Fierce Retail: Sensor technology helps physical compete with online

Tim Brooks, big data principal consultant, talks advantages of product sensor technology for retailers to keep pace with Amazon.

May 24, 2017 2 minute read

Posted by Fierce Retail on May 24, 2017:

If retailers are going to compete with Amazon, they need to adapt their product sensor technology in order to weave their stock and inventory information. This technology is vital to improving real-time accuracy for quick product replenishments that change with the specific seasons and happenings of individual store locations, according to Tim Brooks, big data principal consultant at World Wide Technology (WWT).

In addition, Brooks says that sensor technology improves inventory losses and reduces misplaced items.

In this day and age, it’s not uncommon to see shoppers research an item online, then go to the physical store to try it out and make a final decision. Using smart stock inventory, retailers can track what products people are evaluating on the internet in a particular region, then make sure those products are locally available at a competitive price. This increases the likelihood of a purchase happening in-store rather than with an online competitor.

While Brooks says not all items need a sensor, it does help to bring a greater understanding of what’s in stock for both consumers and sales associates.

“Then we understand which items were considered and not purchased,” Brooks told FierceRetail. “In the online world, if we look at something, that’s a page with data connected to it so we know if it goes to a cart or is discarded, etc. But in the real world, we don’t see what happens on the shelves. By integrating technology into that physical experience, we see what is most relevant to customers.”

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