The “brick and mortar” retail stores are facing a tough competition from “brick and click” stores. The e-commerce industry facilitated by technology has given retailers a run for their money. To thrive in such a competitive environment, retailers have to take leverage of emerging technologies. Internet of things is one such technology which will largely impact retailers as it will create opportunities for retailers in three critical areas: customer experience, the supply chain, new channels and revenue streams.
Rebecca Minkoff has reinvented their retail stores through the implementation of Internet of Things. The connected stores are equipped with smart mirrors in their dressing rooms. Each cloth in the store hosts a RFID tag and these tags help in recognizing the item brought into the dressing room. The smart mirrors allow shoppers to view the item styled with different looks, as well as other available size and colors. The smart mirrors allow customers to try on products, search and receive additional products from store assistants. This means without leaving the dressing room, the customers can try various clothes and select the clothes for buying. This enhances the overall experience of the customers and boosts up sales as there are no hassles involved in trying clothes. The retailers also get information on the customer preference as they learn which clothes are being tried and purchased. The retailers can keep stocks based on this information to boost up revenues.
Target has taken leverage of beacons across its 50 stores to make content accessible to shoppers via a newsfeed-like stream on Target app’s homepage called ‘Target Run’. The customers who have downloaded the Target app on their smartphones will receive product recommendations related to the department they are located in through Bluetooth. The push notifications will inform the customers about the latest and trending apparels in store. The customer will also get personalized offers and in-store shopping information. This helps in boosting sales for the retailers as they can motivate the customers in the store to buy.
In the near future, the retail stores will have smart shelves which will detect low inventory levels. The smart shopping carts will help in navigating the aisles of a store based on their digital shopping list. The smart price tags can be implemented throughout store which will help in setting prices in real time based on demand. Customers inside the store can scan product tags inside the store and get information on the product, reviews or social media commentary.
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