How the IoT Enables Better Inventory Management

Enhancing brick-and-mortar is a top priority for Intel, and it should be since the retail industry is facing massive disruption. Inventory distortion — a problem which includes overstocking, stock-outs, and shrinkage — costs the industry $1.1 trillion worldwide. In the U.S., it’s a $42 billion problem. To say that’s a lot of money is about as understated as you can get, which is why optimizing inventory management should be a top priority.

With IoT-enabled sensors, better customer experiences connected to all aspects of the retail chain are possible. Read on to discover how retail sensors can enable better inventory management, a critical aspect of the retail journey.

Always in Stock

Keeping a brick-and-mortar location in stock and looking good can be a challenge. Customers, especially frequent ones, notice when displays aren’t updated with current products or something they’re seeking is consistently out of stock.

With the IoT-enabled Intel Retail Sensor Platform, retail locations can always have minute-by-minute tracking of existing stock. That information can then be relayed to sales associates via wearables, keeping hot items on shelves and enabling instantaneous requests from warehouses for more stock. When merchandise is out of stock, it’s not out for long. Once installed, the system is remotely managed, so changing stock seasonally or making room for a new item is easy.

Better Customer Insight

Insight into customer in-store behavior used to be limited to the subjective opinions of employees, often leading to contradictory accounts. One of the benefits of the IoT is that retailers can now have immediate access to data about customer behavior thanks to sensitive, connected sensors.

Retailers and store managers now have access to information about customer behavior. For example, clothing retailers can gain insights into what items customers picked up, tried on, and eventually purchased. Data like this provides powerful information for better business decisions.

Unified Commerce

A sensor-enabled platform nestles brick-and-mortar into the retail chain envisioned by unified commerce. Rather than the dream of an omnichannel experience, sensors that work in sync with online storefronts, suppliers, and distributors keep a unified customer experience that enables maximum satisfaction and repeat business. No longer will customers be told that something is in stock in a store to find that it isn’t there when they arrive. Better inventory management equals better customer experience, period.

If you’re interested in how you can start your unified commerce journey with better inventory management powered by Intel technology, check out our solutions page.