What is the Internet of Things and how can it help your retail business?


The Internet of Things, (IoT), is a technological development that everyone seems to be talking about. From driverless cars to automated retail, IoT is becoming increasingly entrenched in all areas of life. If you work in retail, understanding IoT might seem superfluous to requirements, but actually, retail is one of the areas where IoT is becoming most useful in maintaining or increasing profitability and improving consumer experience and engagement.

It might amaze you to learn that by 2025, the IoT business, globally, is set to be worth $94.44bn

We’ve put this article together to help you wrap your head around the wonders of IoT, and show you how it can drive profitability, consumer experience, engagement, and more.

What is the IoT?

In the broadest sense, the Internet of Things refers to all devices connected to the web. This is a list that keeps on growing as more and more ‘dumb’ devices are becoming smart ones. From smart toasters to wearable fitness trackers, the IoT is made up of countless connected devices.  

All of these internet-connected devices that make up the IoT are doing the same thing: Independently collecting and transferring data over a wireless network. Here are some examples of how this works:

  • Home security

Multiple devices including cameras, sensors, alarms, lights, and microphones all connected via the internet allowing for 24/7/365 home security that can be controlled from a smartphone.

  • Activity trackers

Wearable sensor devices are designed to monitor and communicate key health statistics in real-time such as heart rate, oxygen levels, physical movement, fatigue, blood pressure, fall detection, and more.

  • Smart farming

Agriculture is an industry that can be revolutionized by the use of IoT-enabled tools. Many farmers are already using devices to monitor weather, soil composition, soil moisture, crop growth, and livestock activity.

The possibilities are pretty much endless when it comes to the internet of things. Sensor technologies and data collection and analysis in real-time can track almost any aspect of human activity. In our own lives, it can help us better look after our health, live in safer homes, and it can improve the efficiency of many daily activities. But what does IoT mean for retailers?

What is smart retail?

One industry that is being completely transformed by IoT is retail. Traditional methods are being scrapped for the transformative high-tech solutions of IoT, and for good reason.

The way that people want to shop is changing, and smart retail provides an answer to these demands. Today’s consumers are more informed, and they, therefore, demand a more sophisticated, tailored experience. Retailers can do this by capturing data about their customers in real-time.

Retailers that transform into smart stores can obtain information about consumers’ tastes, preferences, needs and habits as they walk into a shop. Access to all of this data means that retailers can provide a level of personalization that has never been seen before. After all, the key to successfully converting consumers is knowing enough about them so that you can perfectly cater your selling methods to their needs – that’s why 91% of consumers opt to shop at brands that provide relevant offers and recommendations over those that don’t.

Have you ever been shopping for a product, and felt like the salesperson ‘helping’ you isn’t really helping?

If they don’t know much about you, what you like, or what your unique taste is, they can only go so far in assisting you.

Now, what if they did know all of these things?

Imagine you’re shopping for a watch and the salesperson shows you all of the watches they have in stock that meet your specific requirements such as price range, functions, and taste. Or alternatively, offers and promotions are merchandised according to your preference. Or a step further, that the retailer can provide you with targeted bundles and limited offers that are exclusive to you, simply because of your particular consumer profile. Not only would this make the buying experience a whole lot easier, but it would probably be a lot more enjoyable.

So, by building technology into the retail environment that can collect consumer data, consumers get a more personalized experience, and this could lead to a higher ATV per shop.

How can IoT help your retail business?

Fundamentally, IoT can transform your business operations and consumer experience, making it more responsive to their expectations, as well as more protected from a loss-prevention perspective, and ultimately, more profitable. 

Collecting data provides companies with new insights, makes them more efficient and enables them to make better-informed consumer and operational decisions. In other words,  they tell organizations what is really happening, so you don’t need to guess.

Here is another example of how this might work:

Information accessed: IoT devices can be used by retailers to leverage micro-location. This means that sensors can be installed around a shop that would detect long-time consumers, and access their shopping habits and behaviors via the cloud.

Action taken: Having been alerted to the presence of a long-time, loyal consumer — and knowing their unique shopping habits — a retailer could potentially send them a coupon/ discount for a relevant product in real-time

Another example is that intelligent vending solutions automatically inform the replenishment team when a product is running low, so empty zones are avoided and consumer sentiment remains high.

What can Invenda do for your business?

At Invenda, we have multiple smart solutions including advanced vending machines, intelligent digital signage and automated kiosks that will upgrade your company and transform it into a smart one. Let’s take a look at each of these…

Advanced vending machines

Our smart vending machines make traditional ones look like something from a prehistoric era. They feature an intelligent display that lights up as it senses a consumer’s presence, the ability to advertise products relevant to the weather outside and the time of day, and can even personalize advertising to the person standing in front of it, by detecting their age and gender.

Intelligent digital signage

Static signage has been around for thousands of years. It requires researching the consumers who might see it before putting it up, and then living with the information it displays until the next sign is created to replace it. But consumers’ preferences are changing by the minute, and that’s why it’s time for signage that can keep up with non-static demographics. Our digital signage can be controlled remotely and changed in real-time whenever it needs to be.

Automated kiosks

Automated cashier systems have become the new norm, but our systems go one step further. Invenda kiosks provide a flawless, automated solution that can be customized to promote other relevant products to optimize the point-of-sale experience.

Our business model is simple: we want to give organizations smart solutions that will take them to the next level and propel their business into the future. If you want to join the revolution, come work with Invenda.