Back to Banyan Hills Insights

How the IoT Can Help Retailers Personalize the Shopping Experience

Smart Retail

With smart retail, all sorts of strategies are possible. If someone visits your website, for example, you can send them a digital coupon for whatever they were shopping for when they step into the store.

January 10, 2020 - There was a time when the customer experience was roughly the same no matter what retail store a customer entered.

But in recent years, technology – and in particular, the Internet of Things (IoT) – has been creating an expectation among customers for better, more personalized shopping experiences.

Consumers don’t generally know (or care) what’s driving these enhanced experiences, but that’s ok – tech that’s mostly invisible, like smart shelves and beacons, work with the smartphone in their pocket to deliver the personalization and convenience they crave. And at the same time, these technologies improve the bottom line for retailers.

Beacons

By deploying beacons in your store, for example, you can track the path of foot traffic and use it – with the help of aisle analytics software — to optimize your store layout.

They can inform you where customers go first, if there are related products that should be positioned closer together, and where the store’s hot and cold spots are – not aggregated over a long period of time but updated more or less in real time.

But just as important, you can rely on beacons to send notifications for discounts or in-store promotions directly to customers’ phones.

Customers’ Research

You can combine this with data from customers’ online shopping activities – if someone visits your website, for example, you can send them a digital coupon for whatever they were shopping for when they step into the store.

Increasingly, customers research products after arriving in the store.

Many people scan UPC codes to look for product reviews online or search for the product on Amazon. But you can add scannable tags to product shelves to make it easy for customers to get that information, and at the same time, you can control the destination where they go for that information.

That lets you point users to product pages or reviews you want them to see, and perhaps also link to discounted pricing or other deals.

Smart Shelves

If you’re enhancing your shelves, consider going all the way with “smart shelves.” Smart shelves combine weight sensors with RFID tagging, so the shelf knows what product is on display.

This tech can ensure the right products are in the right places and that you have stock on the shelves.

Smart shelves can alert you when inventory is running low and when more stock needs to be brought out from the back. That way, customers will always be able to find what they’re looking for, avoiding out of stock situations.

Skipping The Line

One of the most exciting innovations in retail is automated, queue-less checkouts.

While it might sound like science fiction, a few retailers have already implemented automated checkouts in their retail locations.

The concept: Customers walk around the store, placing items in their basket, and then, when they’re done, simply walk out of the store without waiting in line at a POS terminal.

Unseen sensors read the tags on products they’ve selected, and then charge their payment method via a mobile app on their smartphone.

Robots (really)

And robots are coming. Robots can help in-store logistics as well as improve the customer experience.

For example, robots can retrieve stock from the back to assist human workers who are replenishing shelves, saving time and keeping employees focused on the front-of-store where they can interact with customers.

They can also roam aisles and use visual sensors to look for empty shelves or misplaced items, alerting employees who can then deal with the problems.

And hold on tight because more sophisticated robots already exist that can even engage with customers directly, able to talk and understand plain English questions and direct customers to the right section for whatever they need – avoiding the dreaded situation in which customers wander the store fruitlessly, unable to find an employee who can help them.

Obviously, you don’t need to implement all these technologies, but your customers will, more than ever, expect to see improvements like these to the shopping experience.

Resources For Learning About the Internet of Things

Stay up-to-date in this fast moving industry

How IoT Data Can Enhance The Banking Industry

Any industry that benefits from data aggregated from products and customers is transformed by IoT and banking is riding just such a wave.

Read more
Now In Beta: A Fresh New Look For The Canopy IoT Platform

Upgrades include an improved navigation structure, faster performance and enhanced visualizations that put even more power into the hands of Canopy’s users.

Read more
Chef and owner at restaurant
Case Study: MDM Solution Helps Revel Systems Support Its Customers

Revel Systems wanted to find a way that they could remotely monitor, update and even fix their point-of-sale solutions in the event something goes wrong.

Read more
Now’s the Time To Leverage Remote Monitoring and Management

The Internet of Things has the potential to dramatically improve the visibility that IT managers have into their operations.

Read more
ipad with sign in front of it
Why Mobile Device Management is a Critical Tool for Modern IT Operations

Keep networks of mobile devices, such as tablet computers, fully-functional to ensure a positive customer experience. An MDM solution can help with diagnosing issues and pushing the latest software updates.

Read more
Industrial IoT
How Industrial IoT Analytics Can Enhance Business

Rich analytics help managers and leaders at every level drive the decisions and realize the improvements that the Internet of Things promises.

Read more

Awards and Recognition

A few of the places where Banyan has received recognition

Inc. 500 logo
IoT Innovations logo
Industry Today logo
Business Radio X logo
RFID Journal logo
VxChange logo
COVID-19 Update: Our commitment to our customers. Learn more