So, what does IoT mean for retail?
The term IoT was coined as a reference to the interworking of physical devices – embedded within electronics, software, sensors, actuators and network connectivity, enabling these objects to collect and exchange data. In a retail environment these devices present themselves as people counters, POS systems, CCTV cameras, bluetooth beacons, guest WiFi, mobile applications, CRM systems and barcode scanners. Collectively they represent a trove of data known as IoT, capable of supporting functionalities from supply chain management, operations and marketing support.
Retailers are making big changes with IoT
IoT has highlighted the availability of data points to retailers, and more importantly the ability they have in creating enriched insights about their consumers. This ability is even more evident in the Internet of Things: Today and Tomorrow report developed by Aruba, showing how far progressed the capabilities are for retailers to ingest data, and create tools from such a large array of data points. As stated in the report these changes are making big impacts in the retail sector with 88% of adopters indicating it had improved the overall customer experience. Seeing first hand the impact data integration and analytics has on retailers we couldn’t agree more with this sentiment.
Consumers are beginning to see the benefits of IoT
IoT has generated new benefits to consumers, largely supported by the new insights available to retailers. More appropriately this has manifested itself into the Internet of Me (IoM); a holistic viewpoint and ability to provide personalised offerings to the consumer. As result, responsive services have been created, with more information coming from more sources, services can now learn, anticipate and respond to individual needs. The feedback loop is shorter with companies able to quickly adapt to consumer experiences, identifying faults in products and services quicker. However, more importantly for the retailer is the new age ability to create in-store experiences and offerings tailored to the individual, as result of extensive learning and outputs created through analytics, defining a new age of ‘smart retailers’.
Governments are seeing the savings
Aruba’s report discusses the impact IoT is having in the ‘Smart Cities” space, more notably the reported savings from 70% of governments who adopted an IoT initiative. It’s fantastic that so many industries are seeing the benefits including government. Skyfii has been involved in similar initiatives with local government in Australia, supporting them with data analysis. In these deployments we’ve been able to support them with understanding the precinct and transport utilisation of areas, design and development and retail performance in addition to a number of other analytic outputs. As result, we identify inefficiencies that go on to support the reported savings identified in Aruba’s report.
How do we help?
The number of data sources available to retailers are tremendous and can often come off as noise with no value. The secret of IoT is not the variety of data, but what you can do with it. For many defining the solution that fits best is a challenging task, requiring testing and extensive learning. For this reason Skyfii finds ourselves so regularly contacted to support with analytics, and that of understanding that can be created from IoT. Our solutions offer numerous verticals very clear analytical insights; supporting operational, marketing, sales and executive teams in unlocking the value of data and how it is relevant to them.