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To Succeed, Businesses Need to Utilize the Internet of Things and Big Data

Photo: Courtesy of Timon Studler

We talk about the value of the Internet of Things (IoT) and data all the time. Until recently, many retailers didn’t understand what IoT meant — it was often equated to devices like smart light switches. But we’re seeing IoT connectivity becoming better understood, standardized and cost effective as the cost of computing continues to fall dramatically.

The analytics that will enable everyone to use data to find insights is maturing rapidly. Retailers already have more data than they can handle and now the challenge is about how to use data, rather than the technology itself. Data and analytics are really the heart of the retailer-customer relationship. The last online retailer your customer visited knows exactly what they were first interested in versus what they eventually purchased. And, it knows what they put in their cart and never purchased. Having the ability to take advantage of data will be the differentiator for retailers to grow and engage an expanded customer base. Until now, detailed shopper data was only available to online storefronts.

By giving retailers the ability to bring their brick and mortar stores online, they are able to combine the best of physical in-store experiences with the data previously only available online. We believe that increasingly, retailers will be separated by those who have data and use it to grow and optimize the shopping experience and those who don’t and make their decisions based on “subjective observations.” Used efficiently, data provides customers a more personalized experience and retailers more information on what works and does not work for their specific business.

It is only through utilizing data analytics that retailers are able to better understand and connect with their customers by having more visibility about inventory and customer shopping patterns. This will help drive success in the long run and keep the smaller retailers competitive and successful. Now is a great time for retailers to embrace IoT to get the insights they need to improve the customer experience. The technology is available for retailers of all sizes, now it really comes down to a business choice.

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