How DiscoveryIoT’s solution is impacting the overall shopping experience?
How DiscoveryIoT’s solution is impacting the overall shopping experience?
There are numerous reasons why customers are drawn towards the idea and deed of online shopping. The closest offline alternative to a multi faceted e-commerce website is conceivably a shopping mall. Just like these portals have multiple digital brand-fronts, the shopping malls also have various physical stores of brands. While the online shopping sites are trying to replicate the offline shopping experiences with features like virtual fitting rooms, they are still far from being able to meet the instant gratification which is provided by the stores. However, the new advancements in technology are making sure that the online and offline shopping no longer operate in isolation. In order to bring in the omnichannel buzzword to life; the online retailers are assembling the core online-shopping-experience with outlying offline services such as same-day-delivery and click-and-pick, while the offline retailers have launched their own online web-portals, giving the customers the flexibility to order the merchandise available at the outlets from the comfort of their homes. The booming Internet of Things (IoT) is making it possible for the offline sellers to provide the omnichannel experience to its customers. The global IoT in retail market is expected to grow from USD 14,280.0 Million in 2015 to USD 35,640.0 Million by 2020, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 20.0%.Let’s have a look at how the connected devices help in bringing the richness of online shopping experience in a predominantly offline retail store.
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How does IoT help?
One of the main problems of retailing is the shelved products getting out of stock. The following are the causes for the same.
Here, store stocking implies the stores generating shelf out-of-stock incidents upon minimization of the shelf quantity in-store. Store ordering is the inability to replenish the orders not generated on time because of the presence of items that are not correctly coded. Planning with incorrect master data can be a loss leading to out-of-stock. Loss Prevention Media has collected the responses from European shoppers to the out-of-stocks in the retail market.
Daniel Corsten and Thomas Gruen inferred that the seller incurs losses specifically when the customer doesn’t buy a thing or when he/she buys items from some other store. Data Ventures also estimated that the seller loses a value of 7 percent when the shopper replaces the items with those of some alternate brands. The actual losses sum up to a total of 43 percent which implies that if the customers were facing 100 incidents of out-of-stock, 43 among those incidents would lead to lesser money generation by the retailer while the other 57 incidents would arise because of customers switching to other brands.
Incorporating IoT into the shopping industry is the most logical solution to address the issues of retail visibility and stock outs. With an ongoing ICO in September 2018, DiscoveryIoT is an IoT-based startup that is working on every sort of supply chain issue which constitutes a market size of over 1 Trillion dollars. They are developing a miniaturized self-charging IoT tag that can be affixed to products ranging from bottled drinks to apparels and shelved accessories, these products can then be tracked throughout their lifecycle. Combining it with Blockchain and Edge Computing, the data from the tag is transferred, recorded and processed on the user smartphones registered on the network. Besides, tracking and counting people within a crowded shopping mall also, can give valuable insights for its security force. It can also enable accurate conversion tracking while serving as a trigger to spot customers in distress or those who need assistance in any form.
- Security: Security automation through an astute video surveillance offers a reliable solution for monitoring any sort of crowded shopping marts. An analysis of crowd flow such as a sudden rush of people towards or away from a particular store, spotting movements such as running, several people walking in a non-authorized direction, and etc. can be valuable preventative triggers for an alert security team. Digital signs in the mall can be used to communicate common messages, triggered automatically, based on emergency conditions across the premises.
- Conversion Tracking: Counting people is no longer limited to the traditional approaches of using beam-break sensors. Advanced video analytics enable not only the means to count individuals but also through proximity and cluster analysis, comment with high certainty on which groups of people represent a single-sales opportunity. Counting groups of shoppers are critical to getting an accurate assessment of conversion rates for retail stores, as mere head-counting is likely to result in distorted figures. The technology can also be utilized to monitor the impact of in-store promotions, changes made in-store layout and other events that may affect the spatial movement of customers.
- Customer Assistance: Tracking tools are helpful while tracking customers who are in distress or in immediate need of attention. The time spent by a person or a group in and around a particular store can be a useful indicator to segregate potential candidates who might need attention/assistance. Advanced video analytics can also spot through gait, body-types and other physical characteristics – senior citizens or children without any adults in close proximity, who may need assistance.
The Overall Customer Experience
IoT is also helping to integrate online features into offline shopping. The ability to search for items across outlets in a mall or to get the reverse-bids for an item from different sellers within the mall are some of the features that can enable digital-like experience within the physical premises of a shopping mall. Likewise, an omnichannel ecosystem can help arrange a snapshot of the designs or styles available across the physical outlets making them available at the fingertips of the customers. Just like the features available on the websites of clicking through choices, setting up style preferences, specifying price ranges; a connected mall also offers the same. DiscoveryIoT’s analytics/AI engine gives brands predictive and actionable information, including alerts about potential stock-out situations or potential overstock situations. By actioning on these valuable insights, brands would then be able to proactively avoid such losses. Such solutions have enormous potential and IoT is not only an excellent solution to the above issues but it also brings a redefining touch to the entire shopping experience. Furthermore, these searches can be monetized by the mall owner by giving a reverse-bidding chance to the retailers within the price range specified by the customer. The mall owner makes money by allowing the retailers to bid and then earns a commission on the deal that finally goes through.
Maximizing Customer Value
The goal of every shopping store or brand is to retain its customers. A well-connected shopping mall can develop a set of advanced smart analytics through IoT that helps create personalized offerings for the customers, thereby developing a much-needed customer loyalty and increasing the likelihood of them making a purchase. For instance, how burgeoning would it be if the moment a customer parks their car in the parking lot of the mall, they start to get personalized notifications from their most-visited outlets offering them exclusive deals and discounts? IoT has made this possible as the connected ecosystem of the mall enables data aggregation and analysis at the mall level. The data is no longer confined to individual retailer outlets and a richer analysis is now possible by mixing and matching customer preferences across outlets. Retargeting and remarketing are not new to e-commerce portals. They have for long been sending personalized offers to customers based on the pages visited on their shopping websites. When similar tactics are implemented in a physical universe of a mall, the likelihood of a conversion is much higher – as the customer is in physical proximity of the source of the offer, the moment of truth hits them more powerfully than an email-coupon would.
The possibilities that IoT enables for a physical retail setup are immense and endless. Over here, the Internet acts as an impetus, connecting the sellers and customers into a single ecosystem. Through various applications, the connected ecosystem serves almost all the stakeholders, be it the mall owners, the retailers or the end-customers. The online world of social media can also be brought to life within the physical premises, blurring the boundaries between the two worlds. The physical shopping environment transforms into a hybrid network of people and devices, which has most of the attributes of an online shopping experience with the flexibility that can only be experienced by being physically present in the store. As more and more devices get connected, this transformation is only going to accelerate and completely remould the nature of shopping as we know it today.