When people become more connected, lives change. We saw it way back with the telephone, more recently with the internet. Interestingly, the same holds true for retailers. The Internet of Things is becoming a reality, and new worlds are opening as IoT dramatically changes the customer experience for the better. At the same time, associates are gaining ways to interact with customers and provide the type of help required to boost sales.
Here are some ways you can activate IoT in your stores:
- Enhance the customer experience. Sensors that connect with your store’s app allow you to personalize the shopping experience. This can take the form of a greeting on the shopper’s lock screen upon entering the store (“Good morning, Ms. Jones, thanks for stopping in today”) and extend to targeted messages based on location inside the store (“The dog food you usually buy is on sale this week—one aisle over”). Intelligent devices such as call buttons that summon help to the customer’s location when pressed, interactive store maps, and mirrors that let customers “try on” clothing virtually are also great options for delighting your customer in unexpected ways.
- Add “eyes and ears” to your sales floor. Your associates can’t be everywhere, but sensors can let them know when a freezer door is open, an open jewelry case is left unattended, lines are too long at the registers, or a number of shoppers are in an area with no associate nearby.
- Get the right information into the right hands. It’s one thing to put sensors in place; it’s quite another to route actionable notices to the person most likely to act on it. Systems such as FlorLink SmartHub ensure that, for example, security is alerted of possible theft when someone enters a high-ticket area that’s temporarily understaffed. Similarly, the nearest associate will be summoned if a shopper in a dressing room calls for help. And the customer pulling up to the store for a pickup will receive a lock-screen message that their item will be delivered to their car within two minutes.
- Remember that knowledge is power. Even as you use technology to create the best possible shopping experience for your customers, remember that the data being collected by sensors and other IoT devices is the key to future enhancements. You may be able to change processes to cut response time to customer requests, design staff assignments according to what time of day areas receive high traffic, and/or base the locations of special displays on the previous day’s traffic patterns.
There’s no doubt the world of IoT offers endless possibilities for retailers. Are you ready to activate IoT in your store?
The Internet of Things is becoming a reality, and new worlds are opening as IoT dramatically changes the customer experience for the better.