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Retail IoT Heading Towards Growth

By CIOReview | Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Internet of Things (IoT) has some interesting applications in retail. IoT can bridge the gap between online and in-person shopping. Additionally, it will promote increased automation and new ways to engage with customers. However, IoT is still in infancy stage. IoT is making its way into the mainstream retail world, and retail titans are leading the way. 

Amazon has used the IoT technology for a long time. The automation used for its supply chain and logistics functions are well-recorded and aimed at efficiency. Thousands of robots are used for packaging and centralized planning. IoT is the best way for Amazon to ship thousands of products around the world. IoT is very expensive and is used for the shipment of valuable products such as medical supplies that needs monitoring. On the other hand, the company uses cheap shipment methods for lower-value purchases to save costs.

Amazon’s retail division has a big plan along with its online shopping empire. The Amazon Go stores are providing a wholly automated shopping experience to customers. Shoppers scan a barcode when entering the store to sign in, take the products they need and leave. The app measures the bill and deducts the money from their Amazon account. The backend process is very complicated. The whole concept revolves around smart vision technology that uses cameras to track individual shoppers and their physical position in the store. However, the entire process has not been revealed by the company. 

Retailers have to know about their customer, and they apply new strategies to learn about their customers. IoT technology fetches customer data for organizations and translates it into more significant potential sales. Online retailers have always had the advantage of knowing their customers. Website cookies gather all the data by following their customers across a wide range of shopping sites. Retail stores are now using IoT to collect information. Retailers admit that their most important areas of innovation are real-time engagement with customers.

This leads to the usage of beacon technology. Retailers have intended to use beacons for a long time.  Beacons can provide personalized and location-relevant information.  There are also things like real-time shelf interaction. The weight of the product, measures, and smart cameras can give a clear picture of customers picking up products and placing them in their carts. The purpose of this is to offer tailored products to specific consumers. According to experts, all this technology is under progress. Brick-and-mortar retailers still face economic challenges. Therefore, spending on the groundbreaking and expensive new technology may be complicated for them.