Five IoT Retail Trends for 2022
The havoc that the COVID-19 pandemic brought, upended the world’s economy which further affected retail business big time. Many big retailers like Neiman Marcus, Brooks Brothers, were declared bankrupt. Whereas, numerous other retailers had to shift there to online as that was the only way they could have gained sales during lockdown when people were prohibited to go out and avoid physical contact. As a result, sales on online shopping websites such as Amazon, Flipkart, etc increased by 39%, and the rate of customers visiting the website was doubled. The supply was also disturbed due to climate change and the COVID-19 outbreak worldwide.
The last two years were a surprise to the world and retail industry that left a big question – what will the year 2022 bring to the industry? Some strategies should be made to be successful this year focusing on increasing productivity, better leads, and improved efficiency. Companies should identify their business objectives and work towards achieving those by computing the digital platforms that hold cloud-based technologies like artificial intelligence, and the internet of things, and edge computing. IoT success is guaranteed when companies go after a retail eCommerce solution that is reputable and gets the job done easily and quickly.
Empower the Frontline Workers with Real-Time Data
Now in 2022, retailers will surely increase their efficiency by empowering frontline employees with real-time data. As a result, the employees of retail companies can revert their customers seamlessly, and expand their range of services that involves managing the return, delivery, door-to-door pickups, and frictionless kiosks. In H&M, the employees are provided with fashionable bracelets that can be connected via the azure cloud. These bracelets convey to employees that customers are in need, it could be at the cash desk and request bracelets. They also get updates and visual merchandising. As a result, these employees provide the best service, and they can communicate to the management team and peers during and even if the store timings are closed. Mobile App plays an important role if you are looking to recover your retail business from the COVID-19 pandemic. Are you looking for an investor for your mobile app?
Founder Carl Norberg, Turnpike explained that ” We realized when the store was connected through IoT sensors, Al cameras, and POS systems the employees do interact at the right time and right place.”
Leveraging live stream video to innovate omnichannel
Livestream is getting adapted rapidly by many retailers in Western countries and is starting to leverage live stream technology to create innovative omnichannel solutions. This tactic was first initiated in China. Chinese influencers sell their products through social media channels. In 2020 Forbes calculated thirty percent of the Chinese population had viewed the Livestream.
An example will clearly explain why Kjell and Company, a consumer electronics retailer, uses a solution known as Omni-queue. Using live streaming allows them to deal with both physical and online customers. They assure that they received a similar kind of assistance as that of physical selling in the store. Many retail industry leaders stated that one-to-one live video shopping is the future of the retail and e-commerce industry. As during the pandemic purchasing went on a different tangent, this is an innovative way, and there is sure success in the future.
Augmenting omnichannel with dark stores and micro-fulfillment centers
The retailers will continue to experiment with dark stores; the traditional stores that have been transformed into micro fulfillment centers. As a result, the efficiency will ramp up with the help of supply chain implementations that will bring the products closer to the customer. A 3D robotic supply chain company in America named Attabotics is in collaboration with an American luxury department store retailer that provides a micro-fulfillment center in order to achieve cost reduction and delivery time. The products are shipped and packed together. It has many advantages, as the customers receive the product fast and the retailers’ cost and time are saved parallelly.
Scott Gravelle, the founder, and CEO of Attabotics says that retailers should follow the new technologies to succeed in the future. There will be innovation in automation, and that will, as a result, help in the future.
Helping keep warehouse workers safe
During the pandemic situation, the retailers were planning to expand their warehouse workforce, and for this, they have to minimize the absentees. To implement safety measures in the warehouses and follow social distancing in the warehouse, IOT played a significant role. Employees were given smart wristbands that were mandatory to wear. When the employees wearing these watches coincidently come closer to each other or violate the decided distance, the buzz, and this way, safe behavior is reinforced. The retailers want to expand the workforce; for this, they have to take extra safety precautions.
· The occupancy sensors tell the information about the occupancy.
· The temperatures are checked without touching.
· The sensors of the air tell about inner environmental conditions.
The companies who want to thrive in this time have to work hard while providing a safe environment and taking extra precautionary measures 24×7.
Optimizing inventory management with real-time edge data
The retailers have surely adopted intelligence edge solutions to optimize inventory management using real-time data. Many retail companies have complex inventory management systems yet there can be some gap in timings due to theft, time gaps in grocery pickup service. The convenient way of solving these problems is to collaborate real-time data from applications running on prime cameras and other prime devices in the physical store with backend enterprise resource planning (ERP) data.
Seattle Goodwill has worked to introduce Microsoft base dynamics in about 24 stores. It shows visibility in real-time, and you can observe the movement of the products easily. By providing a real-time environment, the retailers will thrive and use smart technologies; the customers can also see the product information in stock for better understanding.
As in 2021, the pandemic has changed the whole economy, and the retailers should change the methods and use smart technologies to comfort their employees and customers. As social distancing and safety are very important for the people, the retailers should consider efficiencies and plan to reduce the time and cost.