelves have been able to predict whether you liked a particular shirt and in case you did not find the right fit, using an in-store app, you can request for another size and the attendant will find that for you and get it to you. You have officially converted a drop-off at the changing room to a successful purchase.
Imagine walking into your favourite outlet to buy fashion apparel for your next office party, and you get a discount offer on recommended accessories. Wouldn’t that be just the type of deal you would love? Using Beacon technologies and artificial intelligence, shops today are accurately able to predict if you’d like to collectively buy that black dress with a pearl neckpiece. With such a value added offer like that, who would increase their chances of sales and better profits.
“Once a consumer, always a consumer”, isn’t it?
A shopping mall is a collaboration of consumers, sellers and loads of data to process. Why not share this data amongst their network of partners. A customers’ journey through the mall is a classic example of why you end up with more than you imagined when you are out shopping. A connected network of movie theatre, cafe and fashion apparel, would definitely bring in more data points to capture every moment in a consumer’s journey through the shopping mall. Retailers, if open to partnerships a smart shopping experience will very likely be a thing in the future.
There is a clear and strong shift in retail outlets adopting technology and IoT as a means of competing with e-commerce. With all these improvements in shopping experience, sky is the limit for IoT in Retail.