How does IoT carry traditional retail to the digital future?
Customers are smarter about their shopping preferences and their expectations for retail experience are growing rapidly. The online retail business is booming, and on the main streets, hands are put under the stone and customers need something special to return to the stores. The latest figures at the shopping festivals show that most of the retail stores on the main street have been facing the worst sales growth for five years, and there is a lot to do to compensate for these losses.
Ersin Uyar, Country Manager of HPE Aruba, has included the following in his article on the subject:
Technology can certainly help to attract customers and close down the growth gaps that retailers face. The Internet of Things (IoT), a disruptive technology, can create a competitive differentiation if used correctly. According to research, the first users of IoT already have improved customer experience (81%); they benefit from gains that include better visibility across the organization (78%) and increased profitability (74%).
This is especially true for businesses that aim to digitize normal stores with innovations such as IoT. Amazon has made its first step towards the unknown with its Amazon Go stores, which have a camera and sensor network, which is completely unshielded and that recognizes what products customers put in their basket.
At this point, there are a few practical steps that stores on the main street can take to increase their customers and their subsequent profits:
Increasing the number of customers with location-based services
In-store digital experience is vital for retailers to compete with online retailers, but the first obstacle to overcome is to step inside the customers. It is clear that most customers usually have smartphones with data and location information open. So, why don’t we use it to the advantage of the store by sending attractive personalized live offers to them? This can be achieved by encouraging customers to sign in to the store’s Wi-Fi network, downloading the application, and send them a notification when they are in range of beacons that recognize their location.
IoT technology makes in-store experience intriguing and impressive, allowing retailers to continually renew in-store presentations. Innovation has various consequences and can be copied in large and small normal stores. Known for its large warehouses, Home Depot uses location-based services to help customers navigate large spaces. By offering customers access to the application, it is also possible to use their phones to inquire the positions of specific products and to ensure that salespeople can focus on selling goods. Custom-built applications and beacon technology can use the in-store link to direct customers to the location of the products.
Digitize in store business
Normal stores can compete with online and mainstream competitors by offering special collaborations, offers and experiences to customers. Once consumers enter the store, the advantage is that retailers take their attention with new and exciting offers. Another method is to equip employees with tablets to assist customers to find out whether the product or goods are in stock. For larger stores, this can help employees complete their inventory more efficiently.
The use of these devices as a point of sale enables employees to be with their customers during the journey of purchase, thus saving them from being tied to wired enclosures.
Collecting customer understanding for innovation
Learning of customers’ behavior in the store plays a key role in increasing the effectiveness of offers and store arrangements. One way to get to know the customer is to obtain the data they create if they are accessing the retailer’s in-store application or using touch screens for information. Once this data is analyzed, a picture of the customer and his / her interests can be generated, so that sales assistants can better respond to individual needs.
The collected data can also be used to improve the physical layout of stores by using contextual information provided by customers using the application. High traffic areas can be used to disseminate information about sales price offers and new goods available. Real-time information about how busy shops are – especially during the shopping season – ensures better planning of the personnel route to ensure that stores have the most appropriate staffing capacity, allowing stores to save money in the long term.
In 2018, the retail sector will focus on being destructive and providing consumers with a unique store experience. This was talked about for years, but the current technology can make it a reality.