Every industry tries to benefit from the Internet of Things (IoT). Retailers are pioneers to make the business smarter by using sensors, RFID tags, robotic sales assistants and smart shelves. By adopting IoT, Augmented Reality / Virtual Reality and analytics, retailers transform the customer experience to a different level where they combine the online and in-store experience to create entertaining shopping.
Primarily, Internet of Things can support retailers in enhancing customer experience, improving the supply chain, and identifying new channels and revenue streams. But enabling experience based shopping is the top priority for retailers.
Internet of Things connects products and customers with retailers. This enables retailers to get a complete insight on the customers – who they are and their preferences and the products – how they are performing, thereby identifying new ways of engaging with new or existing customers and link the products to them.
Internet of Things in retail can deliver meaningful personalized promotions to individuals much better than the optimized online advertising using analytics. With addition of intelligent systems along with analytics, the customer experience is becoming a digital experience. These experiences through interconnected environment is specifically centered on the customer as if the products and services are designed for the individual’s need.
The retailers can develop an improved ecosystem using IoT that is connected in both physical and digital worlds allowing real-time communication with customers both inside and outside the store. It can be enabled through smartphones which acts as a hub for the communications or through location-based beacon technology, which connects directly with customers as they enter the store. The data that is generated can be used to understand the customer better as individual or as a group, using which the managers can improve the store layout.
Retail industry is still in the early stages of implementing the Internet of Things. Currently only few brands has adopted the technology and the deployment rates are likely to be high in the coming years which would be similar to or more than the earlier technology adoptions like mobile commerce and social commerce.
Rising competition in the retail industry and rapidly changing customer expectations requires market players to identify and implement more use cases using IoT. This provides wide opportunities for IoT providers, both operational technology and Information technology providers as the market is expected to be a multi-billion dollar business.
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