There are numerous IoT-related benefits to the retail industry. In addition to reducing inventory error, IoT can optimize your supply chain management and decrease labour costs, ultimately helping your traditional brick-and-mortar shop compete with today’s online-first shopping world. Here are some of the most important ways IoT is changing retail in 2018.
Introduced by Apple in 2013, Beacons are small Bluetooth devices that send alerts to smartphones based on location proximity. If we look at the retail industry, customers can receive discounts, special events, or other reminders when they’re near a shop and have previously downloaded the store’s app using this technology. Macy’s, Urban Outfitters, CVS, Lord & Taylor, and Timberland already use beacon technology. Beacons also send alerts to passersby along with helping customers in-store. This can be used to effectively advertise promotions or in-store events. As per Swirl Networks Inc., over 70% of shoppers say beacon-triggered content and offers increased their likelihood to purchase in-store.
Keeping track of items is where a lot of your employees’ time and energy goes. This is to ensure they’re never out-of-stock or misplaced on various shelves. Smart Shelves can be used to automate both of those tasks, while simultaneously detecting potential theft. Fitted with weight sensors, smart shelves use RFID tags and readers to scan the products on both display and stock shelves. They inform you when items are running low or when items are incorrectly placed on a shelf, making your business process cost-effective and more precise and are able to detect in-store theft as each RFID tag is connected to a reader, saving you money on security personnel and cameras.