The highly saturated and competitive nature of the retail industry has made innovation a critical factor for success. With retailers constantly competing for audience attention, discovering new ways of engaging with customers and properly executing those innovative ideas will help retail businesses cut through the noise.
Forward-thinking retailers are starting to rely on the Internet of Things as a means of getting their products in front of the right audience. IoT devices such as smart shelves have been around since the early 2000s yet several B2C retailers are yet to fully take advantage of the opportunities that these sensor-powered shelves provide.
Smart shelves use a combination of sensors, RFID tags, and digital displays to help retailers manage inventory and communicate with customers more effectively. When an item is taken off a smart shelf, a store manager could get a notification via another IoT device alerting the manager to re-stock or replace an item. In the same way, customers could get push notifications informing them of the availability of their favorite products.
With a reliable e-commerce system like the Spryker Cloud Commerce OS, utilizing a smart shelf becomes easier. The weight of each item is recorded on the Spryker enabled back-end. Whenever an item is taken off the shelf, the total shelf weight automatically decreases and data is sent back to the Spryker Cloud Commerce OS through the GLUE API.
From the back-end, the store manager can get an overview of the number of items left on the shelf. An automated re-ordering process can also be initiated once a certain threshold is reached; The items will automatically be placed in the store manager’s cart and then placed as soon as it is manually approved.
The great thing about smart shelves is the time it takes to implement them. Once a smart shelf is set up, the process can easily be replicated for shelves within the store.
Automating the process of restocking goods and making efforts to shorten the buyer’s journey can provide long-term benefits for retail businesses and their customers.
Let’s take a look at a few of those benefits …
Benefits of Smart Shelves for B2C Retail Businesses
- Never run out of stock: With a smart shelf, store managers can keep track of how frequently items are taken off the shelf and this generally makes for a smoother restocking process. Real-time inventory tracking can help retailers meet demand and develop a more accurate stocking plan.
- Get real-time consumer insights: A smart shelf has the power to provide real-time insights into your customers’ preferences and shopping habits. By keeping track of how goods are picked up, you can get detailed insights on the products and packaging that attract customers the most. The insights received will not only be beneficial when it comes to knowing what items to stock but also helpful for optimizing existing store layouts and implementing new store designs.
- Give your customers a personalized shopping experience : Smart shelves often come with electronic shelf labels and displays which make for a more personalized shopping experience. With a smart shelf, retail businesses can deliver offers and promotions to specific customers. Customers can also receive push notifications on their smartphones when their favorite products are back in stock.
- Cross-sell and upsell: Being able to easily interact with consumers creates an opportunity for cross-selling and upselling. For instance, store owners can introduce customers to related products as they select items from the smart shelf.
- Increase profit and reduce waste: Having a more accurate way of tracking inventory can prevent retailers from making unnecessary purchases from their suppliers. Utilizing smart shelves can solve the problem of overstocking; businesses will have the opportunity to focus on products that are most likely to move quickly as opposed to purchasing items that end up staying on the shelf for a long period of time.
Want to discover more benefits of utilizing smart shelves? Click here.