The internet of things is rapidly changing the way we perform our day-to-day activities. From the creation of smart homes to improving workforce productivity, IoT application development services are driving automation across various industries. Since many IoT applications have become mainstream, an increasing number of businesses are benefiting from the connected IoT networks. That being said, the retail sector is amongst the top industries that have been using IoT applications to improve their customer experiences.
An increasing number of retailers are actively using IoT-based applications to enhance their customers’ shopping experiences. Not to mention, the use of IoT has unlocked vast opportunities for them to attract potential customers and maintain customer relations. Let’s explore some transformative applications of IoT in retail that are significantly impacting the shopping experiences worldwide.
IoT Applications In Retail
According to a report by Verizon, various retail companies are starting to realize the potential of IoT applications and their positive outcome. Nevertheless, nearly 77 percent of the retailers showed positive signs when asked about the implementation of IoT in retail. Below are the four most innovative use cases of IoT in the retail sector.
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A large number of retail store brands have implemented smart shelves to effectively track their in-stock items and manage their inventory accordingly. Smart shelf systems use Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology to manage the inventory levels and alert the store manager in case of shortage. A typical smart shelf system mainly consists of three elements i.e an RFID tag, RFID reader, and the antenna. All items kept in the store are equipped with RFID tags. These RFID tags further contain an integrated circuit and a microchip antenna that transmits data to an RFID reader. When the RFID reader collects the information from the RFID tags, it is transferred to an IoT platform for further analysis.
In this way, smart shelves enable managers to effortlessly manage their inventory and warehouse data with utmost accuracy. At the same time, the smart shelf systems provide them the opportunity to understand their customers’ likes, preferences, and buying habits.
Beacons are miniature Bluetooth devices that can send real-time alerts to a smartphone app based on location proximity. These devices have become increasingly popular in the retail industry as they enable retailers to attract more customers. In retail, beacons automatically send push notifications to the shoppers’ smartphones as they enter the coverage area.
Retailers can use beacons to send attractive offers, discounts, and other useful information about their products to the customers roaming in their proximity zone. Such offers and product information will be instantly available to the customers who have the store’s app installed on their smartphones. Beacons use low-power Bluetooth connections to send push notifications and they have become an integral part of the business intelligence (BI).
Several retail stores in shopping malls and supermarkets are using digital signages to deliver more personalized shopping experiences to their customers. These intuitive touch screens are effective at seeking customers’ attention and make them aware of the new offers and discounts on various products.
Using digital signages is a better alternative to traditional print media as they bring cost savings and deliver better in-store experiences. These screens can be used to show ads, display new arrivals, best-selling items, price fluctuations, and much more. In addition, retailers can connect these signages to various IoT devices such as beacons, shelves, and other in-store accessories.
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The Final Word
Realizing the great potential of IoT, several retail store chains, brick and mortar shops, supermarkets, and shopping malls have been taking a keen interest in IoT application development services. As the retail industry continues to evolve according to the dynamically changing customer needs, IoT is likely to become an integral part of the retail businesses.
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