IoT technology is set to transform the retail industry and immensely benefit the sector, in various ways. Source: Shutterstock

IoT technology is set to transform the retail industry and immensely benefit the sector, in various ways. Source: Shutterstock

Here’s what you need to know about IoT in retail

RETAILERS are constantly looking to differentiate themselves in a market that is not only saturated and incredibly competitive, but also constantly threatened by new and exciting technologies.

One technology — the internet of things (IoT) — however, could be a way for them to get a leg up on the competition — both, in the brick and mortar world and in the digital space.

In recent years, thanks to developments in network infrastructure and hardware, IoT enabled devices which were primarily deployed in industrial settings are now becoming more prominent outside it, with the potential to transform businesses across all industries rapidly.

One such industry that stands to immensely benefit from the proliferation of IoT technology is retail, and some of the businesses have already implemented innovative IoT solutions to help with their operations and shift more goods.

Below are some of the ways how the emergence of IoT will help transform the retail sector;

# 1 | Enhanced CX

Customer experience (CX) is absolutely crucial in attracting and retaining customers in the retail sector.

One thing that IoT does for retailers is it makes point-of-purchase (POP) digital signage available to retailers looking to promote their offerings.

According to one report, up to 62 percent of customers are more likely to search for a product that is being displayed on the POP during their next visit to the store while 43 percent of them are likely to make the purchase right away.

Beyond that, other IoT sensors could be deployed to track foot traffic to design the store outlet, promote certain trendy or seasonal items, as well as to forecast future demands for certain goods.

# 2 | Optimized efficiency

With IoT-enabled devices, retailers are able to track inventory to the individual unit as goods are being shifted through the supply chain.

When equipped with real-time data on the inventory stock, in-store crowd, as well as the movement of items of the shelves, enterprises can plan their inventory and roster in a much efficient manner.

Some inventory management systems even automatically alert staff to restock when the shelves are depleted beyond a certain threshold.

# 3 | Generating new revenue stream

Retailers that leverage IoT are not limited to selling items in their physical stores.

One US-based retail giant offers customers an IoT-device to carry home. It lets users forget about ordering groceries, putting the onus on the retailer to auto-replenish supplies when necessary. Doing so not only improves the CX but also creates additional revenues for the retailer.

Moreover, retailers could amass a huge database of customers and their spending habits for personalized marketing, as well as loyalty reward programs, which also results in increased sales.