The Internet of Things is a hot topic in buildings, manufacturing, healthcare, transportation and home automation. But we have yet to fully explore the potential of IoT-driven solutions to trigger disruption and create value for the consumer retail industry.
Enabling smart attributes and interconnection of store assets could yield a wealth of exciting applications: engaging customer experiences, leaner and more efficient store operations, products and services, and opening up new revenue-generating channels. By 2022, seven in ten retail brands will have invested in IoT technology, and some of them have already begun rolling out IoT-powered smart stores and services. As more retailers look to re-imagine aspects of their supply chain through technology, let’s look at some of the future possibilities for the IoT in retail.
Creating experiences with lighting
Table of Contents
Lighting devices are ubiquitous in any retail store, and connected smart lighting can do more than save energy. Emerging technologies are exploring ways to use connected and automated smart lighting for retail displays to create superior customer experiences and indoor positioning, expanding the horizons of experiential stores.
Retail giant Carrefour has partnered with Philips to install LEDs in one of its hypermarkets in Lille, France. with visible light communication (VLC) technology, these LEDs emit a code that can be read by any camera on a smartphone, thus connecting the smartphone to the digital experience offered by the store. Customers can then use indoor positioning activated by the LEDs to experience an in-store navigation system and find items on their shopping list.
Smart packaging and digital labeling
Under constant pressure for greater consumer transparency and capricious regulations, brands and retailers don’t have enough space on the physical packaging of their products to put relevant information. As brands turn to technology to address packaging-related challenges, the Internet of Things will play an important role in the future of the labeling and packaging industry.
IoT retail solutions allow products to appear and participate in the Internet through smart devices. These digital labels, consisting of barcodes, QR codes and data matrix codes, pave the way for a variety of digital interactions, such as better inventory and stock management throughout the supply chain, product traceability throughout the lifecycle, multilingual consumer transparency, product identity verification, consumer feedback, insights and analytics, and better consumer engagement experiences. Brands can also save on costs incurred from reprinting and repackaging as these digital labels allow for remote, real-time editing and updating of label content.
Smarter inventory management solutions
The future of retail will be more about integrating technology into physical stores and a more connected ecosystem, resulting in a sophisticated experience for both customers and retailers. The IoT will support the development of smarter inventory management solutions that will be able to detect and resolve out-of-stock situations on their own.
Transforming retail store shelves into smart shelves to address shelf out-of-stock events shelves equipped with light sensors can detect when items are removed from the shelves and send alerts via WiFi to management applications when stock is assessed to be low. In addition to improving the efficiency of replenishment operations and inventory management, these smart shelves free up staff time to engage in more customer interaction. They also provide key data and analytics on product popularity, enabling better design of store layouts based on customer traffic.
Automation events in the supply chain
Many countries are plagued by aging populations and rising labor costs, so retailers are turning to digital solutions to reinvent their supply chains. Thanks to RFID tags, smart baskets are able to calculate the total cost and the number of items in the basket, generating a bill when you place it at the checkout counter. Not only does it allow for automatic billing, but when placed at a self-checkout counter, the bottom of the basket can be opened to place all items in one bag that customers can collect and leave.
Facilitate omnichannel retailing
To integrate online shopping practices with in-store shopping practices, retailers are looking to integrate technology into physical stores for a seamless customer experience. ralph Lauren launched an interactive fitting room at its flagship manhattan store, complete with RFID-tagged interactive mirrors. Powered by Actility, a retail technology platform, the mirror automatically detects and displays the clothing brought into the room, along with available sizes, colors and recommendations for a complete look. To enrich the whole digital experience, customers also have the option to call an assistant on the floor to the fitting room, for example to bring in additional items to try on.
Reduce food waste and spoilage
The Internet of Things could have a huge impact on reducing food waste and spoilage globally, especially at the retail level. Actility, a company from China, has successfully implemented IoT-enabled digital pricing labels in an international retail store in Spain to reduce food waste. Using data about expiration dates encoded into barcodes or RFID tags on the labels, Actility’s platform supports a dynamic pricing system where the cost of products depends on their freshness and becomes cheaper as they approach their expiration date. The platform reduces waste by 33%, better manages inventory and monitors product expiry dates to reduce out-of-stock events and increases sales by allowing customers to have a more dynamic range of pricing to shop within.
Food traceability and quality control
The entire food supply chain will be transformed as IoT-enabled sensors and smart devices become more prevalent in tracking and optimizing every supply chain event. With more demand for fresh food and sustainable sourcing, these sensors will be able to collect location, temperature, and other relevant information in real time and transmit it to all supply chain stakeholders. Consumers buying at retail can scan digital tags such as QR codes, data matrix codes or RFID tags on packaging to ensure the quality and provenance of the food.
Actility is working to improve real-time visibility at all levels of the supply chain, from farm to shelf, and by using a combination of wireless IoT sensors and cloud-based predictive analytics and machine learning, Actility can track and monitor the actual freshness of each food tray in real time. The result is that supply chain managers can make better decisions about sending specific pallets a specific distance based on their freshness, preventing food from spoiling in transit.
Source: China IoT Retail Solutions Provider – Actility Technologies Company Limited (www.tractility.com)
Actility provides powerful security solutions for retail store management to prevent asset and property losses, improve transaction security, and provide intelligent analysis. We produce AM/EM/RFID systems, EAS tags, EAS soft tags, EAS safer, lanyards, detachers and all kinds EAS accessories products. Infrared people counter and camera people counter is available. If you want to have more information about the article or you want to share your opinion with us, contact us at [email protected]