Ready or Not, Here Comes Retail IoT

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Ready or Not, Here Comes Retail IoT

By Oliver Guy, Retail Industry Director, Software AG - 10/15/2015
The Internet of Things is coming to retailers, so they had better get ready. Digital devices, or Things, are poised to revolutionize everything from inventory management to super-targeted marketing. Smart signs can adapt their offerings to suit the customer’s mood and help retailers compete with a store down the road. Location analytics tools can help retailers target customers for preferential treatment. Remote body scanners will even measure customers for suits from their own homes. And all the collected feedback from smart Things will enable retailers to enhance customer service.

Electronic Shelf Labels
One of the most powerful retail IoT innovations is electronic shelf labels. IoT-enabled smart shelving will lend a whole new meaning to the term “shelf life,” bringing retail shelves to life by allowing the dynamic changing of prices and the taking of inventory to trigger re-stocking when needed. 

According to a survey by Vanson Bourne, 72% of respondents believe pricing products and services based upon dynamic factors such as changes in competitor prices or activities is a strategic advantage. Shelf labels can change prices dynamically, but also read passing foot traffic to determine whether the product placement is attracting enough passers-by. If there is not enough passing traffic, or the prices are too high, the product could be re-priced on the spot and/or promoted via Wi-Fi.

Smart Signage
Retailers are also turning to smart signs to adapt their offerings to suit the customer’s mood. Enriched with sensors, the smart sign leverages IoT to create bespoke content. Smart signs tailor their content based on real-time analysis of multiple video streams, which include face detection technology. They provide demographic information, such as age and gender. Facial detection reveals your customer's mood.The demographic information is combined with other real-time data, such as weather (is it cold outside?) as well as your internal inventory, campaign goals and customer loyalty.
Sensor-enabled Fit Guides
IoT is changing the retail world with the introduction of sensor-enabled body scanners. Webcams on your laptop will help you order jeans that fit like a glove. Photo-booth style 3D scanners in airports or train stations will measure you and order bespoke suits sharp enough to please James Bond. Looking to the future, maybe we can all be measured by drones flying over us at the mall. That way we know exactly what size to look for when we go to any store that communicates with the drone.

In the brave new world to attain loyalty you must treat your customers like royalty. And using IoT and Location Analytics in particular puts the power firmly in your hands. 

Oliver Guy is Retail Industry Director at Software AG. Oliver is tasked with helping Retailers understand how Software AG’s solutions can help grow sales and drive efficiency as the industry transforms. With over 12 years’ focused on Retail Oliver has worked with major global retailers such as Edcon, John Lewis, Ahold, Dixons, Metro, Best Buy, Morrisons, ICA, Panda, Vodafone, O2 and Boots improve their business through the use of innovative technology solutions. Prior to joining Software AG, Oliver was part of the European Management team at Oracle Retail – his team being responsible for Retail focused Solution Consulting across Europe. Before that, Oliver worked for Infor in a Solution Consulting role. Oliver started his career in the technology industry implementing Supply Chain Planning and Optimisation solutions for retail and consumer packaged goods companies across Europe and Asia Pacific for Manugistics (JDA).