The Internet of Things Helps Retail Stores Stay Relevant

I can walk into any clothing outlet today to see if they carry shoes in my size and preferred style, but there’s always the risk that what I’m looking for isn’t in stock. If I go online, I can find what I’m looking for at any number of sites—I can shop at brand-name stores, select from warehouse stock, or buy a used pair from a local seller in my area. Brick and mortar retailers know well the pain of competing with online storefronts.

With an Internet of Things (IoT) platform, retailers have a new way to get customers to step away from the computer and step into the store.

Get a Foot in the Door

IoT solutions give businesses granular control over their inventories and enable rich analytics at the edge, which can help retail locations better cater to their customer base. The Intel® Retail Sensor Platform (Intel® RSP) and the SAP Dynamic Edge Processing* platform consume and analyze data generated at the store level. Insights derived from that data are delivered to associates’ devices in the form of actionable information about customers and inventory.

The main component of Intel RSP is the Intel® IoT Gateway, which is a full application-ready platform with software layers that provide security, analytics, storage, compute, cloud connectivity, and network capabilities. The IoT Gateway connects the radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags and all-in-one sensors with devices on shelves and registers and in back rooms and dressing rooms.

This IoT platform from Intel and SAP can integrate into a store’s point-of-sale (POS) solution, connecting the POS to the corporate IT infrastructure, and introducing automation and complete insight and control over inventory. With RFID tags embedded in clothing items, shelves, and dressing rooms, a manager or associate can always see where in the store a particular item is hiding. By knowing where every piece of stock is, and knowing customer trends, a store can comfortably automate the inventory restocking process. For example, as soon as the count of loafers hits a certain level, the system can trigger an automated re-order process. Retailers never have to run out of stock again, even with the most popular items. Store associates can use a smart phone, tablet, or wearable and their company’s merchandising app to gain insight into inventory and customers.

SAP HANA* and SAP Dynamic Edge Processing analyze store-generated data in real time and deliver insights to associates via the merchandising app and data visualization.

Intel SAP Retail Forum IoT_pod

If the Shoe Fits

If I frequented a shoe store with IoT capabilities, a sales associate could pull up my buying history on a tablet and see that I often buy a package of socks along with new shoes—a perfect opportunity for the associate to upsell.

I could log on to the store’s app to see if the shoes I want are in stock, in my size and in the color that I want. With Intel RSP and SAP Dynamic Edge Processing, I could even see if the shoes that I want are on the shelf, in the back room, or on the sales floor.

Interested in learning more about the impact of IoT on retail? Read the full solution brief. And be sure to follow me on Twitter @TimIntel. Check out #TechTim for all the latest news in IoT.

Published on Categories Internet of ThingsTags , , , ,
Tim Allen

About Tim Allen

Tim is a strategic marketing manager for Intel with specific responsibilities related to the cloud, big data, analytics, datacenter appliances and RISC migration. Tim has 20+ years of industry experience including work as a systems analyst, developer, system administrator, enterprise systems trainer, product marketing engineer and marketing program manager. Prior to Intel Tim worked at Tektronix, IBM, Intersolv, Sequent and Con-Way Logistics. Tim holds a BSEE in computer engineering from BYU, PMP certification and a MBA in finance from the University of Portland. Specialties include - PMP, MCSE, CNA, HP-UX, AIX, Shell, Perl, C++