Retail IoTherapy: The Rise of IoT in the Retail Industry
IoT is everywhere. And now, it seems as though IoT technology is starting to move into the retail industry. With the official opening of Amazon's first Amazon Go store, the technology used to keep the store functioning has been widely talked about since Amazon first introduced the concept for Amazon Go. Amazon has been the prime example of how the integration of IoT can revolutionize the retail industry. With IoT becoming more and more widely adopted across various industries, we're taking a look into the rising role of IoT in the retail industry for some retail IoTherapy!
We have talked about IoT in detail before and how the adoption of IoT technology has been steadily increasing year by year. Many things have now become automated, with concepts such as smart homes, smart cities and smart appliances all coming to fruition. Now we can start adding smart retail stores to the list. The most prominent example of IoT in the retail space is Amazon Go, Amazon's physical store that allows customers to grab and go with no checkout required. When Amazon Go opened to the public in 2018, many people talked about the technology and how it would serve as an example for the future, especially in the case of the retail sector. The idea that we could just walk in and out with what we need and be billed to our respective accounts sounds amazingly convenient. No more waiting in check out lines, no need to fumble to get your wallet out and for those who just want to get in and out, you can get what you need and jet. This will all be made possible by the use of IoT sensors to monitor items and complete transactions. Shoplifting becomes less of a concern because items will all be tagged with a sensor of some sort and no matter how hard you try to sneak out of the store with the item, you'll get charged for it no matter what. The overall incorporation of the technology can create a more user-friendly experience for the customers.
While it creates an atmosphere of convenience and efficiency for the customers, it's also beneficial for the businesses because they get a deeper understanding of their customers and their shopping habits. IoT technology can move the shopping experience into a new realm. For the customers, the experience of shopping becomes very different in the sense that technology plays a part in helping them make purchasing decisions. Depending on the level of technology the retailers decide to incorporate into their stores, customers can have readily accessible information about the various items they may want to purchase and interact with the brand itself. This in turn can benefit the retailers in terms of profit and customer retention because if they understand their customers better based on the data analytics that is being collected through IoT, the retailer can then make more informed business decisions/observations, i.e. identify which products sell the most/the least, efficient inventory management, supply chain/logistics management, how store layouts affect buying, customer reviews and etc. Through close engagement with the customers, retailers have the opportunity to amplify shopping experiences for its customers and gain a more loyal customer base.
All in all, it's not just Amazon that is incorporating IoT technology. Other businesses have started implementing the technology in their stores as well as warehouses. As IoT technology becomes more prevalent, we see traces of the technology being used at different stores. Mobile and smart watch payments, online grocery ordering/delivery, item tracking, one-click shopping are all concepts that are being used at some stores. As IoT technology takes a bigger role in our everyday lives, it wouldn't be surprising to see more and more smart brick-and-mortar and e-commerce stores in the future!
What do you think about the future of IoT technology implementation in retail stores? Is it something you would enjoy or something that may be problematic? Let us know in the comments or shoot us a mention on social media!