Retail industry was severely affected during covid-19 pandemic. Due to the quarantines and container scarcity, many stores around the world have had stock inventory problems. Now, stores need to embrace IoT retail solutions as a strategy to keep the business alive.
RFID or IoT
RFID means Radio Frequency Identification. This technology allows to identify and monitor an object through radiofrequency waves, generating smart reports from collected data.
Rfid technology has been broadly used by retailers for a long time. However, with the advances of IoT in retail, that is, better sensors, faster connectivity, new devices, and innovative communications solutions, the combination of RFID and the Internet of Things becomes a great option to make the retail market stronger.
Why IoT and retail?
Including IoT in the retail market opens many chances to enhance customer service and how they buy products from you.
Let’s say that you need to send a product to your client in another city, and this product needs to be stored under a certain temperature. When you use IoT for retail, you can for example monitor if the temperature of the car where your product is being transported is the correct one.
If anything happens during the way, let’s say the car crashes, you will know if the product can survive that obstacle or not, and immediately send another package to your client. It may take a little longer, but your client will be happy.
The client will probably complain about the delivery time, but he won’t complain about a messed product. That is something that could affect a brand’s reputation.
The same temperature example may apply to the products you have in your store. The Internet of Things allows you to monitor their temperature in real-time. If they are not being properly stored, or if there is a problem with the air conditioner, an alarm will trigger on your system or IoT retail app. Now you can make quick decisions to save your products and avoid losing a lot of money.
How IoT is transforming the retail industry
Smart retail or IoT retail brings many benefits to the retail industry. People want to do the same activity in less time, and that applies to buying products in a store.
Augmented reality could be one of the features that will soon be seen in many stores and shopping centers. Imagine going to a store to try new clothes, except you will try them on a mirror through augmented reality technology.
This feature could attract your customer’s attention, he or she will feel the liberty of trying on as many outfits as possible, and then purchase the product with ease.
Checkouts without cashiers is becoming very popular. You go to the store, take the products you want, cross the door, and that’s it. How does it work? Through IoT, the store will know which products you grabbed, and once you leave the store, it will automatically charge your debit or credit card with the items you took. This kind of application means you won’t have to wait in long lines to pay for a product.
Getting offers or notifications on your phone when you are near a specific store. If you can alert your potential customers you have a great offer for them, they will probably come by to buy from you.
Get a customized buying experience. Let’s say you went to a store, got an awesome shirt, but that same day, you stayed for a few minutes looking at a new pair of shoes.
IoT retail solutions can analyze those patterns and notify you when there is a discount on that product, since it noticed you stared at them for a few minutes. Another possibility is that next time you go there, you will see advertising inside that shows videos or more features of those shoes you liked.
Are you worried you could lose a basket or cart inside a big shopping center? Thanks to IoT solutions for retail, you could track your assets in a short time and bring them back to the store.
These are not the only IoT retail examples in the retail industry. We could mention smart shelves, they allow store owners to keep track of items to ensure they are never out of stock. Another situation, people usually change the items from their original place. The store can track the shelf using smart retail IoT applications to find out where the item is, and put it back where it belongs.
The Internet of Things is transforming the way we buy in retail stores, there are new technologies and devices yet to build that can benefit the retail industry. Imagine what we could see in the upcoming years.
If you have an idea for smart retail, we would like to hear from you. Click below and get a free consultation with DeepSea Developments!