If you don’t believe that the Internet of things (IoT) is changing the face of retail, we’re about to convince you. There’s plenty of evidence that showcases just how great an impact IoT is having on the traditional store. Here are just a few key stats:
- A recent research report from Global Market Insights noted that IoT use in the retail market will reach $30 billion by 2024.
- Close to 80% of retailers believe that IoT solutions are key to improving customer experience.
- Some 89% of early adopters report that IoT provides them with a clearer picture of customer preferences.
- Around 77% of innovative retail enterprises believe that IoT technology enable them to collaborate more easily with their partners, making it easier to deliver quality products and services to their customers.
But what does all of this look like? Well, once IoT in retail becomes fully integrated into shopping environments, customers can expect something like this.
You head to the store on the hunt for a new pair of jeans. As you enter, you get sent a message with a map, showing you where the jeans you were looking at the previous evening can be found. You enter the store, try them on and find that they’re not the right fit. A robot rolls up to you and asks if you need help finding anything else and duly gets you the right size. Happy with your selection, you leave the store. You won’t need to head to a checkout counter and swipe your card, your jeans have already been scanned by sensors when you were leaving the store and the price is immediately deduced from the mobile payment app on your phone.
While this example of IoT in retail is explained from the customer’s perspective, it’s also important to consider how IoT can affect retail store-owners and employees. Take, as a single example, how much easier managing stock will be. When you took that pair of jeans off the shelf in the scenario described above, imagine if a sensor was fitted to that shelf, taking note of the purchase and then sending info to a back-end inventory system, so that the store manager knows to re-stock the shelves.
This kind of retail experience may sound futuristic, but the truth is that there are retailers already offering this just of thing. Here are just a few examples:
#1 Nordstrom Local
An offshoot of the popular US department store, Nordstrom Local has replaced their usual stock with a space where people can grab a healthy juice, get a manicure and peruse a range of goods carefully selected for them by expert stylists. Customers need only put together a Pinterest-style inspiration board, book an appointment and then the stylists do the rest. Pulling matching options from nearby Nordstrom department stores, the stylists will offer visitors a range of personalised outfits to try on. There is also a tailor available to make alterations where necessary.
At Starbucks in Seattle, smart beacons were used to send push notifications to store visitors, promoting the newest brews in-store and offering personalised promotions. The aim was to convince customers to convert to the more expensive ‘premium blends’, thus spending more money.
#3 Under Armour
The popular US sports apparel and accessories company is experimenting with big data to create hyper-personalised products. For example, Under Armour is currently beta-testing a smart chip that embeds into shoes and is connected to one of the many existing fitness and training apps. The sensor reveals personalised information about how the wearer runs. This data is used to create customised piece of footwear.
As is the case with the introduction of any new technologies, there are a number of factors that need to be managed. One of these factors is the monitoring of all of the SIMs fitted to these connected IoT devices. And with so many sensors and smart devices, that’s a lot of SIMs. With OneView, Nebula’s premier telecoms expense and lifecycle management solution, IoT in retail is made easy. You’ll be able to keep tabs on all of these connected “things” and make sure they are always running as they should. To learn more about OneView and to find out more about what we do, simply complete the form below and we’ll be in touch.