IoT in retail has been a major game-changer for the way business is done today. This technology can enable a personalized shopping experience, increase sales and reduce operating expenses. IoT technology enables retailers to embed a sensor in merchandise that then sends relevant information to the cloud. By tapping into IoT, retailers can eliminate shopping hassles to provide a better customer experience.
Benefits of IoT in the Retail Industry
Machine learning and other forms of automation have become central to the growth of IoT in the business world. Early adopters of these AI solutions are already reaping the rewards of applying IoT in retail applications successfully. Here are some advantages retail businesses can get from IoT:
- Enhanced Supply Chain Management
- Improved Customer Service
- Smarter Inventory Management
- Automated Checkout
Here are some of the many applications in which IoT technology can be utilized by a retail store:
- Foot traffic monitoring to understand the customer experience
- Predictive equipment maintenance to improve equipment performance
- Smart shelves provide real-time inventory tracking with RFID sensors
- Shelf edge displays provide up-to-date product pricing and inventory information
- Customer tracking technology and retail analytics help retailers optimize staffing levels
- Smart carts allow customers to scan barcodes, drop the item in their cart and pay when their shopping is completed
Managed Wi-Fi Service
Managed Wi-Fi offers retailers a unique opportunity to offer customers a seamless retail experience with ease and speed. By helping retail stores to be connected, engaged and trusted, managed Wi-Fi opens the pathways to valuable customer interaction.
Improve the Customer Experience with SD-WAN
A key solution to customers waiting in line too long is to use the cloud for processing power and scaling up. Another option is to emphasize more processing power at the network edge or the physical store. Ideally, confidential information is tokenized and complies with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). When a WAN slows down, retailers should consider adopting a software-defined network (SD-WAN).
SD-WAN can easily and effectively connect dispersed offices over multiple geographical locations. By using the best network route available and enabling different types of traffic to be prioritized, the quality of service is assured for a seamless shopping experience. The technology is further useful for segmenting a network so that each department has its own network segment that can only be accessed by authorized employees. Segmenting is a technique for protecting confidential data.
One of the ways SD-WAN can improve the customer experience is the store’s data center can be configured to identify which shoppers have downloaded a loyalty program app as they enter the store. It will allow store personnel to immediately have access to the customer’s preferences and purchase history.
With the growth of IoT in retail, customers will enjoy a smarter shopping experience through a network of connections linking the physical and digital worlds into the retailer’s device ecosystem.