In today’s day and age, there isn’t a minute in the day where you or your peers are not either using technology, benefiting from technology, or in the presence of technology. Technology has been the biggest game changer in this century so far, and it continues to evolve just when we think we’ve grasped the current concept. Similarly, the way people buy and sell products or services has also progressed. One thing to remember is that if you’re a retail company, whether you know it or not, you are also a technology company. You must think this way to pave your way for long-term success in retail, because technology is completely changing the way consumers shop.
iOT (Internet of Things) has recently become a powerful buzzword. But do we know what iOT means for retailers and franchisors? Already, we are seeing companies enhance the shopping experience for consumers while simultaneously drastically improving the feedback they receive. Even though this is the beginning, there’s a lot happening and it’s intriguing.
iOT can use sensor technology to analyze data, and in retail stores it has changed the way owners use this against data against key business objectives. For example, there are many various types of sensors that can be used:
- The first type of sensor is a device that you can stick onto the product or merchandise you are selling. So, let’s say Harrison picks up a pair of tennis shoes at the local athletic store. When Harrison picks up that pair of tennis shoes, the sensor is provided with information that this product is being looked at. Then, many times, via Bluetooth, a text message is sent to the mobile device in Harrison’s pocket. That text message will most likely provide a coupon or some sort of discounted rate for that exact shoe. Thus, further encouraging this purchase, all while storing the data of that shopping experience in the cloud.
- Another type of sensor, is similar to what you may have experienced when you enter a wireless store. For example, when Harrison walks into his local Verizon Wireless store, he may immediately receive a text message with content expressing something along the line of, “Are you looking for a new phone today?” or “How can one of our customer support specialists help you today?” I find this type of sensor technology very interesting and it seems to continue to gain popularity.
- An additional type of sensor, is one that most of you are already familiar with. This is the sensor that is placed at the entrance and exit of a retail store to help track your conversion rates. You can identify your heaviest traffic days, time of days and identify when serious buyers are more likely to enter the store and leave with a purchase. These sensors also help you identify how you should staff your business.
- Last but not least of the type of sensors I’m discussing here (there are many more), is a slightly different sensor. Basically, everywhere that you need to refrigerate your products, you will want this. If you are selling meat, dairy, etc. you will want to know if your refrigerator temperature is beginning to slip. Anything can cause this to happen, and you’d like to be prepared before your inventory is compromised. This type of sensor will immediately alert you if your temperature is too low or high. No more lost inventory and lower food safety risks!
As you can tell, there is a plethora of contextual awareness that iOT provides the everyday business owner. Technology continues to advance, for example, Google has just this week announced that soon their Google Lens may soon be able to identify the make and details of a purse, by just pointing the lens towards it.
In a world where technology has taken the business industry by storm, make sure you are fully aware and educated on the benefits of using the next best technology to further benefit the success of your overall business.