So, you walk into the store to buy a new tablet.
Now, as you enter the store, your phone pops up with so many notifications. You open the map to find the location where the tablet you want to buy is showcased in-store. As you reach the destination, your phone displays all the specifications and features of the tablet. You try on the tablet and put it in your bag. Once you leave the store, money will be deducted for the tablet you bought, and you will receive an invoice for it.
Sounds quite interesting, right? This is one of the scenarios that result due to the rise of IoT in retail.
However, the scenario is explained from the customer’s point of view. But, just think from the store owner perspective that how deeply custom IoT products is redefining retail.
To make your vision more clear for IoT in retail, check out the below-given stats.
Statistics Showing Efficiency of IoT Solutions in Retail Industry
All this shows that the Internet of Things in retail can break the wall among products and customers. It works as a win-win situation for the customers and business.
Still have so many questions in your mind like,
This article nails down the answer to each question and gives a complete sketch of smart IoT for retail.
Let’s nosedive into it! We’ll start with briefing IoT retail.
What is IoT in Retail?
IoT comprises everything you can think of like software, data services, hardware, system integration, and so on. As a result, almost every industry can benefit from the Internet of Things. To put it short, when the Internet of Things grows, customers will observe an extraordinary user experience.
When it comes to IoT-driven retail, it includes everything from a small business to large enterprises. Retail stores can use the IoT operations in different ways that ultimately reduces the workload of workers. For instance, the lights automatically get dim when there are fewer customers or adjusting the temperature based on the number of customers.
The best thing about IoT retail is its knack to do all tasks without the involvement of humans. The two most common implementation of retail IoT are,
1. Taking actions based on data gathered: IoT machines will process the commands according to the data received by them – with or without human presence.
2. Collecting data & processing through sensors: The devices collect data from the nearby environment through motions and send it to specific persons in real-time.
From supermarkets to supply chains to small stores, IoT adoption occurs in every part of the retail. Things will get more clear in the next topic of the article, which talks about the areas of IoT retail implementation.
Key Areas Wherein IoT is Re-defining the Retail
IoT in retail works in multiple channels to let retail operators reach out to new customers, and enhance the experience of existing customers. Here are some key areas of retail wherein the Internet of Things impacts.
1. Smart Shelves
Smart shelf technology is broadly used in the retail industry. It takes the automated inventory management system beyond the expectation level.
IoT helps physical stores to keep track of their shelves. The fact is smart shelf solutions is a crucial part of IoT automated stores though it is also used in the traditional stores. Sensors track the movement of the items from the shelves and update the store owner about the stock.
Adding more to it, smart shelf technology includes three main elements.
The process works like an RFID reader that will record every movement and store the digital data. Then, an RFID reader works on the radio waves to collect the information from the RFID tag. Later, this data is transferred to the IoT platform for further analysis. This way, by combining RFID with IoT, retailers can keep track of the goods through their entire supply chain cycle.
Smart shelves keep track of the items on the shelves and showcase the exact price of an item in the database. Moreover, some advanced smart shelves allow customers to connect their phones with a smart shelf to get information on the product.
Besides all, according to a survey, it was found that the revenue of retailers grows by 4% after automating their stores with smart shelves.
2. Checkout With No Cashiers
It is one of the most interesting IoT in Retail examples. With the Internet of Things, the cashiers will now only be a machine. So, we can say that these are the final days of the checkout lanes.
The customers can walk in, take the products they want to buy, and move out of the store. The bill amount gets deducted once the customer leaves the store.
Retail store checkout works through devices, sensors, scanners, and more. However, this revolution will work on a solid combination of IoT, mobile POS terminal, and digital payment technology. By merging Artificial Intelligence with IoT cashless counters come into action. AI systems like the Shoplift employee computer vision system are used to avoid theft from the store.
Additionally, the system also detects the times that are not for sale. Alters are sent to the control room in case any customer attempts to carry such items past checkpoints.
The stores consist of IoT sensors, ceiling-mounted cameras, and many devices. All this together will keep an eye on the activities of the customers. Amazon Go will steal in the spotlight here by implementing checkout without cashiers.
3. Beacon For Retail Store
In 2013, Beacons were introduced by Apple. It is a small Bluetooth device that sends a notification to the smartphones as per the location proximity. You might be thinking about how beacons work for IoT driven retail? Here is an answer to it.
Beacons in retail send notifications to the customers regarding special events, discounts, and special reminders when they pass near a shop. It works only when the data of the customer is stored in the database of a store. It is one of the best ways to attract customers to your retail store by effectively advertising promotions and in-store events.
About 70% of the customers have agreed that beacon-triggered content increased their interest in shopping.
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4. Robot Employees
You might have a feeling that it’s quite tough to trust a robot to be part of your customer service. Nevertheless, it is an alluring opportunity to lessen the staff and focus on more important work.
The Internet of Things in retail makes use of robots in two ways. First, a few retail owners make use of the robot to help customers find their needs and assist them for the same. At the same time, some use it to check on stocks, misplaced items, and other supply chain management.
By taking such inventory tasks in hand, robots make it easy for customer support to focus on providing superior customer assistance.
5. Digital Signage in Retail
To enhance customer engagement, many retail store owners use digital signage. It gives an interactive shopping experience to its customers.
IoT in retail market took digital signage beyond expectations. It pushes signage a level up to just a league of display boards. For instance, touch screens in the changing rooms will suggest to the customer the alternatives, best size, unique designs, assistance on accessories, and more. In addition, stores can acquire data on the customer’s behaviour and help them accordingly.
Another thing that is wildest in the imagination is digital signage that does face recognition through Artificial Intelligence. In-built face recognition systems will display the things that are likely to attract customers. Digital signage is one of the best IoT in retail use cases to take into attention.
It can also go with beacons to display real-time offers, product groupings, and targeted promotions.
6. Asset Tracking
It is quite tough to track the missing basket or any other items in a huge retail store. However, thanks to the asset tracking through IoT, which helps to find the missing items successfully.
Different sensors are placed on the assets, which will let the store owner know the exact location. Owners can save the items from being theft or misplaced through asset tracking. An asset tracking sensor can run for years without a need for replacement.
7. Personalized Alerts
If you’re a frequent customer, then you might expect some discounts or offers. With smart retail solutions, you may set up the sensors around the stores that will send discount alerts to frequent or customize customers.
When customers come near a product, their smartphones will show personalized discounts and offers that come under the loyalty program. Your tailor-made discounts and offers will surely gain the attention of the users as they will feel special. Personalized discounts are more effective in comparison to in-general discounts. Therefore, you will get loyal and long-term customers with such IoT applications in retail industry.
This way, using IoT retail, you can maximize the user engagement and ROI of your business.
A Complete Flow Explaining IoT in Retail Store
So, it’s time to gather all the key areas of IoT implementation in one place. But, first, let’s keenly analyze how IoT is sneaking into the retail stores from the micro-level.
The below-given infographic gives you a visual overview of how IoT is redefining a retail store. Peep into the infographic.
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How Smart IoT For Retail is Optimizing Customer Experience?
Retail with the Internet of Things lets store owners find new ways to build a connection with the customers. We have suspected a few scenarios in which IoT retail will enhance the user experience.
Retail IoT makes good sense in improving the communication between the brand and customer. IoT keeps track of customer behaviour and stores the data. Later, this data is analyzed by the marketing team, and accordingly, further improvements are done.
The demand for delivery is rising, especially after the pandemic. However, customers are keen regarding the delivery status of the product. With IoT and GPS tracking system, let your customers track their parcels in real-time and know the exact time of delivery. The customer can check on the tracking through the mobile applications.
This way, IoT in retail market optimizes the customer experience in different ways. For example, giving all the information a customer is looking for or guiding him through his shopping will definitely let a customer visit your store for the second time.
Perks of Internet of Things in Retail
Now you know everything about retailing on the internet. Nevertheless, many are still curious to know about the advantages of IoT for Retail. So let’s go over the benefits!
Helps to predict what customer will buy next:
IoT sensors collect the data of the user behaviour for buying goods and, based on that, predict their future buying.
Reducing fraud risk:
One of the major benefits of industrial IoT solutions is it adds an extra layer of security and traceability for the product management and delivery process.
More productivity of in-house staff:
The Internet of Things makes use of sensors, cameras, and other devices to learn about the issues faced by customers. Later, the in-house staff can help them to solve their queries and help them in shopping.
Proactively working on product placement:
Perfect placement of various products is essential in order to increase the sale. Based on the data collected by the IoT sensors, find the perfect spots for product placement.
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IoT in Retail: The Concluding Thoughts
In today’s time, there are more than 7 billion IoT connected devices working across the globe. As IoT networks are widely available, there is a chance that IoT in Retail will become mandatory to gain user attention after some period. As a result, IoT-driven retail opens multiple opportunities for retail owners to enhance their business and gain new customers. Above all, the future of IoT in retail is bright and enticing.
We have been working as an IoT software & application development company for years and developed many IoT based systems like smart parking, smart switches, smart helmets, and more. If you’re interested in IoT adoption in your retail, get in touch with our team, and share your idea. The technical crew combines various technologies like IoT, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, AR, VR, and more to bring the best for your business.
Our professionals will analyze your IoT application, and share the best possible solution for you. Have a word with our experts.