The malls, restaurants and retail stores in Tampa Bay are booming! How do I know? I can't find parking anywhere. There are wait times to be seated at dining establishments on a weekday. And I had to wait in line to buy hand soap at the mall – seriously! It seems like we’re hearing more and more about retail store closures and bankruptcies. The reality is, these store closures aren’t new and there are retailers who are actually thriving thanks to digital transformation.
In order to succeed in today’s competitive retail industry, retailers must be able to enhance their business operations and customer experience if they want to avoid falling behind the competition, losing consumer trust and ultimately going extinct.
As an IoT provider, how can you help your retail customers transform their business?
Increasing Operational Efficiency
Retailers are most often suffering from internal obstacles (high overhead, costs, etc.) rather than external forces and barriers. Help your customers' lower their costs, increase efficiencies and enhance productivity using smart IoT. There are at least two ways to lower internal costs: building controls and smart lighting. Various manufacturers on the building automated controls (BAC) side all have roughly the same figure of savings – nearly 30 percent. I'm not a math major, but 30 percent savings is huge. Imagine the electricity cost of a 10,000 sq ft retail establishment, say $10k a month – that would equate to an additional $36k a year to the bottom line. Lighting upgrades are another large savings are, moving from fluorescent to LED can save an additional 40 percent on the retailer’s electrical lighting usage.
There are many ways to increase efficiency and productivity, but it would be best to start with a review of the retailer’s inventory controls. Here are a few solutions to suggest:
- Employee management tools through access ID and or video analytics. Yes, you can have fewer employees do more work with just an analytical camera device
- Proper IT infrastructure with an always on, always up mentality
- Integrating web ordering with physical retail inventory to reduce warehousing expenses and having the customer pick up in store or shipped to their door
Improving the In-Store Customer Experience
Today’s customers are connected through mobile technology. They can easily search their smartphone to check prices, reviews and compare similar products. Many retailers are discovering the benefits of providing tailored in-store experiences for their consumers. That’s why they’re looking into using IoT to engage customers and obtain the data needed for a unique store experience.
For example, the first in-store touchpoint takes place when a retail greeter welcomes the customer to the store. With today’s technology, the customer can be greeted with a WiFi splash page. If the customer chooses to log-in, the retailer can obtain data on how often the customer visits the store and contact information to follow up with the consumer. Another way to engage the consumer is through smart kiosks. These digital displays can be placed throughout the store to showcase pricing and custom specials for the consumer.
You aren’t just selling a nifty new widget to your customer, but a full adaptive operating model, marketing and customer engagement solution utilizing IoT that can help you acquire the data you need to successfully meet the needs of your customers and keep them coming back for more.
Help your customers evolve and come out of the retail stone age by showing them proven IoT solutions running on a solid IT infrastructure.
Tech Data IoT Solutions is a vendor-agnostic team of expert consultants, architects and engineers, with specialists in every business vertical. We have a comprehensive network of partners—including vendors, system integrators, resellers and service providers—readily available to provide the best quality IoT solutions in the channel.