The ever-evolving technology has already changed not only the retail landscape, but also every single industry that it touched. Constant technological advances are completely changing the world, transforming the way we work and taking our everyday lives to a whole new dimension.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is one of the numerous advances in technology that is revolutionizing our lives and opening the door to a new world that seemed possible only in science fiction movies till few years back. The network of interconnected devices is providing a personalized customer journey and enabling retailers to provide consumers with a rich shopping experience.
The IoT slowly crept its way into our lives and it is rapidly becoming the norm among companies and consumers. Let’s take a look at the top ways it will transform the retail industry.
1. Customer Journey in Retail Stores
Just as you can track the customer journey online and learn more about your consumers in order to improve their experience with your brand, you can track their behaviour in a brick-and-mortar store with the help of the IoT.
The IoT enables you to connect smart cameras and sensors that map the patterns of customer traffic with a number of real-time solutions that provide location data, so that you can track your customers’ smartphones throughout the store and get actionable insights about their shopping behaviour. You can follow their journey from their entry to point of sale and create unique and personalized experiences specifically tailored to each customer.
This way of augmenting the in-store customer journey enables retailers to provide efficient and effective assistance to customers which, in turn, paves the way to improved brand reputation, loyalty, and higher revenue generation.
2. Product Placement and Discovery
When you follow the customer journey and people’s shopping behaviour with the help of the connected devices, you can learn how and when consumers make their purchasing decisions, as well as how much time they spend before buying products. You can get an insight into where each of your products attract the most attention, so that you can rearrange them wisely on the shelves and achieve ideal product placement that will effectively increase your sales.
3. Inventory Management
The IoT enables you to monitor your inventory in real-time and make smarter decisions when it comes to restocking your shelves. Moreover, you can set up notifications in order to receive alerts when particular products need to be replenished, so that you can make sure that you never run out of stock.
You can also implement the so-called smart shelves into your store, as they can send you alerts when you need to restock them, as well as enable you to change prices with a few simple clicks on your device.
4. Automatic Online Orders
Just as your IoT-enabled devices can send you alerts for managing your inventory, they can also automatically order particular merchandise when you are running low. Moreover, consumers can also use their smart devices to restock particular products.
You’re certainly familiar with smart fridges, and what many of them can do is automatically order online particular products when their supplies are low. This connection between smart homes and retailers will not only simplify people’s lives, but also create strong relationships between brands and consumers.
5. Theft Prevention
The Internet of Things will also significantly help with preventing theft in retail stores, and I don’t mean preventing customers from shoplifting, as there are cameras and EAS (Electronic Article Surveillance) tags for that.
The IoT will prevent employees (Yes, it happens!) and suppliers from stealing products while taking them out of the delivery trucks, for instance, because retailers will be able to keep track of their inventory and supply chain in real-time. This will considerably help curb any potential losses, as retailers will always know if something was taken, as well as exactly who took it.
All of this is just the tip of the iceberg, since the rise of IoT technology and extensive development by IoT application development company is only just beginning. The traditional retail industry is turning into one that provides consumers with huge convenience and personalized experiences, both online and offline, so all retailers should take the major opportunity that the IoT offers and take a new approach for improving customer loyalty and gaining a competitive edge.