Store IoT platforms are set to go mainstream
Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is a summary of a current article from the blog of Oliver Guy, Senior Director, Industry Solutions, Software AG.
The real-time store Internet of Things (IoT) platform is moving into the mainstream, climbing out of the “trough of disillusionment” into the “slope of enlightenment,” according to Gartner’s “2020 Hype Cycle for Retail Technologies” report.
These platforms “monitor, analyze and display store activity through dashboards using a real-time data infrastructure, via signals and alerts from real time data sources that are available within the retail store,” according to Gartner.
Few, if any, existing in-store technologies enable retailers to reap the benefits of the “network effect.” Within an IoT context, the network effect connects multiple individual initiatives together holistically to benefit from their synergy.
More than this, it enables an automated and rapid response to events within the store or supply chain: adjusts lighting in response to in-store traffic; automatically adjusts a promotion in response to unforecasted demand; proactively deploys staff based on projected need; replenishes product on shelf, just-in-time — the list goes on.
Gartner considers this approach “essential for unified commerce execution in a digital business environment.” Significant benefits cited included:
- Increased sales, margins and customer service through improved availability, merchandising, pricing and staff deployment;
- Reduced costs through improved task management and reduced energy consumption.
Another area highlighted due to recent events is monitoring and ensuring social distancing for both associates and customers.
Gartner considers the application of this technology to be transformational — enabling “new ways of doing business … that will result in major shifts in industry dynamics.” Given the potential to increase operational efficiency through insight-driven automation — and that this would be a key data input for the autonomous supply chain — it is not difficult to see why.
The report acknowledges that there is no single platform that can handle all the components needed within a real-time IoT platform. To benefit from the network effect, they must be connected together.
The study arrives as COVID-19 lockdowns, subsequent restrictions and changes to operating practices has further squeezed grocers’ lean operating margins. Technology offers the potential to double store profitability but also deliver a harmonized customer experience — and now really is the time.
- Store technology climbs out of the trough – Oliver Guy/Linkedin
- Hype Cycle for Retail Technologies, 2020 – Gartner
- How to Ramp Up Online Grocery — without Breaking the Bank – Bain
- Three ways retail will change permanently – Software AG
- What Happens in your Store at Night? – Oliver Guy/Linkedin
- 2019 CIO Agenda: Retail Industry Insights – Gartner
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Will or should the pandemic accelerate the use of IoT-type technologies to drive increased productivity through insight and automation for grocers? Is there sufficient understanding of the potential for “network effect” synergies?