Amazon Go – a new take on the traditional brick-and-mortar shopping experience, where shoppers scan an app on their phone which allows them to choose whichever item they want and leave the store without paying was recently opened in the USA. While this is a dream for busy people everywhere it’s impact is much bigger. It’s symbolic of today’s fluid retail environment where physical, online and mobile all roll together to create an omnichannel experience for shoppers.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is helping retailers with this shift. With it experiences such as receiving a personalised notification on your phone offering a coupon for something you regularly buy when you enter a store can become a reality. IoT experiences like this will revolutionise the way we shop all over the world and allow retailers to catch up with increasing omnichannel expectations. Below are some of the reasons why omnichannel experiences should be integrated into retail stores.
Retailers can determine customers typical shopping paths by connecting with them while they shop in brick-and-mortar locations. From this information, they can then go on to work out where and how items should be placed, and which stores should carry less or more of them.
This doesn’t just stop with the in-store inventory, the supply chain level can also be transformed with IoT. Operational efficiencies and revenue opportunities can be improved by tracking products from floor to store. With IoT, data businesses can really begin to look at the micro level.
According to research by 2021, 79% of in-store shopping experiences will be personalised for customers.
Consumers now have so many avenues to shop and because of this, it is important that retailers make sure that the products consumers want are available when and where they want them. To have this kind of knowledge requires a massive amount of omnichannel analytics about behaviours across a variety of platforms.
Shopping pattern behaviours are key here, by studying them both online and in-store, it’s possible for retailers to be able to determine how to reach a customer and what message they need to hear. For example, imagine if a customer is walking past your store and you’re able to send them a coupon for something they recently looked for online – this kind of surprise is more than likely to generate a sale from the customer.
IoT helps to eliminate customer disappointment. By using omnichannel analytics, retailers can plan out their inventory much more efficiently, working out which products are more likely to sell well.
Merging Physical and Digital
Retailers can now connect with shoppers in a more personal way by using sensors and smart beacon technology in-store. This allows them to tailor shoppers experiences with coupons for items that they typically use. This technology might even notify a customer when they’re usual location is out of a certain product they might usually purchase – instead, creating a “click to purchase” link enabling the customer to instantly order it to their home.
With IoT technology a more seamless experience is promised, that will save customers time whilst building brand loyalty.