The retail industry has been at the center of many innovations. Over the years, we’ve seen the industry move from boring customer experiences to automated chatbots and e-commerce. Today, retailers operate not only brick-and-mortar stores, but also online stores, brands, delivery, customer service, and more. With so many tasks at hand, there is always a need for innovative technology to automate schedules and help make better use of resources. Among all IT solutions, the Internet of Things (IoT) has emerged as a very powerful potential technology, and in this article, we will present 5 ways to effectively leverage IoT in the retail industry.
Industrial sensors, connected machines, in-store analytics devices and smart retail management solutions are already entering the market. These innovative B2B devices and solutions will fundamentally change the way businesses operate, and Sparklabs expects these business connected devices to increase from 2.5 billion in 2017 to 5.4 billion in 2020.
Table of Contents
Better location tracking
Location tracking is not a new concept. In fact, you don’t need high-end IoT devices to track the location of your goods. So, how does IoT work? When we combine IoT with GPS systems, we can track the location of goods more accurately. IoT sensors can also help track the condition of goods and the impact of the external environment, such as temperature and delivery time, on their quality, which is especially useful for managing the transportation of perishable goods and cooked foods.
Retail beacons and geo-fencing are not new concepts for those involved in IoT innovation. However, if you are just starting to explore the retail IoT, then you should definitely look at the uses of geo-fencing. By using Bluetooth beacons, RFID or Wi-Fi networks, retailers can trigger location-specific marketing advertising messages when a potential customer enters or leaves a set geographic boundary. This allows for more personalized permission-based marketing where the marketing advertising messages have real value.
As the basis for MBA
MBA here stands for supermarket shopping cart analytics. It is a data analytics technique used to predict future purchases based on previous checkouts and items in the shopping cart. In order to perform proper shopping cart analytics, you need data on the consumer’s buying process, such as the items they buy, their movement from one category to another, and their behavior and changes in store layout. This data can be retrieved using IoT devices, such as sensors in the shopping cart, RFID tags in the merchandise, smartphones, etc. With these observations, you can re-plan the store layout and direct customers to relevant products based on purchases.
Accurate maintenance of inventory is one of the main concerns of a retailer. Traditional point-of-sale systems (POS) focus only on the number of items, but IoT RFID tags can provide more complex details, and this information may include temperature, condition, product damage, and more. IoT sensors also allow you to understand the impact on sales when the same item is placed in different locations. The use of advanced RFID technology can also prevent shoplifting and ensure better security.
Predictive equipment maintenance
In a typical retail store, there are many devices that require regular maintenance and repair. By using IoT sensors in these devices, we can monitor small changes in their function and perform immediate maintenance to avoid breakdowns. Refrigeration units are a common example of such devices, and by using IoT to make these units smart, you can monitor changes in temperature, function, and the impact of changes on stored merchandise. If a malfunction is detected, you can immediately schedule repairs and prevent breakdowns from occurring unexpectedly.
As you can see, retailers can leverage the IoT in many effective ways. Unfortunately, adoption of these solutions has not been as high as expected, and many retailers are still skeptical of the actual benefits of these devices. In fact, if used properly, IoT devices can be a competitive advantage in your industry, and a consumer-driven approach is sure to set you apart from the crowd of traditional retailers.
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]