7 Ways IoT Integration can Change How You Operate Your Retail Business

Updated on Dec 15th, 2023


According to the recent data, the global IoT market is expected to reach USD 94.44 billion by 2025, exhibiting a CAGR of 21.5% during the forecast period. Increased demand for improved flexibility, multiple distribution channels, better services offered in more streamlined ways, and enhanced customer experience are some of the key factors driving global IoT adoption. Furthermore, this swift rise in the popularity of IoT can also be attributed to the merging of digital and in-store operations in retail stores. 

Some of the more innovative retailers are already integrating cutting edge IoT technology with their business processes to change how their shops operate. According to Oracle’s report The Impact of Emerging Technology on CX Excellence, 

  • 66% of surveyed retail executives state that IoT has already positively impacted their CX. 
  • 88% of the study’s respondents state that using IoT in retail industry will provide better customer insight than any other data gathering method. 

These numbers clearly depict a consistently growing interest in retail IoT solutions from show owners. And in this article, we will discuss seven key ways in which IoT integration can help you transform your retail business. 

  • Retail IoT solutions can improve in-store customer experience by analyzing real-time customer data.
  • Advanced features such as predictive analysis, customer buying habits, trend detection, etc., can help retailers improve their revenues.
  • IoT can also help retailers in streamlining internal business processes such as inventory management and checkouts as well.
  • To deploy IoT systems in your retail store, you need to hire IoT developer with a proven track record of quality services like Matellio. IoT development and deployment is a tricky and expensive undertaking with a lot of risk involved. But with a technology partner like Matellio who has the talent and the tools to provide the best retail IoT development services in the market, you can rest easy and see your retail store grow with the help of IoT.

1. Automated Cashier-Less Checkouts Deliver True, Unified Shopping Experience

Self-checkout kiosks are becoming increasingly more popular among the retailers and customers. If not for anything else, these self-checkout stores take those interminable checkout lines we all dread and hate out of our buying journeys. In one of the surveys, at least 75% of shoppers accepted that self-checkouts help save time and boost their shopping experience. 

While the customer is ready to leave with their essential items shopped already, no one would want to spend hours standing in the queue waiting for the people who are doing the weekly shopping. Self-checkout machines can reduce this queuing time considerably by serving both the category of shoppers. Furthermore, self-checkout kiosks accept payment in multiple forms, thus enabling shoppers to pay for their purchases using their preferred modes.  

Apart from this, for locations that serve customers who may speak various languages like airports and tourist shops, self-checkouts can easily be configured to multi-lingual options. 

A self-checkout system can do more than just accepting payments from the customers. Retailers worldwide can integrate this system into their other functions such as endless aisle, a Wayfinder, or digital signage. 

By placing fully-featured interactive units at various locations, you can provide customers a better shopping experience where they can access the units to get more product information. They can scan the product barcode for ingredients, browse products unavailable in-store and pay for the order. 

Apart from this, traditional stores have to spend a hefty amount of money maintaining the checkout process staff. With self-checkout kiosks, the human workforce can be freed to do other tasks in the store. Seeing all that these kiosks have to offer, it wouldn’t be a stretch at all to say that they are a significant part of the future of IoT in retail. 


2. Detailed Store Analytics to Implement Better Policies

IoT is a vital tool for retail stores that generate a lot of customer data and want to use it to improve their in-store experiences. IoT and other next-gen tech such as AI and Big Data can provide valuable information and patterns from your real-time/ historical data. This data is captured by various IoT devices and sensors proliferated across the store. Once collected, the data goes through an IoT software solution so that various advanced operations such as data analytics, trend detection, etc., can take place. With Analytical IoT, you can:

Identify your store’s hot spots
Gauge the effectiveness of different product displays
Customize inventory
Customize inventory to meet shoppers’ needs
Determine the most profitable store layout
Provide unparalleled customer service through real-time monitoring
It is a significant part of what makes IoT retail solutions so effective and enables you to connect with customers more efficiently and ensure that you make informed store-related decisions. 

3. Create a Cohesive In-store and Online Shopping Experience with Beacons

Beacons are a great tool for retailers to improve customer service and deliver interactive shopping experiences. There are three major ways beacons benefit the retailers: 

a. Stores can share location-specific information to customers in real-time

This basically creates a better approach for retailers to market their products. So, for instance, when customers walk down an aisle in a supermarket and come across a coupon dispenser, beacons deliver this information to the devices to augment the conversion. 

b. Retail IoT solutions can also collect consumers’ personal data

In the digital world where consumers are constantly connected to the internet, retailers have a great opportunity to collect data and leverage it to boost conversions. Moreover, customer data can be connected to the loyalty information or utilized to deliver specific messages that display better product suggestions to the customers based on their shopping habits. 

c. Lastly, beacons can help retail employees provide impeccable customer services that wins over buyers

Beacons have the potential to tell service representatives whether a shopper is a first-timer or a loyal customer. Sales staff on the floor can attend to their needs accordingly. Furthermore, you can consolidate online shopping history with in-store movement and previous purchases to get a clear understanding of the products that a customer might buy. This can help you with targeted marketing and increase your sales. 

4. Smart Shelves for Real-time Inventory Tracking and Analytics

Smart Shelves use RFID technology to automatically track inventory in retail stores. The technology uses weight sensors installed within the shelves to analyze the inventory on shelves and extend real-time tracking capabilities. Here’s how smart shelves help retailers manage the store better: 

a. The first benefit of smart shelves is inventory management

Retailers claim that current inventory systems are only 52% accurate, creating opportunities for smart systems like smart shelves to take over. RFID tags can attach to various items in the stock, making it easier to view and track with results available in real-time.
This can easily be used to overcome out-of-stock situations that amount to billions of dollars of losses with automated stock replenishment alerts. This would also promote more appropriate orders and reduce wastage. 

b. Retail IoT solutions provide insights into consumer behavior

Smart shelves provide for real-time analytics of the way consumers behave, how they move in a store, in which spots they spend most of their in-store time and how they engage with a certain product on sale. All in all, this results in a more consumer-focused approach of brick-and-mortar retailers. 

c. Providing for dynamic and personalized shopping

Monitoring consumer response in real-time leads to other advantages. With the data collected, retailers can modify their pricing strategy, make promotions customers are truly interested in, increase brand awareness, and improve new product introduction, thus optimizing revenue per square foot. Not bad for the times when 74% of retailers think that pricing errors lead to increased costs and complexity. 

d. Shrinkage reduction

This problem can be successfully tackled by the smart retail shelving system capacity to provide real-time information about immediate items or asset status. By identifying the last item position, retailers would better identify the potential source of the shrinkage and take necessary precautions. 

Also Read: How To Improve Your Supply Chain With IoT Inventory Management?

5. In-store Layout Optimization for Optimal Profitability

In-store layout optimization strikes a balance between the customer’s shopping experience and profitability. 

Planning your store layout can be tricky. You need to ensure that all the products are placed in right locations and are well-aligned with the customer’s shopping needs. It may be a case that the most in-demand products are placed at the back while the least popular ones occupy the important front shelves. Alongside this, it is easier to get confused between your idea of important products with what’s actually important for customers. 

Using IoT aisle analytics software with infrared sensors can help improve the retail outlet’s layout. This technology provides further insights into a customer’s behavior and their shopping preferences. 

6. Supply Chain Optimization

Inventory is the lifeblood of the retail. 

However, customer expectations and changes in business models are challenging the retailers to innovate and operate streamlined inventory supply chains. Retail IoT solutions, with their ability to deliver visibility across shelves, transit, and warehouses, can help businesses achieve high efficiency, cost efficiency, and prime customer experience. 

According to reports, the remote asset management market will be worth USD 26.99 Billion by 2021, growing at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 25.1 percent. The adoption of IoT will be a key contributor to this momentum. By 2021, 70 percent of retailers are planning significant investments in IoT. 

Various ways retail IoT solutions can streamline supply chain operations include:

Improved asset-condition monitoring

With smart sensors deployed, retailers can get detailed insights into the inventory conditions including spoilage or damaged packaging, and environmental conditions, including humidity, temperature, and acidity. Not just this, businesses can easily see the cargo state in the warehouse and after deployment. Additional problems can be detected in transit, such as spills, unusual motions, and even the state of the transport medium. This level of visibility directly addresses one of the biggest challenges of the supply chain: ensuring that goods arrive intact and usable.

Improved asset-location tracking

Besides condition monitoring, IoT systems can seamlessly track location at all times. Giving a detailed view of every step of the logistics journey, these systems help to solve problems such as misplaces inventory and lost shipments. IoT systems can also make it possible to track fleet in real-time, enabling a tighter grip on product movement. This enables companies to keep problems like traffic jams and bad weather, unplanned routes and transit modes, and product delay at bay.

Advanced analytics

The unprecedented volume of data that IoT systems generate provides companies with the opportunity to gain specific insights into operations using advanced analytics. Real-time performance monitoring is accompanied by opportunities for predictive analytics. Not only does it empower companies to make more informed decisions than with manual methods, but information can be accessed more rapidly, significantly cutting down supply-chain cycles.

7. Better Inventory Management Enabled with Efficient IoT Systems

Inventory management is a big pain point for most retailers. Inaccurate inventory data can lead to a lot of complications including overstocking, stockouts, and shrinkage, leading to retailers estimating that their current inventories are only 66% accurate. But retail IoT solutions can automate inventory visibility, thereby solving these problems for good. 

Implementing smart inventory management systems based on RFID tags, store shelf sensors, beacons, digital price tags, and video monitoring coupled with image analysis can enhance procurement planning at every level of the supply chain. When the product starts to run out, the system can automatically reorder the necessary items based on IoT data analytics. 

Also Read: IoT Consulting Services: Everything You Need to Know


Are You Looking to Deploy IoT Systems in Your Retail Store? 

Matellio can help you! 

With innovative software products on our portfolio, we are the choice of enterprises of various sizes who want to bring digital transformation to their business. Regarded as a trusted software engineering company by our clients, we excel in delivering quality products including web solutions, mobile apps, custom enterprise software, and much more. Experience smooth, agile digital transformation with us. Contact us now! 

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