What is the Internet of Things (IoT)? How can IoT be used in retail to improve efficiency and customer service?
The IoT is the sensors that are embedded everywhere combined with the technology that helps the sensors communicate in order to connect people and processes.
In the infographic below, we show how IoT is being utilized in retail stores and explain the most common opportunities and challenges.
Retial IoT Sensors
Retail stores have made use of sensors for many years now, but recently the number of applications for them has greatly expanded. Sensors are commonly used in retail for:
- RFID tagging
- Barcode scanners
- Fitting room occupancy sensors and call buttons
The Opportunity and Challenges of IoT Data Connectivity
Most retailers are not yet efficiently using big data effectively. 96% of surveyed executives agreed that big data initiatives are important in helping retailers stay competitive.
These executives ranked the benefits of big data insights as follows:
- Merchandising (53%)
- Marketing (48%)
- Store Operations (42%)
- e-Commerce (42%)
- Supply Chain (27%)
- Finance (23%)
- Loss Prevention (21%)
How IoT Improves Customer Relations & Processes
The data gathered by IoT becomes useful when it is integrated with people and processes to help drive how retailers run their business. Below are some examples of how this integration helps.
- Sensors let the associate know if a fitting room is occupied and what clothing items are being tried on. If the occupant is trying on a shirt, the associate can make suggestions for matching pants.
- Marketing can analyze what clothign is making it to the fitting room but not the cashwrap.
- With a connected fitting room, an associate is only a call button away. At the customer’s request, an associate can bring the same shirt in different colors or another size.
- An associate can process the sale using a handheld device so the customer can avoid long lines.
Looking for a better understanding of how to use all the data your store is capturing?