How IoT Is a Game Changer for the Retail Industry

The popularity of online shopping has risen in recent years, leaving brick-and-mortar retail stores with the predicament of figuring out how to close the gap between online and in-store retailers. Online retailers have had the advantage of being able to offer instant gratification and tailored shopping experiences all from the comfort of consumers’ homes. The integration of IoT into retailers’ business strategies is a game-changer for the retail industry. Let’s take a look at the importance of IoT devices to business owners and how Voyager™ IoT management system by Datablaze can help you get the most out of your IoT devices.  

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IoT's Role in the Retail Industry

The use of IoT greatly contributes to leveling the playing field between online shopping and brick-and-mortar stores. This innovative technology enhances the consumer experience while cutting operational costs. 

Benefits of IoT in Retail​

  • Improves inventory management
  • Helps ensure optimal storage of products and goods
  • Decreases labor costs
  • Optimizes supply chain management
  • Improves customer experience
  • Increases the number of conversions

This is a non-inclusive list and the number of benefits will continue to grow as new ways to integrate IoT into retail are developed. 

Applications of IoT in Retail

The number of applications that IoT has in retail is limitless and new ones are being developed every single day. These are the most common applications of IoT in retail to date.

Automated Checkout

Time is more valuable than ever and consumers do not want to spend their precious time waiting in long lines. In fact, long lines will deter consumers from purchasing products. On the other hand, it may not be cost-effective for managers to pay the labor costs of opening additional check-out lanes. IoT allow you to set up a system that reads the tag on each item when a customer leaves the store. The automated checkout system then tallies the items up and deducts the payment from the customer’s mobile payment app. Automated checkout saves the customer time when completing a purchase and saves labor costs.

Personalized Discounts

One of the most attractive features of online shopping is that cookies track consumers’ online actions when visiting a retailer’s site. This allows them to send personalized discount codes, product suggestions, etc. Until the implementation of IoT this level of personalization has not been feasible in brick-and-mortar stores. Now, retailers can install sensors around their stores that send loyalty discounts to consumers who have signed up for the loyalty program when their smartphone comes within close proximity of certain items. 

Connect Consumers' Online and In-Store Experience

IoT allow you to keep track of items the consumer has been looking at on their online site. When the same consumer enters a physical store, sensors will detect their smartphone and send personalized discounts on the items they showed interest in online. Connecting the two experiences with IoT maximizes retailers’ conversion rates. 

Effectively Manage Inventory

Ineffectively managing inventory is a huge drain of financial resources for retailers. You end up either understocked on certain items and end up missing sales opportunities or overstocked with money sitting on the shelves that aren’t moving. Smart shelves have weighted sensors and use radio frequency identification (RFID) tags that are able to scan products. Alerts are then sent to management when products are incorrectly placed on a shelf or a product is running low. This innovative technology can also alert you when in-store theft is detected. 

Optimize Store Layout

The layout of your retail store plays a large part in conversion rates. Sensors placed strategically throughout the store can help you determine which products should be closer to the front, within easier reach. For instance, your best selling products should be easy for consumers to find.

Robot Employees

This may seem futuristic, but the use of robot employees in retail stores helps cut down on labor costs. Automated helpers are able to take on menial tasks, help customers find products, and assist consumers with basic questions. Robot employees are also bilingual which enhances the consumer experience. This helps to cut down on labor costs.

Optimizing Supply Chain Management

With the use of RFID and GPS sensors, IoT can be used to gather crucial data such as the temperature at which perishables are stored. This can help to ensure the integrity of the product during transport and storage.

It is important to note that the applications relevant to each retailer will vary depending on retailers needs and overall business models. 

Elevating the Consumer's Experience

One of the main things that have given online retail an advantage is exceptional customer service. When shopping online, consumers can get what they want, when they want without ever having to leave the comfort of their home. IoT are a game-changer for brick-and-mortar retailers by significantly improving the consumer experience in the following ways:

  • Quicker checkout times
  • Personalized and relevant discounts
  • Faster customer service
  • Store layouts that are easier to navigate
  • Bilingual automated helpers that reduce the frustrations of language barriers
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Voyager™: The Ultimate IoT Management Platform

Voyager™ by Datablaze allows you ultimate control when it comes to incorporating IoT into your retail business strategy. At a glance, Voyager™ offers:

 
  • Cost optimization tools
  • Live analytics
  • Real-time billing and reporting
  • Remote management 
  • Full parent/child/multitenant capabilities
  • Full suite of APIs

Let’s take a closer look at how each of these features improves consumer experience and gives you the tools to optimize your business strategies.

Robust IoT Management

Voyager™ the most versatile system for taking control of your data connections across any size deployment. Benefit from complete visibility to all of your connections in real-time, from one platform, no matter where you are. 

Live IoT Management Dashboard

A live dashboard gives retail managers a real-time view of your data connections in an intuitive user interface. This makes it easy to identify and act on the highest data users as well as understand your current and past usage.

Simplified IoT Billing

Voyager™ IoT management system takes the stress off of having to generate complicated data service invoices. Datablaze’s comprehensive platform allows retail business owners to invoice simply and accurately, create detailed charges, and direct Excel Spreadsheet exports. 

Manage Geographic Connections

Take advantage of live GPS tracking on a wide range of solutions from one platform, collect location-based data, animated playback, and simple geofencing capabilities with Voyager™. 

Network Failover

If your network goes down, your business instantly becomes less efficient. Make sure that you’re always online with Datablazes network failover solutions. 

IoT's Role in Data Management

Datablaze’s Voyager™ allows retail managers to better understand the pattern of their consumers. When you understand your consumers then you can improve on ways to maximize conversions. This is useful in the design and development stages of business strategies. 

How Does IoT Cut Down on Retailer's Costs?

The implementation of an IoT management platform translates into cost savings for retailers. The ability to cut costs and maximize profits are the key to any retailer’s success. Retailers are constantly looking for new ways to increase the efficiency of their operation and cut down on operating costs. Here are the ways that IoT can save retailers on operational costs.

  • Improved supply chain and inventory management control
  • Information collected will be analyzed and alerts will be sent to managers and designated employees if an event occurs that requires attention
  • The ability to trace inventory more closely means that there is a reduction in shrinkage and fraud
  • Optimization of product placement means that consumers find what they are looking for and are less likely to walk out empty-handed
  • More efficient use of in-store employees

Integration of APIs

Application program interfaces (APIs) are the points of interaction between an IoT and the internet. Simply put, IoT would be useless without them. The integration of APIs with IoT devices allows collected data to be turned into valuable insights about the efficiency of retail operations. Voyager™ offers a full suite of APIs to ensure that retailers are able to get the most out of their IoT devices. 

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The Importance of Multitenant Management Features

Multitenant features provide retailers with the capabilities to conveniently manage multiple separate entities from one platform. Each user or tenant has the ability to access only devices that they are authorized to. This saves resources by avoiding unnecessary costs and time of having to input each user separately.  

See What Voyager™ Can Do For Your Retail Store

The use of IoT devices in retail is the way of the future for brick-and-mortar stores. However, IoT are useless if you do not have a comprehensive, effective way to manage them and utilize the data received. This is where Voyager™ by Datablaze comes in. This cutting-edge IoT management platform takes the complexity and frustration out of data management and allows you to optimize business operations, enhance customer experience, and maximize conversion rates. Schedule your free demo today and see what Voyager™, the ultimate IoT management system can do for your retail business.  

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