Is retail industry really going through a slump?!
Contrary to the popular belief that the retail industry is going through a slump, the truth is that the current retail market is on an ascending path and has been like that for some time now.
At present, it is valued around 3.6 trillion and by 2022, it is expected to reach 6 trillion. To get a piece of their share, most of the investors and retailers have upped their game and even those who have been loyal to the brick and mortar tradition are making the jump to new-gen technological methods. So, for anyone who is wondering when the right time to get into retail market industry is, there is no better time than NOW.
But it seems a little difficult, right? Do not worry. We are here to make your induction to the retail industry as well as your transition (if you are already a part of the industry) from the traditional brick and mortar to digitized retailing as smooth as possible. We are B2B2C and we are going to use IoT to the best of its capabilities to save and your shops successfully in a changing world dominated by tech-savvy customers. Therefore, we call out, to all the retailers who are on the verge of shutting down their operations, we will help you save your shops and for retailers who are considering updating your business techniques to combat the ever-increasing demands of the millennials, we will help you run your shops in a way they will yield bigger profit margins.
Make retail awesome again
The first step in our mission to reinvent and revitalize the retail industry is to make retail awesome again. Remember the days when malls and retail shops were a major meeting point for people to not just buy products but also to socialize. But with the arrival of the internet and with it the e-commerce websites and social media, people are not looking at the retail industry as this ‘awesome’ marketplace anymore. And we can only blame ourselves. Because the primary reason is we are living among millennials, who are the key decision-makers of society right now. And we haven’t realized their potential yet. Therefore, the first step should be to listen to them and understand the. And what do millennials do? They use technology.
Technology and the internet is our magical answer to how to make retail awesome again. Come now and let us explore in the following sections how we can use technology to reinvent retail shopping experience for the millennials.
Challenges faced by retailers
With the labor industry increasing in size, their demands for more pay, hiring new people and retaining existing workforce have become a major challenge for the owners.
The retail industry has gone digital. Some have adapted to this change but most are in the process of changing.
The majority of retail consumers belong to the Y generation/ millennial now. They are tech-dependent people who expect everything to be a click away. Therefore, online shopping has become a logical decision. However, as a silver lining, they are not entirely contemptuous of the retail shopping experience as long as it provides an easier and a great touch and feels experience.
So if the retailers can adapt to the new technology, they will become less dependent on human efforts, which means they can get more done with fewer people.
Click and Mortar (Retail 2.0)
As mentioned above, the majority of consumers today are millennial who love the mall culture if done right. Despite the convenience online shopping provides them, they love the touch and feel of the retail shopping experience. So all you need to is listen to their requests and get them done ASAP. Because if you do that, you are going to make lots of money.
If the millennials want to see, touch, feel, and experience but expect them all to be wrapped up and accessed by a mere click, then as retailers, you should be ready to do that.
B2B2C solution for retail
Digitize the retail experience. Wherever the internet can be used, it will be used. And wherever the internet cannot be used, alternative options will be used to make everything easily accessible and provide a satisfying experience.
The shop will not just get a facelift; it will also be equipped to meet all the technological demands of millennial consumers.
The impact of IoT in the retail industry
- Use of Sensors
- Automated Checkout
- Increase customer loyalty
- Boost sales
- Offer a personalized experience
- Improve inventory management
- Optimizing supply chain management
RFID and NFC
If you want to digitize your retail store operations and can be instrumental to facilitate Omni channel retail, then look no further than Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) and Near Field Communication (NFC).
Why RFID? It makes inventory management more efficient. Retailers such as Lululemon, Macy’s and Uniqlo have already partnered with RFID providers Avery Dennison, SML and Catalyst to make use of the technology.
NFC technology, on the other hand, enables retailers to engage with shoppers in-store, deliver personalized shopping experiences and understand the impact of marketing strategies. Brands and retailers such as Zola, MediaMarktSaturn and Mammut Sports have already adopted NFC.
RFID and NFC are going to play a key part in successfully implementing data-intense emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and blockchain in retail in the years to come.
Machines have been replacing humans in the service industry sector for a long time now and with the arrival of 4G and the impending 5G, it is only a matter of time, a single computer application can and will replace 10 of your staff members. But what does this mean for a retailer? COST-CUTTING. One of the most immediate ways to recognize the relationship between cost-cutting and retail workforce is automated checkout. The computer helps people checkout faster and easier.
But no matter what B2B2C does, it is not suggesting IoT as a complete alternative to people running these shops. It is not going to make them all jobless. In fact, it only makes their current work easier.
Cost-cutting by reducing manpower among many others is only a side effect (positive) of what B2B2C does.
Reward those who have been loyal to all your efforts to make their shopping experience awesome. Make them feel their association with you premium and exclusive. Help them sign up for a loyalty program and promise – deliver them rewards. Use IoT for this. Put up sensors and let it detect and alert the customer when they enter your shop.
Smart shelves reduce the burden of your employees. Usually, an employee working at a retail shop spends most of his/her time on keeping track of stocks and arranging them properly. Smart shelves use IoT via RFID tags and weight sensors can help employees to figure out the stats of the stocks at any given time. Besides, smart shelves also use LED lighting to make them stand out from your normal shelves, which will improve the aesthetics of your shop. An added benefit is if someone tries to steal something, the shelves will catch them – red-handed.
Place beacons to attract in-house and passerby customers; an effective method to advertise promos or in-store events.
In-store layout optimization
Infrared heat sensors. Switch it on and find out where your customers spend most of their time. If they spend most of their time in the TV section, but the TV section is in the back of the store, then bring it front. These sensors will help you identify your customer’s shopping patterns geographically.
Optimizing supply chain management
Using RFID and GPS sensors, more information such as reading the temperature of the items can be obtained. This helps you make key decisions about how you can transport your goods and products. This is a very helpful feature for manufacturers to improve the quality of transportation as major losses usually happen by wastage and spoiled goods.
There are 5 aspects to a retail shopping experience – Enter, explore, choose, pay, and exit. B2B2C is on a karmic mission to completely change how people experience to enter, choose, pay, and exit (In terms of exploring, the good old human employees are needed) We want to reinvent the retail shopping experience for the millennials. And we want you to be a part of it.