The retail industry, like many others, is merging technology into its operations. Process digitalization, e-commerce, Artificial Intelligence (AI) are all examples of the digital revolution that the industry is going through during the last years and that seems to be the right thing to do. In this regard, the Internet of Things (IoT) is starting to settle down in the retail business. What are the benefits and how exactly will they transform the industry? Keep on reading and find out in which direction the retail industry is going!
The numbers speak for themselves. According to one of the last Global Market Insights reports, the market value of IoT applied to retail will increase up to 35 billion dollars by 2024, three times higher than in previous years. Amazon is a clear example of this with its Amazon Go stores, whose plan is to open up to 3.000 new stores by 2021.
Cameras and sensors, considered as standards of IoT, are making their way into the points of sale. In fact, the cost reduction of this type of technology is a key factor which combined with the arrival of 5G communications, translates into faster data transference, therefore more efficiency for both sellers and customers.
Yes, the IoT can improve the shopping experience, reduce costs, generate and administrate business growth, and so on. Does it sound good? Well, let’s see how it applies in the retail industry?
A well informed customer is a happy customer
One of the most promising ways to generate revenue in the retail industry with IoT is by providing real time information to customers. From being able to request the presence of an attendee by pressing a single button, to receiving personalized offers based on previous purchases at the same store or mall. While at the same time, business owners are able to gather information from areas where clients move the most and analyze in-store traffic to improve the shopping experience.
Dress for retail
The fashion industry seems to be one of the most quickly benefited from the IoT, due to the fact that the most clothes are already tagged and identified. The only thing retailers should add is the right sensors and use the information collected as better as possible. Retailers would then know what type of clothes are the most sold or tried, which stores register more activity, etcetera. With this, store managers will have a great insight that will help them manage stock effectively translated then into more profit.
Food safety monitoring
IoT solutions in the food industry are already helping to reduce losses caused by deterioration of food, around 70 million dollars a year. Most of all, thanks to the easy automatic control that can be achieved through temperature sensors and an early warning system that allows to guarantee products freshness for a longer period of time.
At the end of 2019, 56.5 million purchases were made by AI virtual assistants such as Alexa or Siri. According to Juniper Research, this number will rise up to 1.550 in 2023. ‘Voice Commerce’ is becoming a major hit for IoT, being much faster and comfortable for clients..
Many benefits are exposed to the customers’ eyes, but others are not. The IoT also helps positively to daily retail staff duties. Smart shelves that give inventory information to employees, or robots that go round the corridors counting stock, among other things. In this way, real time data is obtained not only about in-store products, but also in transit and saved in deposit. This will save costs in machinery and infrastructure, time, workforce, more accuracy while planning and efficiency in order to get the best out of e-commerce and omnichannel retail.