With more and more companies planning to adopt an IoT solution, the face of the retail industry may well change dramatically. Currently used by a few innovators, IoT is destined to become the technology of the future for retailers.
Indeed, connected objects can help retailers to improve their relationship with customers, but also to simplify the purchasing process in his store. Here is how IoT could save the Retail industry in 2019 and beyond.
There are three areas where IoT technologies are particularly important in the retail industry: improvements in supply chain, warehouse logistics and purchasing processes through RFID chips, quality assurance in the food trade by temperature sensors, and process optimization through data analysis across the business.
IoT technologies for retail stores include:
- RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) radio technology is already being used in warehouse logistics. But there are other areas of application. This makes it possible to register the contents of shopping carts automatically. This data can be used on the one hand for cash register processes, but on the other hand also for data analysis. So it would be conceivable that certain products are bought statistically striking together. Now, a store can arrange these goods close to each other to increase the likelihood of impulse purchases.
- Above all, temperature sensors give food retailers the opportunity to check the quality of their products during transport, storage, and retail. IoT sensors can guarantee the right climatic conditions for food, beverages, and other sensitive goods.
- Thermal sensors or temperature measurement is already ubiquitous, but in a few cases the Internet of Things has been used so far. However, the data collected can be used by analysis applications to indicate problems in the supply chain or in the treatment of goods.
- Process optimization is one of the most important application areas for the IoT, and the basis for this is data. They are recorded with sensors in the supply chain, in the store or in warehouses and then evaluated. This approach combines different technologies such as IoT, machine learning and predictive analytics. He helps retailers uncover inefficiencies and waste in their processes.
The best in customer service
To sell better, it is essential for retailers to know their customers well. Using connected loyalty cards, it is thus possible to identify customers as soon as they enter the store. A simple scan of the loyalty card will instantly indicate to a seller with a tablet all the history of the customer’s purchases up to any complaints made, for example.
In addition to offering a personalized welcome, the seller will then be able to provide more informed purchasing advice, consider their preferences based on previous purchases, and thus, best meet the customer’s needs. In order to have great customer service many companies will need professional JD Edwards support to help them keep their systems running smoothly.
With the Internet of Things, the customer’s shopping experience becomes unique. Customers can be accompanied as soon as they arrive at the shopping center. In addition to allowing the business to stand out from the competition, IoT promotes increased visibility and communication with current and potential customers. The company also ensures that their satisfaction is continuously improved by aligning its practices with survey results.
Improve the in-store customer experience
Another challenge is that IoT must remove barriers during the customer’s buying journey to make the in-store experience as pleasant as possible. And one of the most critical bottlenecks in stores is payment. Smartphones can now be used as electronic wallets.
Thanks to NFC technology, customers only must bring their smartphone closer to a payment terminal to pay for their purchases to the nearest cent. Rather than having to take out your wallet and wait for change, the checkout process is much more fluid. The time saved is undeniable so that the waiting time of subsequent customers is reduced to a minimum.
Amazon has gone even further with its Amazon Go concept store, where customers do their shopping without also having to go to the checkout. Purchases are automatically scanned when they leave the store, the payment is directly debited from the customer’s Amazon account.
To access the store, the customer only had to scan the QR code of the application on his smartphone. The first Amazon Go on Seventh Avenue in Seattle, Washington, opened its doors to the public last January.
Ensure better logistics management of the warehouse
The installation of connected shelves brings a real digital revolution in stock tracking. Since the data is obtained in real time, merchants can place supply orders with suppliers at the right time to avoid any risk of stock shortages. The supply of shelves is just as well controlled so that the products are always available when customers need them.
Labeling is a particularly time-consuming task for shelf managers. The adoption of connected digital labels thus optimizes work and saves a lot of time. If pricing changes, particularly during sales periods, the new prices can be updated as soon as possible.
Finally, the installation of sensors makes it possible to analyze the path of customers during their purchases, to study the attendance in the different departments. This data will make it possible to reorganize the merchandising of the store to optimize the layouts.