Joe Jensen tells retailers that IoT technology can help improve all areas of the customer experience
Intel says retailers can help deliver the “perfect retail experience” using M2M technology as the company continues its drive to connect as many industries to the Internet of Things (IoT).
Speaking at an event in London, Joe Jensen, Intel’s vice president of its retail solutions division, explained the IoT offers potentially huge returns to retailers willing to invest in new applications.
“Understanding shoppers today is now more important than ever before,” said Jensen. “Technology lets you edge closer to providing the perfect experience.”
He said improvements to in-depth analytics that track customer habits, smart adverts that can change what they display depending on who is viewing it, and overall improved power and connectivity capabilities, meant there has never been a better time to get involved.
Jensen also warned that customers are now more demanding as online shopping changes the way people interact with physical stores and their behaviour. The sheer range of choice and availability online has made many customers expect a very high level of service when they visit a real-world store
He said the prevailing attitude among many customers was “what I want, when I want it” and quoted a recent study that showed just one percent of shoppers will ask a member of staff for help if they cannot find it – the rest simply leave.
But technology can have a positive effect according to Jensen as modern, immersive displays and adverts can help draw in shoppers and make them really enjoy the shopping experience again.
He said consumers today want speed, efficiency, and low friction when shopping, and if any of these factors are missing, getting their money could be harder than expected. Having a responsive shop that can react to your consumer’s needs is paramount in drawing in shoppers and keeping their business, whereas being inflexible and unhelpful will unsurprisingly make them go elsewhere.
“The technology capabilities are there – and customers are expecting change,” said Jensen, who noted that far from being separated into big fish and little fish, retailers today are split into slow fish – which don’t react to their customer’s needs – and fast fish, which do.
Intel is helping companies become fast fish by arming them with the technology to change and adapt, including digital signage that can monitor and detect who is viewing it and change display according – so dresses for women, and sweaters for men. The company is also enabling a wider roll out of mobile Point of Sale (POS) systems and in-store mobility – allowing customers and employees to view information and inventory on mobile or tablet devices.
The firm is also helping to boost IoT security, as the increasing amount of data being collected by connected devices poses an attractive challenge for hackers. As most of this data is personal information about shoppers themselves, gaining consumer trust by establishing effective security is paramount, Jensen warned, as customers are unsurprisingly reluctant to continue shopping with a retailer that has suffered a major data breach.
Intel’s Data Protection Technology for Transactions tool is one such way to ensure this safety, allowing retailers not only to protect payment data such as credit card numbers, but also prevent the theft of other types of data which might be part of a transaction, such as ID cards.
Physical retail is often “way behind the times” compared to the online experience, Jensen said, but technology can play a huge role in helping bridge this gap – and creating exciting and immersive experiences that will help draw in and entertain shoppers of all ages.
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