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Leveraging 'Internet of Things' to improve Customer satisfaction at Retail Outlets

In today's retail world, competition is everything. Every store in a shopping mall vies for the customer's attention on its range of products. But what if one store's gain also meant gain for all other stores? Let's take a look at how 'Internet of Things' can help.

A novel idea that inspires to boost sales of retail outlets:

Don't we all hate waiting in the long queues at the super markets or food marts. Imagine if we could provide the outlet with our shopping list of products beforehand either online or through a mobile app. Later, simply just walk-in, collect our items and walk out or better still have them delivered to our address. Owing to 'Internet of Things', this can be achieved by a web application where customers can browse, select and add products to the cart. Then NFC technology could be used to help authenticate the user when he arrives to collect his merchandise. In case of home delivery, the deliverer's mobile can be used to authenticate customer's mobile via NFC.

But how does this help other stores? Most people visit malls not only to obtain items which they require but also to window shop and discover new products. The major constraint to this is time. Every minute the customer spends trying to get the products he visited the mall for, is a minute of time lost in discovering new items. Now, if the customer is given the items he wanted on arrival, it means he/she gets more time to look at other stores. This is a win-win situation for the stores at the mall.

Indoor tracking to increase sales:

With malls growing in size and number year on year, it has become so difficult to identify the many stores, their products up for sale and their location within the mall. Kiosks help only to a certain extent and usually have a crowd of people surrounding them. But with the use of Wi-Fi/Bluetooth based location triangulation and Augmented reality not only can patrons locate themselves on the Mall's map, but can also easily locate specific category of stores they might be interested in. In addition to this, advertisements can be displayed to the user depending on his location within the mall. Again, this can prove to be a smart method for stores to attract the right set of customers while increasing customer satisfaction. As an added benefit, customers too remain happy as they don't have to walk round and round a large mall trying to find what they need.

The above is just a couple of advantages among umpteen benefits that the usage of 'Internet of Things' and technology can bring to the Retail segment. There is a huge opportunity and innumerable possibilities; the only limit is one's imagination

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