Samsung is looking to IoT in retail to give shoppers a more engaging and more personalized experience in store.
At the National Retail Federation Big Show in New York, the Korean consumer electronics giant unveiled a slew of products that incorporate IoT, data analytics and mobile technologies that sync with back office systems to help customers within shops.
The tools also incorporate technology from SapientRazorfish. In a demonstration, Samsung set up a clothing shop that “blurs the lines between online and offline shopping, while synchronizing backend systems for an omnichannel shopping experience”.
A shopper can order products at home using a store app on a Samsung Galaxy smartphone and when the customer arrives at the store, the app sets off a beacon on a large digital signage display, showing personalized content based on prior purchases, and suggesting items that can be browsed via a touch-screen display.
Simultaneously, a store associate is notified of the customer’s arrival via Gear S2 wearable and visits the customer.
Samsung tech goes into the store
If a shopper can’t find a product in the store, they can get assistance via the store app on their mobile device by pressing a ‘Help’ button on the app. The nearest associate receives an alert on their tablet, and through Samsung wireless triangulation, can locate the customer’s store location, and help them find the item in the store.
As a customer moves around the shop, they are shown a merchandising display that has proximity sensing light bulbs and a beacon, which detects the customer and lights up the shoe model of interest to them, based on the customer’s past shopping data from the store’s mobile app.
In this example, a shoe has a RFID tag that allows the customer to take it to a nearby station, which detects the shoe and displays more information on the product.
At checkout, a store associate can scan the customer’s merchandise into a rugged Samsung smartphone, completing the transaction without a point of sale terminal by using NFC-based C2B payment via a mobile device. The customer and associate simply tap their Samsung smartphones using Samsung Pay to complete payment.
After the shop has closed for the day, associates review daily sales statistics via smartphone, while managers can see marketing data on a large display (including people counter stats and heat map of store activity). Training tools can be pushed to associates’ tablets, providing real-time education for in-store employees.
“Physical retailers face new challenges in personalising their connection to customers, as the digital benefits of shopping online re-define shopper expectations,” said Ted Brodheim, vice president of Vertical Business at Samsung Electronics America. “Now, in collaboration with Samsung SDS and SapientRazorfish, we are delivering IoT-enabled retail innovations that merge the best of online and physical shopping for a highly-tailored shopping experience that delivers a 360-degree view of in-store operations.”
Hyper-relevance for retail
Mark Thornton, marketing director for omnichannel retail specialist Maginus, told Internet of Business that the enhanced connectivity of a wide range of devices and the addition of the micro-sensors that fuel IoT, which can be attached to almost anything including cars and people, opens up a world of new possibilities for hyper-relevance.
“This will offer retailers the opportunity to not only collect more data about individual customers but also link up those masses of potentially disparate data to inform really targeted actions. This will enable retailers to personalize their marketing campaigns and provide consumers with targeted content and offers that will enhance engagement and improve loyalty – and ultimately increase revenues,” he said.
Sarah Weller, managing director of Mubaloo, told IoB that in-store shopping experience of the future will bring the physical and digital world together.
“Technologies such as automatic Wi-Fi login and wayfinding help customers feel comfortable in-store, and help them find the desired products and facilitate social sharing. For those retailers who pride themselves on very personalized service, innovations such as facial recognition could alert retail assistants that a regular customer has just walked through the door, providing information on their shopping preferences, so that the customer gets served in a way that feels personal to them,” she said.
The Internet of Things possesses the ability to greatly enhance the ways in which retailers are engaging with their customers. Advanced beacon, RFID, sensor, AI, VR and wearable technologies are offering new ways to improve loyalty and increase revenue. However, disassociation between the business and digital sides of companies coupled with previous project failures and negative consumer feedback is placing strain on new IoT projects.
This 2nd Annual Internet of Retail event will present case studies from some of the world’s leading retailers who have overcome implementation pitfalls and are successfully harnessing IoT to heighten the customer journey.