IoT has benefited all areas of human life. But it has had a particular impact on retail trade. The introduction of technology improved the quality of customer service, and companies increased their profits, reduced costs, and enhanced their productivity.
IoT is revolutionizing the world of retail, and today we will talk about the most significant features and opportunities it offers.
The Origins of IoT
IoT in the retail industry appeared not so long ago. Initially, in the late nineties, the technology was used to expand computers’ capability so they could assess the world around them and adapt to it.
Thanks to this contribution, we are able to enjoy the whole virtual world today. Technology also makes it possible to keep the virtual world in touch with the real world. IoT simplifies life and actively improves productivity across all areas.
Key Revolutionary Features of IoT in Retail
Shoppers constantly demand for more simplified shopping experiences. They want stores to be customer-centric and make their offerings easy to find. Managers want to save money on hiring and keeping employees, simplify management, and get more profit, all at the same time. These tasks are solved by loT with the following features.
Convenient Shopping Apps
Retail, like shopping, is gradually moving online. Most of the big sellers have developed apps that are both sales- and customer-friendly. IoT makes the experience of both parties even more effective. With the help of technology, customers get a more personalized approach, and retail business owners can strengthen their position in the market.
Simplified Inventory Management
Due to the increasing variety and volume of goods available in the retail market, sellers often face inventory management challenges. IoT offered a way out of this conundrum as well. Thanks to radio frequency identification (RFID)—a system using radio frequency to identify goods—product data management has become much easier. The technology monitors every detail, including when and how customers move through an online store, what they pay attention to, and how they interact with products. Smart retailing has also enabled executives to quickly analyze available data and make adjustments to processes to improve customer experiences and increase personal gain.
Improving the Quality of Customer Service
IoT improves the performance of customer relationship management (CRM) systems by detecting all flaws in customer-to-store interactions and instantly informing the seller about them. For example, in case of a problem with the quality of signal transmission of a cable television service, the technology independently sends a message about it to the support team who then sends an application to solve the issue. Most often than not, the client won’t even suspect a network outage. In addition, problem reports are sent to the general CRM of the company, allowing the manager to assess the situation and take action to prevent the problem’s recurrence.
A CRM system easily interacts with other technologies, so improving the quality of service, retaining customers, and increasing their loyalty becomes an easy task.
Simplified Food Storage Verification
According to statistics, around 40% of food products on store shelves are sent to landfills due to improper storage or expired shelf life.
loT can enable constant control of temperature conditions using a small device installed in a storage unit that communicates with a panel that broadcasts all indicators online. If the thermostat shows the temperature goes above or below the normal range, the system will sound an alarm.
We have already tried to make life easier for our planet by means of paper bags, instead of plastic ones, sorting garbage, introducing organic products and things everywhere, but this did not take root everywhere, and not everyone expected such a result.
IoT offers a more fundamental solution that will require changing the mindset of both buyers and sellers. Technology allows us to offer people only what they need without imposing additional goods that no one needs and, over time, are simply thrown as trash. It will take time to collect and analyze data properly, but this approach is already possible today.
According to research, the number of IoT-connected devices is projected to rise to more than 25.4 billion by 2030, 60% of which will belong to consumers. The technology’s use in the retail industry is set to widen as well. And with every year that offers more revolutionary solutions to improve the quality of customer interactions, pad companies’ bottom line, and simplify all work processes, IoT will continue to affect the retail industry.