Not long back were the days when most of the retail industry players often faced multiple challenges such as hefty electricity bills due to inefficient store operations, lack of visibility into asset health leading to unpredictable breakdowns, followed by huge maintenance costs and many more.

Many of them were so preoccupied with these multiple challenges that they frequently overlooked other hidden challenges that their customers were facing. Few of those challenges include unpleasant store ambience like overcooling, overheating or high humidity, high carbon dioxide etc.

These challenges not only make it difficult for customers to spend more time inside the stores, but also negatively affect overall revenue, and increases customer churn since they are often unlikely to visit again.

As it is said that “There’s no use talking about the problem unless you talk about the solution. ~ Betty William”, hence several organizations across the globe realized the need of the hour and tried to address the mentioned challenges with IoT based solutions which can be easily adopted and deployed.

Let’s discuss a few examples of how the IoT powered automation is revolutionizing the Retail industry:

1. Increases Energy Efficiency

The lowest hanging fruit for energy efficiency is to reduce energy wastage. New generation IoT based sensors & actuators designed to keep the perfect conditions in space automatically, keep energy use at the optimum level and help achieve ~20% energy savings.
These systems can adjust regimes dynamically and with different sensors (light, motion, humidity, level of CO2, etc.) dependent on changing conditions and prevent the use of energy at potential waste points.

2. Reduces Breakdowns

IoT based sensors help continuously monitor the asset health and their performance in accordance with the actual operational and safety standards. The AI/ML based solutions use predictive maintenance to foresee any possible breakdowns in advance. The early detection of such events helps in curbing the maintenance costs and reduces asset breakdowns by ~30%.

3. Enhances Customer Comfort

One of the vital factors in the retail industry is the customer’s willingness to visit again. Besides offering the best deals and services, maintaining a comfortable ambiance is also required. IoT based sensors and actuators help improve various comfort compliances like temperature, humidity, etc. by ~60%. A pleasant ambiance not only improves overall experience but also increases the customer’s willingness to visit again.

4. Provides Centralized Visibility

For retail chains spread across geographically distributed sites, it becomes important to achieve centralized visibility across their sites. The lack of visibility can lead to suboptimal operations and various unforeseen losses. By deploying IoT based solutions, we can remotely monitor, control & automate multiple assets & compliances from a centralized cloud-based dashboard.

5. Ensures Safety of Perishable Goods

Ensuring safety of goods becomes a really important factor, when it comes to curbing losses & increasing operational efficiency. Multiple adverse conditions such as overcooling, overheating, moisture, high asset downtime, etc. can lead to spoilage of perishable goods. The spoilage often occurs due to lack of visibility into asset health and suboptimal asset operations. These practices can significantly increase the operational costs and hence needs to be curbed at the earliest. IoT based solutions help reduce the wastage of perishable goods by ~20% using automated monitoring & control of assets.

In Conclusion, we can say that IoT-based solutions do provide retailers with valuable insights and not only help to improve customer experiences, but also leave a significant impact on overall profits. With IoT-based monitoring and automation solutions, retailers are successfully digitising their brick-and-mortar stores to remain ahead of the curve.

Five Ways IoT Powered Automation Benefits Retail / F&B Chains