Why Internet of Things Tech Could Save Retail

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Retail as an entire industry has been getting decimated for the last decade now with stores and customer shopping behavior shifting online. Top retailers that were around for a century have gone bankrupt and each more more big box stores are closing their doors. Malls and "Mom & Pop Shops" are a distant memory for most shoppers as Amazon and other e-commerce giants have risen from their ashes. 

The recent global events have only amplified and accelerated this trend for most retailers and ecommerce platforms. The only few bright spots in the regular retail industry include Wal-Mart, convenience stores, dollar stores, and some niche shops. But overall things are looking rough for retail and businesses are really hurting. 

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Retailers are reeling and on the ropes. But there is still hope with top new retail technology like IoT smart tech.

IoT (internet of things) involves the use of hardware, software, systems integration, and data services for businesses or consumers. Virtually any device with an internet connection can be transformed into an IoT device. So essentially just Wi-Fi, ethernet, or a cellular / satellite signal is required for the software and/or hardware. A smart device means it is enabled to share and monitor real-time data on cloud-based systems with computers and smartphones. 

Today IoT is being used in all types of business niches and industries thanks to its wide range of big benefits and positive impacts, especially within the retail industry. The use of IoT can help you overcome the most common challenges of your retail business and help it grow. Brick and mortar stores and retail shops can get smart like the countless e-commerce businesses that have been replacing them, and they must to survive. And if retailers don't get smart, they don't stay in business long.

Improve Inventory And Supply Chain Management 

Inventory and supply chain management is one of the most time-consuming tasks of having a retail business. IoT for retailers can help you take those processes to a whole new level. IoT on supply chains and inventory management can collect a massive amount of data in real-time, analyze it, or track it. Inventory control no longer will require human resources, now your employees can focus on more valuable tasks. 

Two of the biggest IoT inventory control technologies include smart shelves and RFD scanners. 

Smart shelves use RFID technology to track inventory in retail stores, they can use RFID tags, scanners, and weight sensors to check inventory levels and send an alert when a product is out of stock or when the theft of goods occurs. 

You will receive low stock alerts that will help minimize the out-of-stock situations and avoid losing sales opportunities. 

The RFID tags also allow your customers and employees to have quick access to the product information, your customers can download an app and interact with the smart shelves, and while they are walking through the store they can get personalized offers and recommendations based on previous purchases. 

If your retail store contains freezers and store cases then you can also take advantage of temperature sensors to make sure they are at the right temperature and guarantees the right lifespan of products like meat. The best part is that you can monitor the data remotely. 

Enhance Retail Customer Experience 

You can use IoT to improve customer engagement in your brick and mortar shops. One of the most promising technology is facial recognition systems that will recognize you once you enter the store and give you personalized promotions and product groupings. 

They analyze your customer behavior and shopping habits to provide content that will improve customer value and help you market your store the right way and perform strategies that will enhance customer engagement and provide a tailored customer experience (CX) for each client. 

Another example of how IoT improves retail customer experiences includes a smart fitting room. They have a large mirror with a touch screen, the device can send you recommendations on clothes and accessories, allow you to call for a store assistant, adjust the lighting, and create a profile where your fitting history will be stored and you can send the information to your mobile phone. 

Each item will be equipped with an RFID tag and once it is in the fitting room the device will identify it. 

And then there is the whole huge topic of AR and VR in retail to help increase sales and improve CX, which another entire article could be written on.

Track Your Retail Assets 

Shopping baskets and carts are a valuable asset for your retail store and tracking them can take a lot of time, not to mention that if you lose one it can be expensive to replace it. 

The installation of tracking devices on shopping carts and baskets to know where they are at an exact moment. It lets you know if they are being used, and the system can also alert you when there is any damage to one of them. 

You can use the information from the data to make sure your customers always have shopping carts or baskets available to them. 

IoT Helps Your Retail Stores Save Money 

IoT is an investment that is absolutely worthwhile and can help you economize in your retail store business innovation. For example, smart bulbs and temperature sensors in freezers and fridges can minimize the waste of energy and the use of smart cameras and sensors can help you prepare better for those high-traffic moments in your store. That can improve the flow and efficiency of your retail store. 

Retailer Rescue

Using IoT can become a crucial part of your retail store, help you save money, enhance the customer experience, improve the efficiency of your business and help it grow. This growing new smart tech truly is the life vest that retailers need to survive and thrive in a strained evolving economy. So if you are a retailer that is taking the situation really seriously, you should be investing in Internet of Things tech right now for your retail stores!

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