Retail is dead. Long live Retail!
Technologies such as RFID, Wi-Fi, GPS, AR and VR allow retailers to provide a seamless shopping experience across brick-and-mortar, ecommerce, mobile app or even an old school phone call. Or not! Burdened by technology fragmentation and inconsistent adoption across retailers and stores, many customers are left frustrated and disappointed by their shopping experiences. But it’s early days for retail IoT and we have a lot to look forward to as efficiencies across supply chain, the connected consumer and smart-store applications continue to improve. Here are a few ways that retailers are trying to stay ahead:
- On Demand warehouses driven by automation and robots where RFID is used for inventory management and better in store service. Currently, warehouse inventory is pre-organized whereas the warehouse of the future will see inventory self-organize based on real-time demand.
- Smart stores using video and Wi-Fi to monitor customer movement and determine if they linger over a specific product area. The retailer can then send a salesperson (or a robot!) in real time to help that customer or send a coupon to their mobile phone.
- 360 view of the customer enables customers to receive insights around dynamic pricing, SKU availability and item location upon entering a store — making a trip to Walmart highly efficient rather than random and confusing.
Here are some of the startups changing the face of retail.