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The Internet of Retail: Shopping of the Future

  • Sigfox

It is no surprise the IoT has showed in retail stores. Although you may not realize it, there have been significant shifts and changes in the last 20 years in the retail sector. Stores are becoming smart. From smart mirrors to interactive kiosks to makeup stations that match the color of foundation to your skin tone, brick and mortar shops are using technology to enhance customers experiences, improve sales, and learn more about their shoppers than ever before.

IoT and enhancing the customer experience in retail stores are so crucial that IoT in retail is anticipated to reach over $30 million by the year 2024. Furthermore, other studies confirm that retailers believe the introduction on IoT in their stores helps improve customer satisfaction by 70% and 89% also said that IoT technologies have helped them gain more profound insights into their customers shopping behaviors and preferences.

With such highly positive numbers and outcomes, retailers will have no choice but to adopt these IoT technologies if they want to stay successful and relevant. The tech sphere is an ever-growing entity, and people and companies need to grow with these advancements. If a business is unwilling to advance with said changes, a drop in sales and customer loyalty and satisfaction is imminent.

Retail is Not Dying Out

You may be interested to find that retail is not dying, as many have believed in the not too distant past. With the evolution of online shopping and massive corporations likes Amazon taking over and changing how many shops, people still want to go to an actual brick and mortar store. Although it is convenient to shop online, online shopping can often be challenging. For instance, you cannot try on a pair of shoes before you purchase them over the Internet – so many people still like to feel, see, and try on products like clothing and shoes in an actual store.

In this day and age, people still like to go places with others and have an in-person and interactive shopping experience. This is why we do not expect retail to die out in the foreseeable future. However, this does not mean that customers don’t want a more updated and sophisticated shopping experience in retail stores. Technology like scan-as-you-go shopping in supermarkets that avoid the checkout line and unique smart shelves that give you personalized sale deals are the kinds of tech people are looking for when the shop in a store.

According to experts, retail needs to be more than just about shopping, it needs to be an experience as well. 75% of shopping is still done in retail stores, so we need to make sure the in-person shopping experience is seeing new light. So, how can we make these changes and improvement? The answer lies in IoT, machine learning, and more.

  • Sigfox

Technology and IoT in Retail

Let’s take robots for example. A new robotic technology, called Pepper, is essentially a retail store robot that can recognize the emotions and facial expressions of customers and adjust its mood to how the customer is acting at that time. Pepper is a humanoid customer service robot that helps shoppers with just about anything they need help with, from finding a particular product to showing them what the best deals are for crackers that day. We see these robots in use throughout Japan today.

In IoT, Rebecca Minkoff’s brand uses smart mirrors in their dressing rooms that can read the RFID barcode on clothing tags. From there, the mirror can turn into a huge computer-like screen and suggest different sizes they have available, ask for clothing items with similar styles, and ask for assistance from a store attendant.