Gone are those days when my mother used to go to grocery shop to buy groceries, I used to go to tailor to get my clothes stitched, to look for a carpenter who will make furniture for you, may things like this.
Since last 5 years, things have drastically changed for Retail Sale for any commodity, there has been lot of retail outlets available in market (with all sorts of retail shops mushrooming) such as D-Mart, Big Bazaar, Star Bazaar, etc. Retail Business is changing. And it’s changing fast. It’s all about the focus now. And, the focus is on Customer Experience.
Retail Solutions have changed, from online, to mobile. Players like flipkart, Jabong, greencart have shown the path of future. These solutions are making sure Customer experience would enable sale for Retail.
The next big innovation on Digital platforms is going to be Internet of Things(hereafter as IoT). As per IDC report , 9 billion devices around the world are currently connected to the Internet, including computers and smartphones. By 2020 the number is expected to increase dramatically to 30 billion.
Benefits of real-time data from Internet of Things is the real opportunity to improve business value , new revenue models, lower costs, improved client experiences, better insight to improve outcomes.
For the Internet of Things, the use cases are unlimited, sky is the limit. Read further to know how Technologies like IoT would transform Retail Business in future.
Dynamic Pricing Model
Every selling item has shelf life. For items which are perishable that becomes the necessity. For few items who have expiry dates or product life cycle, dedicated sale strategies and infrastructure have to be in place.
In such case, Retailer can have a dynamic pricing model: Control Alter dynamic pricing tags on shelving - this can be used in conjunction with analytics so that inventory which is either close to expiry or the ones who are not “hot selling” items can be marked down immediately, or conversely inventory that is likely to sell well (eg. weather dependent or suddenly trending) can be increased in price.
Customer Loyalty Cards – RFID based
Almost always, around 70 percent of a store’s revenues come from loyal customers. If this loyal customer base is targeted for offers, one would get some more percent of customers, who will happily buy more and that will result in conversion improvement
Few benefits would be based on the buying pattern identified for a loyal customer, a personalized content about the offers can be made, as customer enters the Retail outlet.
RFID enabled loyalty cards : enables cards to be detected without customer even taking the card out of the his bag/wallet when customer enters the outlet. Points are automatically added to loyalty account on payment. Customer’s engagement can be improved by allowing retailer to know customer is in store and can react appropriately.
Inventory Management Devices
Inventory Management Devices on inventory will allow retailers to know if items are being walked out of store without being purchased. Retailer would also know where they are in the retail environment. For instance are they in the store's back depot? When they should be on the shelves?
Smart vending machines
Smart vending machines will relay information from the vending machine to the owner. Owner can have the appropriate stock ready for refilling and to refill only when necessary. Can also be used for analytics to determine what stock is best in which location.
Delivery optimization: By tracking of inventory using devices
By using devices like RFID , iBeacon or other, retailer knows where inventory is and when it is likely to arrive. Not only allows retailer to know where there stock is but to also change the destination if appropriate.
Retailers should conduct trials on these IoT based Solutions for segmented commodity to start with. Observe the customer reactions and validate the economic use case.
IBM® Internet of Things Foundation (IoTF) in Bluemix provides simple yet powerful application access to Internet of Things (IoT) devices and data.
Try our Internet of Things Foundation Quick start at internetofthings.ibmcloud.com
Documentation about the service available on https://www.ng.bluemix.net/docs/services/IoT/index.html
Read more about IoT Solutions on http://www.ibm.com/cloud-computing/bluemix/solutions/iot
Check out recipes to connect your devices & learn how to build a Bluemix IoT app http://ibmdw.net/iot