Shoppers are busier than ever. They’re also more connected. Instead of spending an afternoon at the mall, they use their phones, computers and tablets to purchase what they want, when they want it. And if they do happen to stop by a brick-and-mortar store, they expect to encounter exceptional service. When they don’t, they talk about it on social media.
This shift in customer behavior means businesses must work harder than ever to attract and keep customers. Luckily, the Internet of Things (IoT) is helping retailers become and stay competitive by connecting people, objects and data. The following allow retailers to create better customer experiences and improve their bottom line:
When the supply chain is truly integrated, retailers can manage their inventory more intelligently, saving them time and money. Mobile devices make that integration possible. When products are tracked and data is captured and shared in real time, retailers can monitor inventory, anticipate demand and take action as needed. No more paying to store surplus items or apologizing to customers for a 12-week delay.
Empowering store associates
Seventy-three percent of shoppers would prefer to use their smartphone than engage with a store associate. But what if the in-store interaction could be as seamless and personalized as an online experience? By arming sales associates with mobile point-of- sale (mPOS) devices, it can. If, for example, a customer needs a pair of jeans in a size six, the sales associate can instantly check inventory and have the correct size brought to the customer. If they happen to be out of stock, the associate can do a quick search to see what similar styles are available, and can make a valuable recommendation to the customer.
Creating an omni-channel experience
More and more, customers are making purchases on their phones and tablets. By collecting and sharing data from mobile purchases, retailers have an opportunity to provide an exciting, personalized experience for customers. They can identify a shopper who walks into one of their retail stores and send them a special offer—through the store’s smartphone app—on the category of products that customer is most interested in.
Anticipating buyer behavior
Mobile technologies offer retailers the opportunity to capture bigger, better data sets than ever before. With the right IoT solution, data can be transformed into actionable insight about shoppers’ behaviors and preferences. A retailer whose customer just purchased a new bed now has the opportunity to send a follow-up email to recommend bedding and other accessories. With advances in mobile connectivity, retail has already made great strides. Add IoT technologies to the mix, and we’re looking at a total industry transformation—one that will streamline operations and enhance the customer experience in an unprecedented way.
Want to learn more about how retailers are leveraging the IoT? Download the industry profile below.