Whenever industries transform, businesses have to redefine themselves. We’ve seen plenty of this in the retail industry recently, with many retailers turning to new retail technologies to help them keep up with customer demands and market shifts. This new tech is not only helping retailers please customers, it’s also changing the way supply chains function. Businesses are experiencing more efficient processes, fewer stockouts, and in general, they’re more easily able to see both the details and the big picture. They know what’s going on throughout their business at all times.
So what technologies are they choosing to make this happen? Quite a few. At Intel, we’re investing in and working toward real solutions to transform the industry. Today, we’ll take a look a few of these technologies that are making a big difference for retailers.
Although the IoT in retail is fairly new, we’ve seen a huge amount of growth in this area. More devices than ever are connected, allowing retailers to stay in touch with what’s happening on the sales floor. Mobile POS systems, interactive kiosks, tablets for sales associates, and digital signs are all becoming prevalent.
We’ve also seen the IoT impact the supply chain. RFID tags and smart shelves are assisting with inventory in real-time, so out-of-stock situations are less likely to arise.
All this tech is adding to the amount of data retailers collect, and when combined with transaction data, website data, and loyalty program data, can paint a larger picture of customer behaviour.
Harnessing Data Analytics and AI
Turning the vast amount of data that IoT technology and other parts of the business collect into usable information is challenging. That’s where data analytics come in. Today’s analytics technology can identify trends so businesses can take action. That’s an important shift because it means gut instinct, hunches, and what’s been done in the past aren’t guiding the show.
The insights gained from analysing data can benefit both retailers and customers by enabling:
- Personalisation: Data can help retailers customise ads/promotions, target digital signage content, provide product recommendations, and more.
- Supply chain optimisation: Data insights allow for improved inventory tracking, stocking, forecasting, and planning.
In many cases, retailers are also using AI technology along with analytics to interpret data, aid in decision making, predict demand, and satisfy customers. AI enables precision marketing and even further personalisation to help retain customers. It also assists with omnichannel retail by helping businesses reach shoppers on many channels. This technology is growing fast in the retail industry, and many retailers believe it will bring big benefits.
Video: Beyond Loss Prevention
Video technology itself isn’t new. Historically, video has been used in retail to prevent and identify theft. Now it’s being used in some pretty impressive ways, though. We’ve seen video analytics paired with digital signage to gather demographic data and display relevant content.
Video is connecting with more than just eyes
Consider computer vision technology: Lolli & Pops is using this tech to recognise loyalty members when they enter stores and give them the VIP treatment. The retailer can capture information about customers in stores in real time and personalise accordingly.
To give retailers even more insights, tech like this could also be used to identify products in people’s carts and track customer movements. Stores would gain a better sense of which displays and products catch people’s attention and which items they ultimately buy.
Intel is investing in all these applications to help retailers gain a well-rounded, data-informed picture of what’s happening in their business so they can keep shoppers happy and create loyal customers.
By: Ryan Parker Director of Marketing & Apps Engineering – Intel