How retailers can win big with IoT

The Internet of Things has been one of the most talked about advances in technology over the past few years. The fact is that all of us are likely to have already used it in some way, whether in our personal or professional lives.

The idea of any object having the ability to gather data, and then automatically share that data or receive additional data over the internet in order to fulfil a potentially endless number of tasks, still sounds like the work of science fiction.

But science fiction is now science fact, and if you’re not prepared for the IoT revolution then you face falling behind in the race to gather useful information that can benefit your business.

A recent report 1 paints a very positive picture of IoT implementation. It found that 85 per cent of businesses globally intend to implement IoT technology by 2019, driven by a need for innovation and business efficiency.

The study found that 49 per cent of retailers are currently using IoT technology. Eight in 10 of those have reported improved customer experiences, which in turn is likely to have an impact on customer loyalty and revenue.

One of the key issues identified is that in-store location services delivering personalised offers and product information to shoppers was touted as the number one implementation for IoT, alongside monitoring and maintenance.

But employing IoT enabled devices is often only half the battle – whether it’s your customer identification tech in store or your connected fridge at home – the important part is usually what you do with the data your IoT devices have collected.

While your connected fridge at home is unlikely to overwhelm you with data, the amount of information collected every day in a busy retail store can often become hard to manage – meaning managers and staff struggle to spot trends and are unable make quick decisions to improve their bottom line.

This is where analytics steps in and helps to make sense of all the data you have collected.

But with so much information at hand, it can still be difficult to cut through the clutter and see where time can be saved and efficiency can be improved. It can also be time consuming to find the right information to share with the correct people and allow them to access it wherever suits them best.

Visual analytics helps to solve this issue by taking all of the data and presenting it in an easy to understand format. This helps to highlight actionable insights that can truly benefit your business.

What’s more, it’s a simple task to create custom views and share data with everyone. Automatic email reports can be set up, or reports can simply be accessed via a browser-based portal – even from mobile devices.

If you’re considering implementing IoT devices in your business, make sure you also contemplate the next stage: getting insight from the data your IoT devices collect. As the technology continues to develop, a strong IoT strategy for now, and the future, will provide a platform for success.

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