It is known that mobile has revolutionized the retail customer experience. Everything from service, speed, and efficiency has been transformed because of the opportunities mobile provides. While this has improved buyers’ opinions of in-store shopping, and in turn improved bottom lines for merchants, we must recognize that mobile would not be what it is for retail without IoT. Furthermore, how does IoT singlehandedly benefit businesses and purchasers, and what benefits can be found with IoT beyond the mobile applications?
IoT is beneficial for everyone that uses it. Shoppers can stay informed about what the seller offers, what is available, and what the in-store experience will be like. Retailers are privy to even more facts. By using IoT and mobile technology, they can gain a history of buying behaviors, study what motivates their buyers, and anticipate their future needs. This data gives retailers the opportunity to provide a more personalized event for the shopper by using the facts collected and creating actionable results. This information can make an impact on everything from inventory ordering and predicting trends to customer service and in-store opportunities.
We live in a time where nearly every decision a consumer makes is captured and recorded. With all of the debate around data security and privacy, upgraded IoT technology will give customers more oversight of their information in the very near future. While on the surface, it may appear that more control over how the customer’s records are collected, used, and distributed by the retailer means fewer opportunities for merchants, it also allows buyers to trust the retailer more. By giving purchasers power over their personal stats, a level of transparency is established and stronger, lasting relationships can be built between people and businesses. When shoppers know they are doing commerce with a company that respects their privacy, they are likely to feel more comfortable spending their money with them.
We want things now, and we want things fast. Over the last decade, online shopping has delivered this benefit, but with IoT and mobile technology, in-store retailers are now able to provide the same level of service, allowing customers to check the stock of desired items in the shop, look for coupons, self-check-out, and produce real-time reviews.
While IoT and mobile work together, the benefits of IoT have additional advantages. Digital transformation can happen in other areas in the store, such as self-checkout, virtual closets, and interactive digital displays, and these additions help purchasers navigate the store better, with quicker service. Digital signage delivers an even more robust connection between data and the customer, making the shopping experience personal and informative by using movement recognition through smart shelves or pressure sensor mats.
The lines between the digital world and the physical reality have been blurred, in large part to IoT. Perhaps more than any other industry, retailers have the unique opportunity to utilize IoT for multiple aspects of their business, but it is the customer experience that has the most to gain from this technology.
While mobile phones have improved buyers’ opinions of in-store shopping, and in turn improved bottom lines for merchants, we must recognize that mobile would not be what it is for retail without IoT.