The Internet of Things (IoT) connects physical devices—thermostats, smartphones, RFID tags, etc.—to the digital world. The Internet of Things is constantly growing as more electronics are added, and the data gathered from these devices gives retailers a detailed look into who their customers are and what they want.
These analytics are especially important for retailers who want to customize the in-store experience so shoppers feel like it was tailor-made for them. A high-quality visit to a brick-and-mortar location can help differentiate a store from other merchants and online-only retailers. It’s not enough to offer rock-bottom prices; understanding your customers’ needs and providing attentive service will help ensure repeat purchases.
Using customer loyalty programs and cloud-based analytics, retailers can predict how their customers move through the store, interact with products or need extra assistance. In fact, according to McKinsey, 77% of retailers see the IoT as a way to change customer experiences and 89% of early adopters in retail found benefits in the insights the IoT provided them about customer preferences and behaviors.
How can the Internet of Things help your business?
Improve the customer experience. Customer experience is directly linked to retail business success. This makes it a critical component of any retail strategy. What’s more, customer experience is shown to have a significant impact on customer loyalty. Good news for retailers then, that the Internet of Things ensures that consumer data can be captured and utilized for more effective loyalty programs. Customer loyalty programs of the omnichannel and multichannel variety are replacing traditional loyalty programs. These types of third party programs keep the brand in front of customers across multiple touch points and in today’s world, when customers are flitting between online and physical stores, this is essential.
Real-time access to reports anytime, anywhere. Access to real-time sales, inventory and labor data is essential for effective decision making. On-demand, remote control of business data from anywhere at any time will empower business leaders to react to real-time situations in a timely fashion. Is there an inventory issue? A staff scheduling mishap? With cloud-based analytics through a hybrid-cloud solution, business owners and managers will be able to handle the problem on the spot. Additionally, with off-site storage and complete system backups, your customer data and cloud-based analytics will always be secure. For this reason, hybrid cloud solutions are particularly beneficial as they enable your business to run at full capacity, all day, every day, regardless of an internet connection.
The Internet of Things is a powerful network that can enhance every level of your business. Gaining real-time insight into customer behavior, customer engagement, staff schedules and inventory levels can help you customize and create positive in-store experiences for your consumers. Innovative retailers are already exploring the benefits the IoT can provide to their businesses. Will you be able to compete?