More than ever before, consumers want the products that they want and they want them available immediately. In fact, lack of the right inventory costs retailer’s sales. By automating inventory visibility using Internet of Things (IoT) technology, retailers can significantly reduce the cost of inventory distortion, overstock, stock outs and shrinkage.
Electronics retailers have potentially the most to gain from IoT-based inventory control. “The two biggest segments of retail at the biggest risk from pure e-commerce are electronics and specialty store fashion,” said Tom Moore, industry lead for industry and hospitality in North America at Zebra Technologies. “In terms of pure play e-commerce, providers are taking their business. These stores need to provide a more robust experience in the store. Best buy done a good job of understanding their customer. Aligning themselves providing more robust experience in stores.”
Recent events demonstrate that those who invest in e-commerce initiatives are more likely to thrive. “There are always winners and losers and those who invested going into the 2016 holiday season to execute on e-commerce fulfillment showed the most growth,” said “It’s a proof point for retailers to those who do transformational investment beyond the standard 3% of revenues to maintain status quo are the ones who are poised for growth.”
Omnichannel fulfillment models are a big part of the shift. “At the end of the day, it’s all just retail, and retailers need to reach shopper with multiple channels in a seamless way and fulfill products to meet specific customer expectations,” said Moore. “What’s driving that is a huge group of shoppers called Millennials. They look at products as commodities and are less interested in going to the store. In order to drive shoppers into the stores, the retailers are looking for ways to make stores relevant.“
By 2021, more than 70% of retailers surveyed said that they plan to adopt automation solutions within their supply chains with real-time visibility, sensors and analytics, according to a newly-released study of 1,700 global retailers by Zebra Technologies. Meanwhile, 65% report that they plan to invest in automation technologies for inventory management and planogram compliance by 2021.
For the customer, these new technologies have a potential to empower myriad of benefits including innovative delivery services, customized in-store experiences, and more. “We saw a big theme around digital commerce, that is providing digital environment in-store that would help execute on a retail strategy in the retail supply chain,” said Moore.
For more of the study findings, take a look at the infographic below. Then let us know in the comments section about what IoT trends you are seeing in your business.
— Hailey Lynne McKeefry, Editor in Chief, EBN