Whether it’s brick-and-mortar or online, retailers have their work cut out with regards to meeting customer expectations. There is no end to customer demands. Retailers across mediums are trying everything to maintain competitive advantage. This being the tech savvy age, technology plays a huge role in empowering these retailers. Today, it’s more about selling experiences to people than selling products. The primary objective of retailers today is to enhance customer experience through their operations. The internet of things in retail has been reverberating in the retail sphere now for quite some time, and for good reasons. With technology and automation being the need of the hour, every retailer sooner or later will have to resort to IoT. Let’ see why.
Manage Inventory levels effectively
In any retail establishment, one of the most complicated processes is that of managing inventory. Timely fulfillment of goods for meeting customer demands is important but not at all easy. The internet of things in retail can ensure inventory management of the highest order. IoT powers analytics and proximity sensors to enable retailers to have real time visibility of the levels of inventory. Tracking on-shelf availability allow retailers to keep a tab on the items that require re-ordering. This ensures that the shelves are never empty and stock is never exhausted. This means that the customers don’t have to deal with their items being out of stock. This also preserves their overall in-store experience from being tarnished.
Enable location-based marketing and increase personalization
When it comes to the brick-and-mortar store, customers come to expect the same levels of service like that of online. A personalized shopping journey from the beginning to the end automatically enhances the in-store experience of the customers. The internet of things in retail grants customers their wish. Proximity sensors installed in and around the store help retailers provide a rich customer experience right from the time they enter the store till the time they exit. These sensors help in engaging with the customers by notifying them with a welcome message when they enter the store. Once they are inside, customer analytics data can be used to personalize their shopping journey. Based on their previous purchase data, browsing history, and location inside the store, relevant and personalized offers can be sent to their mobiles in the form of notifications. This not only serves the personalization needs of the customers, but also increases the retailers’ chances of scoring more conversions.
Understand in-store customer behavior and manage store operations
Establishing a proper understanding of customers while they are inside the store is vital for brands and retailers. Decoding customer behavior can be a quite a complex task to say the least. But all that has changed post the emergence of the internet of things in retail. Cameras and sensors installed inside the store provide real-time information to retailers about customer whereabouts. They can easily understand that the areas of their interest, where they spend maximum and minimum time, the areas inside the store that easily catch their attention and the areas that they tend to ignore.
Once retailers know the hot and cold spots of the store, they can manage their store operations accordingly. The areas that generate the maximum footfalls can be manned with extra staff enforcement to help customers out. Similarly, they can have better insights on whether to allot staff or alter the merchandising in the areas that are unpopular in terms of footfalls and customer engagement.