3 Ways the Internet of Things Will Change Retail
The internet of things refers to the connection of everyday items to the internet. For example, these items can include lamps, heaters, cars, watches–things that are ordinary and that are not computers or tablets which were designed specifically to be able to access the internet.
A recent trend has been developing in the retail world involving the internet of things. Many companies are increasing their spending on the internet of things in order to help their businesses.
In fact, it is estimated that retailers will spend $2.5 billion by 2020 on internet of things hardware and installation costs. The growing trend of the internet of things is likely to bring significant changes to the retail world. Here are some of the top ways the internet of things in retail will bring changes.
1. Smart Stores
The retail world traditionally has involved people shopping in brick and mortar stores. With the invention of the internet and personal computers, online shopping became possible. Then, with the invention of mobile devices, such as smart phones, mobile shopping became possible. Now, with the internet of things, brick and mortar retail stores will be able to become “smart stores.”
These “smart stores” can involve having shelves that are connected to the internet. These shelves can provide customers with information, as well as inform store employees when inventory is running low. Signs, and possibly even walls may also be connected to the internet in the future. However stores adapt the internet of things, there is likely to be lot more internet connectivity in them.
2. Improving the supply chain
The internet of things will create improvements in the supply chain. The reason is because with better internet connectivity, and more connected devices, it will be easier to track items in transit, and it will be easier to predict timing. Essentially, IoT in retail will make supply chains more efficient, faster, and better overall. This can help to generate more profits for retail stores.
IoT retail will create unique marketing opportunities that have not existed previously. For example, items will be able to send you notifications when distinct opportunities arrive. Imagine that your light bulbs are about to expire. With the internet of things, your light bulbs may send an advertisement to your smartphone saying that it is now time to purchase new light bulbs. It may then direct you to the manufacturer’s website, or show you where the nearest retail store is located to purchase the bulbs.
The more devices that are connected, the more opportunity there is to take advantage of them for marketing opportunities.