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How RFID and the IoT Can Boost Retail
Radio frequency identification and the Internet of Things can strengthen omnichannel retailing, making the physical space more integrated with the experience offered by digital channels.
Attending to this public will be possible thanks to the Internet of Things, since retail companies will have access to comprehensive information and will thus know what consumers' real expectations and needs are. They can practically measure which products are most sought after, what forms of interaction and contact are most assertive, and what kinds of services should be delivered—whether for sale at online channels or for order completion in-store.
By using the latest technologies in their aisles and display cases (with wireless networks, digital displays and self-service tools, for example), organizations can gain options to create a more attractive and complete condition for their consumers, who will thus be able to test products on time.
In summary, this means that technology—and the IoT in particular—can help retailers to reinforce the omnichannel positioning of their companies, making the physical space of their stores a more connected and integrated environment to the experience offered by digital channels. There are already several solutions that integrate IoT hardware, software, services and devices to modernize stores and intelligently collect information regarding consumption and customer interest.
Effective management of these technological solutions allows retailers to create environments for consumers to have ever-changing digital experiences, while analyzing consumer habits and predicting preferences. For example, they can deploy sensors on shelves to measure handling and the amount of time workers spend with consumers in each sector of the store.
But success in using these applications and innovations depends on a number of factors, such as training and qualifying teams, as well as reliable point-of-sale support. For tools to actually work, a retailer must simplify employee routines and, most importantly, add value to the consumer relationship with services offered by the store.
With the fierce competition for customer attention being increasingly vital to achieve a return on investment, it is important for companies to deploy RFID and IoT technologies, and to ensure that these solutions continue to be effectively useful to everyone, by automating day-to-day processes and allowing sales success, regardless of the channel used for purchases. Smart devices are here to stay, and they contribute to business results. It is up to retailers to define the strategies of IoT use in order to offer customers the best shopping hours, avoid losses and boost sales.
Sandra Maura is the CEO of Topmind.
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