5 IoT elements to improve the customer experience in your store

Published by Telefónica IoT Team Smart Retail

There are fewer and fewer sectors that can ignore the Internet of Things. What started as a tech trend focused on home security and personal exercise has evolved in such a way that now it would be strange for a business niche to not consider incorporating it in its business lines or adjacent services.

The IoT has ceased to be a possible supplement and has evolved towards being a tech segment with a life of its own. This is shown by the study The Internet of Things: mapping the value beyond the hype by McKinsey, which estimates that the Internet of Things will increase its business volumes tremendously exponentially in the years to come, creating an impact of no less than $11 trillion annually from 2025.

And the retail sector is one of the sectors that seems eager to use this tech trend sooner rather than later. Some uses you will have already seen, others you will see soon and yet others will now seem like science fiction, but sooner or later, they will be installed in far more stores than we could imagine.

1.- Stock management

You have probably already seen this in superstores: connected devices that analyse the stock available across all stores in real time. What does that mean? That if a person is in your store and falls in love with a shirt but you don’t have it in their size, you can tell them if that size is available in another store nearby.

This model can also work in reverse in a much more advanced way: without requiring a request from a customer, stores can see the stock they have in real time and, if they anticipate a possible shortage, request new material from another store so as not to run out of stock.

2.- User analysis

This is the kind of thing that users don’t catch on to, but that helps the chains a lot. Even though there is universal clothing accessible to all targets, it is evident that geographical areas, even within the same city, say a lot about the customer. And this can be analysed with the IoT.

Imagine, for example, a device that autonomously stores data on the sales made in your store: the average expenditure by each customer, what garments are the most (and least) successful, what sizes are most in demand, what days most people visit... If this data is crossed with stores in other areas you will be able to get behaviour patterns. In this way, you can optimise your stock to anticipate the possible purchases made by your future customers.

3.- Smart tags

Isn’t it time for us to take more technological advantage of clothing tags? There are already specific innovations that allow a lot of information to be extracted from a mere tag: the stock available, the exact measurements, the option of paying by mobile using the tag etc. An example of this is the Telefónica IoT Digital Tags service.

4.- Beacons on the street

A person goes walking down the street and suddenly... wham! They get a notification on their mobile with your store’s offers. And it doesn’t have to be a shot in the dark, since they will get it when they are nearby. This is possible with geomarketing and beacon tech, which geolocates users and sends offers and promotions to their mobile when they are near your store using different kinds of connections (usually Bluetooth).

5.- Dynamic music

So we all feel like asking for a drink when we go past a store that has music playing at top volume, but this isn’t necessarily a positive thing. A store’s music doesn’t have to be flashy, but effective. This means that while a certain kind of music may attract a certain kind of customer, it may drive off others. In this regard, the Internet of Things can also help you plan the best music for your establishment.

One tool you could try is spotandsell, a business line by onthespot to help you choose the perfect music for your establishment, whatever kind it is. It's not about standard music, but pieces especially composed to encourage purchase and provide a great user experience for your potential customers.

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Telefónica IoT Team