How IoT Connectivity Refines In-Store Retail

01/25/2022 | Diana Varga | 3 Min Read

Retailers across the board see the value in adopting IoT-enabled solutions, putting the customer experience at the center of their strategies.

The retail space has seen swift changes in the last two years. It goes without saying the pandemic brought exceptional challenges to supply chains, keeping shelves stocked, the massive shift to e-commerce buying, and the closing of thousands of brick-and-mortar stores. Online purchasing skyrocketed, accounting for 37% of today’s total retail spend, according to Deloitte. With limits on access to physical retail sites, many thought this might be the end of traditional in-person shopping.

Competing against online shopping has been brutal. Keeping up with the massive discounts often and the convenience of one-click buying presented a significant challenge for physical locations. Store managers faced the demands of renting costly retail space, pressure to offer deep discounts in order to be competitive, which in turn often resulted in excess inventory to be managed. The global health crisis brought a major reset, seeing retailers adapt to a new reality.

In this post-pandemic retail world, new digital habits or patterns of behavior are beginning to stick. As a result, customer expectations of in-store shopping have changed dramatically. Hard-wired to always be connected, 90% of consumers are now expecting digitally enhanced journeys. Stores are now seen as the medium to interact with a brand on a more personal level, where the customer is in the driver’s seat of their shopping experience.

Retail Leaders at NRF 2022

The renewed interest in physical stores sees retailers further invest in digital initiatives for better shopping experiences, smoother operations, and increasing revenue. This marks the turning point of true omnichannel and personalized retail operations. Yet, how do global retailers strategically remodel their operations and accelerate digitalization?

These key market dynamics topped the agenda of the world’s largest retail trade association event, the National Retail Federation (NRF), in New York City. Across the three-day event, the tech industry highlighted the role of IoT-enabled solutions in further driving greater sustainability, customer service, and health and safety.

IoT Giving Edge to Physical Stores

Emerging technology helps retailers step up their game in the digital world and capitalize on these new customer trends. This optimistic outlook is in line with the latest McKinsey IoT report, which sees IoT in retail environments registering an economic market value of $1.1 trillion by 2030.

Outside of zipping robots across supply chains, how is IoT adding value to retailers?

Silicon Labs joined in a discussion with Zliide and ThinkIN as part of the Innovation Lab, showcasing how wirelessly connected, IoT-enabled devices are here to lift the consumer shopping experiences and maximize profitability. By combining smart asset tagging with real-time indoor location intelligence, the showcased solutions are accelerating retail commerce digitization, increasing customer engagement, and driving revenue growth.

Less Friction With Self-Checkout

Today’s customers will not hold back in voicing their complaints about poor in-store service. Powered by the Silicon Labs’ BGM220 Bluetooth modules, Zliide provides a new level of customer convenience, bringing the digital world into physical shops.

Attached to all store items, the Zliide smart asset tag goes beyond the traditional use case of loss prevention. With no compromise to security, customers get access to valuable brand and product information before deciding on their purchase. Just by unlocking the anti-theft tag via Bluetooth, customers can check out at any time and proceed with touchless payments, giving staff personnel more time on the sales floor. 

Pushing the Boundaries of Personalization

Digital stores offer great real-time opportunities in measuring and analyzing how shoppers roam the aisles. Seeing what displayed items are performing, how they are converting, and which ones are left in the changing room is powerful insight for store key performance metrics. Collecting all these data points can change the store’s position and turn it into a source of insight for the overall organization. ThinkIN provides just that: granular customer knowledge from the department level down to the product category, alongside behavior analytics.

Having access to the exact customer positioning within the store provides any retailer great visibility throughout the shopping journey. Coupled with in-store shopping analytics, it enables unrivaled personalization. Just like in an online setup, retailers can deliver up-to-date personalized offers, engage in cross-selling programs, and push faster in-store routes based on shopping lists.

Create a New Value Generation Platform

Retailers across the board see the value in adopting IoT-enabled solutions, putting the customer experience at the center of their strategies. By integrating these solutions in their systems, across warehouses and logistics platforms, IoT is accelerating the adoption of digital technologies.

Silicon Labs is here to optimize wireless connectivity for smart retail solutions, with market-leading security certification to safeguard the retailers’ brand and business. Our Wireless Gecko Series 2 SoCs empowers device makers to create secure and intelligent devices with a short time to market.

Connect with the Silicon Labs team to learn more about our retail loss prevention solutions.

Diana Varga
Diana Varga
IoT Marketing Manager
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