Smart retail is expected to overcome these challenges in terms of revenue growth, cost reduction and business process optimization, bringing unprecedented benefits to retailers and their customers.
The retail landscape has changed dramatically with the development of IoT. 70% of retailers believe IoT will significantly impact the way they do business in the future, so it’s no surprise that the IoT in retail market is expected to reach $182.04 billion by 2028.
Consumer habits, high pressure on delivery services, and buyers’ distrust or inability to use technology for online shopping are among the factors that will bring customers back to shop in an environment where they could otherwise thrive. Smart retail promises to overcome these challenges and deliver unprecedented benefits to retailers and their customers in terms of revenue growth, cost reduction and business process optimization.
How is the internet of things used in retail
Table of Contents
- How is the internet of things used in retail
- 11 innovative use cases of internet of things in retail sector
In retail, IoT can reduce inventory errors, optimize supply chain management and reduce labor costs. Ultimately, the IoT can help brick-and-mortar stores compete with the online shopping world and improve the customer experience in an exponential way. There are many benefits associated with IoT for the retail industry, but here we will focus on what we believe are seven important aspects of IoT applications for the retail industry.
11 innovative use cases of internet of things in retail sector
One of the biggest daily responsibilities of retailers is to keep their stores clean, comfortable, safe and aesthetically pleasing. There are many IoT technologies that can help streamline these tasks and reduce associated costs.
For example, personnel statistics combined with presence detection data can identify frequently used areas to better manage disinfection and cleaning schedules. With the help of wireless IoT sensors, facility managers can also proactively monitor store entrances and entire stores for low supplies of consumables for effective inventory management and timely replenishment.
In terms of customer comfort as well as operating expenses and sustainability, energy management can now be easily optimized with environmental sensors that monitor temperature, lighting, ventilation and cooling. This environmental data identifies key energy consumption drivers and provides a panoramic view of energy consumption patterns, abnormal energy consumption of faulty equipment (if any), and under- or over-utilized infrastructure and wasted resources.
Passenger flow control
Since the New Crown pneumonia pandemic, retailers have been asked to implement new limits on the number of customers in their stores to ensure compliance with government social distance regulations. A people counting system can help track the number of people entering and leaving any given area in real time and alert store managers when capacity thresholds are reached.
Customer behavior tracking
Occupancy sensors can provide basic data about store traffic patterns and dwell time in specific merchandise areas. This data can help retailers better plan in-store sales and guide sales through more effective display setup, aisle layout and space allocation. Such data can also be used to monitor checkout queue wait times to provide better customer service through increased staffing or additional self-checkouts.
Supply chain and logistics
The IoT provides unprecedented visibility into shelf, shipping and warehouse inventory to help retailers improve efficiency, reduce costs and ensure a superior customer experience. There are a variety of IoT sensors that can provide a consistent stream of real-time data about the exact location of items, the time it takes to move between different stages of the supply chain management lifecycle, and even the speed at which specific delivery trucks are traveling. This helps identify bottlenecks, develop contingency plans and determine alternative routes to speed up deliveries. It can also help suppliers, manufacturers and distribution centers better prepare to receive goods, thereby reducing processing time.
Cold chain monitoring
Perishable food spoilage has led to a significant decline in the profitability of the retail grocery industry, spoilage alone, retailers lose an average of $ 70 million per year. Environmental sensors can track environmental conditions in storage facilities, cargo containers, delivery vehicles or stores, such as temperature, humidity, air quality, light intensity and other environmental factors to protect perishable goods, ensure optimal freshness and reduce waste.
In addition to the supply chain, wireless IoT sensors can be used to track in-store assets such as shopping carts and baskets. From expensive theft to time-consuming searches, shopping carts can be a major headache for retailers. The fact that shopping carts can cost anywhere from $75 to $250 each makes it critical to ensure that they are placed and in good condition. IoT sensors can help pinpoint the location of shopping carts scattered all over the place and activate an automatic locking system on the wheels if they are pushed too far. This not only prevents theft, but also ensures that there are always enough carts available for customers to use.
IoT devices are also being used to personalize the shopping experience. For example, Bluetooth beacons can send real-time store offers to nearby passersby on their smartphones. Such information can solicit potential passersby to enter the store and take advantage of the offer, as well as let in-store customers know about personalized discounts, special events or other information.
Another example of IoT innovation in the retail industry is the smart shelf. Retailers spend a lot of time and effort tracking merchandise to ensure that they never run out of stock and that items are not misplaced on unrelated shelves. Smart shelves perform both of these tasks automatically, while detecting potential theft. Smart shelves equipped with weight sensors and RFID tags scan items on display and stock shelves to notify employees when items are running low or when items are misplaced. This not only saves time, but also eliminates the manual errors that lead to inventory backlogs and shortages.
You’ve probably seen how long lines can impact a customer’s ability to purchase a product. With IoT, you can set up a system to read the tags on each item as the customer leaves the store. The payment system adds up the price of those items and then automatically derives the corresponding price from the customer’s mobile payment app.
Creating an automated checkout system using IoT devices will make your customers experience better and more willing to enter your store, especially when they are pressed for time. It can also save you a ton of money, with McKinsey estimating that automated checkouts could reduce the need for cashiers by 75 percent, saving $150 billion to $380 billion annually by 2025.
Personalized discount push
If you have regular repeat customers, I bet you’d like to reward them for their loyalty. With IoT, you can set up sensors around your stores that send discounts to certain customers when they stand near products with their smartphones, provided of course that those customers are enrolled in a customer loyalty program in advance.
In addition, you can use the IoT to track what your customers are browsing online and send them personalized discounts when they come into the store. Imagine if your customer browsed your wallet online and then bought it in the store. Instead of offering the same discount for a wide variety of products, you can use IoT to customize each discount to maximize conversions.
Ultimately, finding ways to incorporate IoT devices into your daily business requires creativity and vision, but as mentioned above, the benefits of IoT in retail can help companies discover innovative solutions to attract more loyal, long-term customers.
In-store layout optimization
You may be surprised to find that your retail space is not optimized for customer behavior. By using aisle analytics software with infrared sensors, you can use IoT technology to improve your retail layout. This information provides you with important knowledge of customer behavior, so you can prominently place the items they care about most in your store.
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]