How IoT Transforms The Retail Industry


IoT (Internet of Things) is an integrated system that works via the network of short-range mobile transceivers supplemented in electronic devices, functioning in a synchronized fashion to bring the concept of the connected ecosystem into life.

Since its inception, IoT has revolutionized the retail sector and sky-rocketed the revenue generation process. Mckinsey has published a report predicting the economic influence of IoT on the retail sector to a maximum amount of $1.2 trillion by 2025.

Here is a comprehensive guide that talks in detail about this topic.

Inventory management

Managing the stock, organizing the shelves, appropriate placement of supplies in a standard format, and constant check on the input-output flow are some of the time-consuming tasks involved in inventory management.

IoT simplifies this process by the triad set of an RFID tag (radio-frequency identification), an RFID reader, and its receiver. The RFID tags transmit the stored information to the antenna, which transfers it to the reader, followed by the receiver, which updates the information in the computer database.

This leads to the development of a smart shelving process that is updated automatically on the movement of stocks from inventory to the workplace. Tracing back equipment is easier in cases of thefts.

Alerts for the depletion in stock or oversupply or expiry date notifications are some of the miraculous features of IoT that facilitate management in the retail industry. Such relieving benefits emphasize the necessity to use IoT in retail.

Logistic and supply chain management

Retailers are the endpoints of the supply chain and initiators of the consumer supply. This huge amount of workload intensifies the need for automation to reduce the burden.

IoT regulates the inventory’s big data and proceeds from there to notify the demand towards the manufacturing end. The database replenishes orders based on threshold values, tracks down the lowest price for the required item, and informs the administrator about it.

This saves cost and time, which avoids the glitches in supply to the consumer. Quality check of the product is also monitored by IoT upon check-in at the warehouse by scanning the package details and weight, assuring quality standards.

Enhanced customer experience

Statistics say that 77% of retailers have benefitted from the IoT optimized customer experience. The connected devices analyze the way customers navigate and shop while changing counters.

One of the best examples of this is the trained algorithm of the IoT devices that has been rigorously trained to organize a customized shopping list, based on the specifications, mentioned by the customer on the grocery store’s dashboard. Let us suppose, a shopper enters his need of food items for a diabetic patient, the algorithm will automatically prepare a concise list of less-sugary products available at the store and the best recommendation out of them.

It also instructs the user about the guide routes, shelf number, and counter details. Instant options like add-on information about the product, review option, processing details aids to get customer insights on a certain product, thus estimating the engagement level.

Digital Billboards & Beacons

The huge dashboards at the outlet of a brand are the temptations that retailers offer to their shoppers. These continuously display the best commodities and collections stationed inside the store.

Beacons are low-bandwidth Bluetooth connections that work in a certain area. These improve customer navigation by sending alerts (push notifications) about the discount offers, new collections, and events happening in the nearby area.

Both these tactics aim at intriguing shoppers to check into the store.

When all this data is put together and analyzed by an intelligent algorithm, the result helps in formulating customer-oriented marketing strategies with breakthrough potentials to escalate the ROI of the concerned retail brand.  

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