Internet of things (IoT) has emerged as a game-changing system that has transformed the way companies conduct business. Experts have already considered IoT to be one technology with the most potential to have a strong economic impact.
Like most industries jumping on the bandwagon, retail companies have also started taking advantage of this technological advancement. Retail companies all over the world have started installing cutting-edge IoT devices in the stores.
These devices help improve efficiency and productivity as it becomes easier to keep track of the business tasks.
Most importantly, IoT devices enhance the shopping experience for the customers. This, further, helps retail stores boost sales and gain a competitive edge in today’s highly competitive era.
IoT is already been used by many flagship stores as it not only helps cut down unnecessary costs and offers a truly smooth shopping experience to the customers.
Different Ways to IoT Is Changing Retail
1. Automated Checkout
The one thing that most customers hated about brick and mortar shops are standing at the checkout counter. A majority of customers consider the whole task of checking out to be a time consuming one.
However, automated checkout technology has made standing in long queues at the checkout counter a thing of the past.
Internet of things enables automated checkout that allows customers to pay for the products without going through the trouble of checking out. The system of automated checkout reads the tags on the products and automatically charges the customer’s mobile application.
Aside from making things hassle-free for the customers, this system also helps retail companies bring change in their workforce, as an automated checkout system can replace cashiers.
2. Smart Shelves
A lot of retail stores struggle to keep a check on their inventory. Not maintaining the inventory often leads to an ‘out of stock’ scenario that can hamper a shopper’s experience in the store and hurt the business.
This is where smart shelves can prevent such scenarios. This system lets retail stores keep track of the availability of products on display and shelves.
With the help of smart shelves that come attached with weight sensors, retail online stores can effectively manage inventory and ensure that the shelves are well stocked.
Additionally, smart shelves can prove to be highly advantageous in detecting theft, a problem that continues to affect retailers all the world.
Beacons are revolutionary Bluetooth devices that have transformed the way in which retail companies send notifications to customers about discounts and sale events.
These are battery-operated devices that can easily reach out to customers with the right mobile applications.
A lot of famous retailers all over the world have started using this cutting-edge technology to offer the ultimate shopping experience to the customers.
This technology has helped retail companies enhance the in-store shopping experience and the latest reports have found that a majority of shoppers used offers notified by beacons for buying products in the store.
Beacons send notify nearby customers about the promotions that could help them save up some serious cash.
Another way in which IoT is changing the retail industry is by using robotics. Retail companies have started using robots to carry out in-store tasks.
Robots are transforming the existing workforce by replacing humans. They handle menial tasks efficiently without causing any error.
There are multiple tasks that robots can perform with proficiency. From performing tasks like reporting on the inventory to guiding customers while shopping, there are plenty of ways in which robots enhance the overall shopping experience of the customers.
In the coming years, it is expected that more and more retail companies will start using robots to offer better and faster shopping experience.
5. Interactive Displays
A lot of retail stores have installed interactive display windows to offer a more personalized shopping experience to the customers. Retail firms have set up digital displays to offer an interactive experience to the customers and engage them.
With the help of certain IoT devices, stores are able to interact with customers and promote their products.
Adding interactive displays to the store to grab the attention of the customers has paid off well for many retail companies.
A majority of customers were found to be interested in such displays and enjoyed the personalized shopping experience offered by the store.
6. Personalized Discounts
Shoppers tend to purchase most from retail companies that offer a personalized experience. And, the best way to do so is by rewarding customers for being loyal.
The Internet of things helps retail companies set up sensors that allow them to offer personalized discounts to customers.
A lot of retail stores run loyalty programs that allow them to reward loyal customers. With the help of IoT devices, you can provide rewards to the customers in real-time.
This not only helps retail companies offer personalized discounts but also increase the overall conversion rate and enhance the customer experience.
7. Optimizing Supply Chain Management
IoT has effectively optimized supply chain management for retail companies. The scores of data available in IoT devices help retail stores not just keep a track of the products but also ensure that they are in top shape while in transit.
With the help of IoT solutions, retail firms all over the world have been able to properly manage the supply chain of their inventory.
From the right temperature in which a product should be transported to the time taken to handle the products, there are numerous ways in which the internet of things devices has changed supply chain management for retail companies.
Apart from the aforementioned reasons, there are many other ways in which IoT has altered the world of retail. IoT devices facilitate omnichannel shopping and help retail companies offer the ultimate shopping experience to the customers.
With the help of IOT technology, firms have been able to optimize and personalize the entire experience of shopping. Whether customers are shopping online or from brick and mortar stores, they are using IoT devices for a seamless shopping experience.