In the ever-evolving world of retail, where customer expectations are reaching new heights, businesses seek innovative ways to stay competitive and deliver exceptional shopping experiences. The Internet of Things (IoT) has emerged as a game-changer, revolutionizing the IoT retail industry like never before. And a quick trip to your local retail store, supermarket, or convenience store would suggest how IoT has become in the retail sector. The sectorial landscape has experienced a seismic shift with the evolution of IoT.
IoT has paved the way for a new era of data-driven insights and intelligent decision-making by seamlessly connecting devices, systems, and people. From personalized shopping experiences to optimized inventory management and supply chain operations, the transformative potential of IoT in the retail industry is reshaping the way businesses operate, creating endless possibilities for growth, efficiency, and customer satisfaction. Today, stores are constantly leveraging emerging technologies like cloud, mobile, RFID, beacons & more to provide connected retail services and offer better shopping experiences to customers. And, with that, more than 70% of retailers feel confident that IoT will significantly impact how they will do business in the future.
If you also want to leverage IoT applications in your retail business but wish to learn more about the IoT capabilities that influence upcoming trends, business benefits & more. In that case, the article is for you.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
Retailers are under increasing pressure to keep up with consumer demands, quality services, on-time deliveries & competitive pricing. These factors and the lack of technical know-how restrict them in a market where they would otherwise thrive. From business process optimization to cost reduction and service automation, the application of the internet of things in retail can address significant challenges & drive unprecedented benefits.
IoT in retail, also referred to as “smart retailing,” is the network of physical objects embedded with beacons, tags, sensors & Global Positioning System (GPS) technologies. It helps brands track the location, condition & movement of their assets & inventory anytime, anywhere. Retailers get 360-degree visibility by connecting and exchanging data with systems & devices over the Internet.
Over the past century, the retail sector has undergone unprecedented change. With advancements in manufacturing and supply chain management, mass-produced consumer goods have become more accessible. And retailers have consistently and successfully adapted their brick-and-mortar locations to cope with this transformation.
However, the approach that has worked effectively for the past few decades is nearing its expiration date soon. Industry 4.0, the fourth industrial revolution, ensures retailers adapt to this disruptive wave.
While many believe that adjusting to Industry 4.0 is as simple as implementing omnichannel retail strategies, which unify sales and marketing across various mediums (such as in-person stores, web browsers, or mobile applications), this approach, though well-intentioned, falls short of addressing the surge in consumer demand that impacts the industry’s operational efficiency. One effective solution to the challenges currently faced by the retail sector lies in leveraging the Internet of Things (IoT). By harnessing IoT solutions, modern retailers can revolutionize their entire operations. The emerging technologies within the IoT industry offer a way for traditional brick-and-mortar establishments to keep pace with the dynamic market forces.
Listed below are two of the most common IoT applications in the retail industry:
According to Research & Markets Analysis;
Whether you want to explore IoT capabilities fully, make seamless connections with your CRM or POS systems, implement connected solutions, or need assistance with API development, Rishabh Software can help you leverage IoT’s transformative power. If you want to learn more about smart retail examples, here’s an interesting read on the future trends of IoT with practical applications across industries.
IoT implementation in the retail industry is gaining momentum due to several reasons. The technology aids in developing new business models, analyzing consumer behavior, optimizing processes & increased employee productivity. Let’s look at the key benefits of implementing IoT apps in retail.
We can help. With custom IoT software applications, we support you in improving your business processes and customer engagement.
IoT is transforming several aspects of the retail sector, from improving the customer experience to supercharging retail management through data collection, digital connectivity, and smart stores. We have already explored and understood the concept of IoT in retail; now, let’s explore the real-life use cases of IoT in the retail industry and the opportunities it brings for forward-thinking retailers.
Seamless in-store navigation, smart shelves, product placement, buyer behavior tracking, checkout automation, on-site sensors, and cold-chain monitoring are a few use cases where retailers are leveraging IoT’s potential to navigate the changing business landscape. Let’s explore them in detail.
Sensor-based lights, temperature controls, security controls, stock monitoring, indoor air quality (IAQ), and point-of-sale queuing assistance aid in enhancing the in-store experience for shoppers. Indirect advantages of the data extracted and analyzed from the IoT mentioned above include compliance monitoring across lighting schedules, energy consumption, refrigeration zones, warehousing, HVAC equipment performance & maintenance plans.
Costa Coffee uses a smart vending machine solution across its stores.
Help track items to ensure they’re never out-of-stock, and check that things aren’t misplaced on various shelves. Fitted with weight sensors and RFID tags & readers allow scanning of the products on both display and stock shelves. It makes your inventory process cost-effective and more precise. Additionally, by connecting each RFID tag to a reader, Smart Shelves can detect in-store theft — saving money on security personnel and cameras.
Kroger, a US-based supermarket chain, has installed 2000+ Edge shelves (RFID-equipped shelves) throughout the center of the supermarket, including most aisles with dry goods.
A robust interconnected network of sensors sends out;
Store managers can use the insights collected from sensors and video analytics to identify premium store areas. They can test the placement of different product types in other spots and determine the most profitable layout. Implementing a self-learning analytics algorithm can also assist store owners and operators deliver a seamless shopping experience.
Occupancy sensors share vital insights on store traffic patterns and retention times in premium product areas. This data enables better planning of in-store merchandising & guided marketing via effective digital display ads, calculated space allotment and aisle layouts. This data can also be leveraged to track the wait times at checkout for optimizing customer service with additional self-checkouts or more staffing.
Dandy Lab utilized IoT to help their customers to create an exciting in-store shopping experience
Brick-and-mortar stores can use a variety of IoT Technologies, including motion-activated cameras, beacons, and shelf-tracking tags, to provide a fully automated, cashier-less in-store shopping experience. Shoppers can walk in, pick the items they want, make the payment online, get a digital receipt on their smartphone and walk out.
Amazon Go utilized IoT to create a seamless transaction process for their employees and customers.
Retailers can install commercial sensors for food storage facilities, parking sites, and warehouses to track light, humidity, temperature and air quality. If any vital aspect is amiss, an instant alert is triggered. Depending on the software, you can also generate reports to track trends and fluctuations over time and automate safety checks.
Food spoilage in the grocery industry results in significant losses. Environmental sensors can be installed to track ambient conditions inside a food storage facility, cargo vessels, and delivery vehicles to ensure food remains fresh and waste is reduced. They can help obtain precise data, like the temperature at which an item is being stored, how long it is spent in transit, etc. This information can help improve the quality of transportation for the goods in real-time – whether a product is being kept at temperatures too low or too high, avoiding a substantial loss.
The increasing preference for online shopping has compelled retailers to blend in-store & virtual buying for a seamless experience. IoT devices make this possible by providing consumers with easy access to real-time stock availability in stores. Shoppers can load their carts online and try the products in-store. It ensures a hassle-free in-store experience with minimal time spent.
We help businesses with developing custom retail industry-focused solutions. We partner with organizations, from startups to mid-size & large corporations, to offer custom IoT app development services and solutions. We help businesses integrate the IoT with a wide range of middleware and software development services. Our experience spreads across developing solutions to address various industry use cases.
Recently, we enabled a logistics company seamlessly manage its supply chain network with an IoT-enabled fleet management solution.
Retailers of today can benefit from IoT in various ways. It would include use cases like real-time reporting, continual monitoring, buyer behavior tracking, supply chain optimization, etc. It would help improve their end-client experience. Developing an IoT-based platform is a profitable investment for retailers of any size – who want to leverage automation and digital transformation-led (DT) opportunities. If you’re looking to implement IoT within your store(s) and need an experienced team to consult, develop and manage custom IoT-enabled intelligent retail solutions, here’s where we can help!
We can help you develop, integrate and modernize your retail operations with focused IoT solutions.