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WWT Principal Consultant: Brick and mortar stores step up

WWT Big Data Principal Consultant, Tim Brooks, authored a blog post for IoT Now on how advances in IoT can benefit brick and mortar stores.

WWT Big Data Principal Consultant, Tim Brooks, authored a blog post for IoT Now on how advances in IoT can benefit brick and mortar stores and impact customer experience.

Posted by IoT Now on July 10, 2017:

Long drives to stores, items out of stock, no staff available to help – these common complaints about brick-and-mortar shops have made it easy to see why e-commerce has enticed customers away from physical retailers over the last decade.However, perhaps just in time, IoT is coming to the rescue to revitalise the shopping experience bringing together the best elements of online and in-person shopping.

Out of the back office

IoT technologies have long been used in the back office to track and replenish stock. However, retailers are increasingly able to reap the benefit of an IoT connected experience as connected technologies come to the shop floor, says Tim Brooks, principal consultant for Retail Solutions at World Wide Technology.

For example, high-street food outlets are deploying sensors that monitor fridges to keep stock fresh and track usage of restaurant spaces. The friction of the sales process is being greatly smoothed out as portable Point of Sale (PoS) devices are making their way into the hands of customers and shop staff. This means that orders can be made before the checkout and even before the customer has entered the store.

A fresh experience

When it comes to navigating the bewildering isles of a large store, IoT connections are providing a leap forward. Virtual Bluetooth Low Energy (vBLE) beacons and improved RFID technologies are two recent innovations in wireless technology that are enabling great leaps in location-based and personalised experiences within the confines of a retail store. Replacing fixed WiFi access points, which relied on triangulation to locate customer devices, vBLE beacons and RFID offer new standards of accuracy and versatility.

For the smart-phone equipped consumer (nowadays, almost everyone) ultra-targeted product information can be retrieved via their devices. For example, when standing in the laptops aisle of an electrical store, offers specific to the laptop range can be displayed on screen, or more precisely still – specifications of the merchandise or logical additions to the merchandise you are stood in front of.

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