Here are five specific ways that the IoT will continue to change the world of retail as we know it.It’s no secret that the world of retail is changing before our eyes. In fact, many observers feel that we haven’t even scratched the surface of what’s possible. But what exactly does that mean? For one thing, technology is leading to tremendous shifts on both the operations and consumer side. Specifically, the power of the Internet of Things is leading to some tremendous efficiencies in all facets of retail. As Forbes shares, here are five specific ways that the IoT will continue to change the world of retail as we know it.
For starters, retailers are always looking for ways to improve in the area of omnichannel fulfillment, and the improvements nowadays are occurring at breakneck speed. The use of RFID - radio frequency identification - technology continues to grow, and that’s helping retailers make some serious headway in the always-challenging task of monitoring inventory. In today’s environment, consumers have become accustomed to purchasing or ordering what they want when they want it. The expectation from consumers is that those needs will be fulfilled pretty quickly, and the IoT is one more tool to help insure retailers aren’t losing sales to competitors due to problems in the supply chain.
Next up, there’s been a ton of debate of late about the most efficient way to reach today’s consumers. While the proliferation of connected devices makes that a breeze, retailers that push the envelope too far risk alienating consumers that don’t appreciate being inundated with sales pitches. Expect some common ground to be found as retailers attempt to find the sweet spot. The IoT will also continue to impact the way consumers interact with employees in stores. Some high-tech solutions being implemented include a rise in in-store kiosks which can be used to summon employees as needed.
Expanding on the connecting with consumers topic, the IoT is helping retailers to offer up more personalized and localized offers to customers. The rise in mobile apps has led to an easy way for retailers to push notifications on consumers without seeming too intrusive, but care must be given to insure that there are clear opt-in and opt-out instructions. Finally, one of the most exciting things about the IoT as a whole is the possibilities it offers for retailers to expand their reach. Among the opportunities out there for retailers are increased opportunities for sales and service support, and the potential to be the preferred provider for consumer orders placed through home automation systems such as Alexa or Google Home.