Innovations are born the moment a specific need arises to simplify and facilitate human life. For business, there is another point to consider in addition to these two: forming values that are in line with the client’s needs.
From the demand for new technologies, an offer was born: the Internet of Things and the concept of a “smart” environment. The Internet of Things (IoT) includes several factors at once. It’s the devices that are connected to a network and interact with each other. It’s the M2M connection method, which means machine-to-machine without human involvement. It’s also the big data that the devices now generate.
The life around us is becoming more and more digitized, and the Internet of Things (or IoT) is starting to enter our everyday routine. These innovative technologies allow you to receive, filter and share information about yourself, your condition and your environment. IoT devices and assets are filled with electronic components: sensors and actuators, communications electronics and software. Every owner of a smartphone today is a source of information: about their preferences, location, needs, emotional state. Thus, different industries can use the rise of IoT applications and solutions to their advantage. Retailers, for example, can increase revenue, streamline business processes, and reduce common costs, by using digital receipts.
If you want to keep up with the pace, you should keep an eye out for the latest trends. So which trends of “smart” retail can be identified today?
- Laugh to be recognized. Emotional data, or eye-tracking, is gaining popularity. A new technology for recognizing eye movements makes it possible to identify what things people pay attention to first, and how they respond to the things they like. Famously, the Walmart international network has installed an algorithm for detecting the emotional state of customers in their stores. On the one hand, eye-tracking can run into the problem of data privacy. On the other hand, consumers want brands to know more about them and their iPhones to recognize their faces even faster.
- Who’s the fairest of them all? A magic mirror that knows how to talk and give you advice is no longer something out of a fairy tale. A virtual mirror is a new solution for shoppers who want to try products (clothing, cosmetics, etc.) without physically putting them on. Alibaba, a Chinese retail giant, has already implemented augmented reality mirrors. Clients love the possibility to “try on” makeup products and see the result. And if the product fits, you can instantly buy it by scanning the QR code.
- A new approach to the loyalty system. Standard discounts and promotions have always attracted customers, but nowadays, personalized business offers are a must. Advanced digital solutions are beneficial for both sellers and buyers. The former, with the help of cutting-edge technologies, increase the level of service and the number of loyal customers. The latter receive a modern and personalized service, available both offline and online instantly from any gadget. You can get information about market customers and generate a personalized offer for them thanks to the introduction of digital receipts in offline stores. These services, connected to marketing technology development and data collection, are gaining ground all over the world. The application for digitization of receipts is installed on POS-terminals. It can collect data about purchases in real time, and in the digital receipt on the phone you can place various information: news, promotions, links to brand’s social networks, or other.
The era of smart stores is just starting: we can talk about useful technological solutions for retailers, but it’s hard to imagine the full scale of those devices and offers that are awaiting us in the future. You can expect anything from IoT that can simplify the human life and therefore help businesses. Although it may seem that the use of personal data has gone too far, consumers are actually ready to provide information about their preferences and desires. Even more: 54% of people expect to receive an individual discount within 25 hours after acquaintance with a new brand, and 71% are disappointed that their experience as a consumer is not personalized enough. With such a clear demand, technologies in the areas of face recognition, voice recognition, etc. continue to evolve rapidly. Thanks to the development of artificial intelligence, they provide the foundation for the emergence of new forms of automated commerce, which are quickly becoming part of our everyday life.