Cisco shows how IoT can save high-street shops
July 19, 2016
Whereas once the internet was predicted as being the beginning of the end for traditional high-street shops, the IoT is enabling them to provide customers with a richer, more connected experience. That was the message from the exhibition floor at last week’s Cisco Live in Las Vegas.
“Retailers are trying to solve the omnichannel experience,” said Kevin Wood, a retail business architect at Cisco. “We are trying to keep bricks-and-mortar stores open.”
And he said this applied not just to the large chain stores but also to smaller outlets.
“For smaller retailers, some are just starting an online presence,” he said. “All they need are three access points and you can triangulate where someone is in the store. If someone is in there with a smartphone, the retailer can get information without even bothering them, such as how often they come in, dwell time and so on.”
Brian MacDonald, who is in charge of retail marketing for Cisco, added: “If they have dwell time, then you can alert someone to go over there.”
And fellow retail business architect Ashees Sinha said that many retailers would start by just putting in wifi.
“Then they can look at how they can give a better experience for their customers,” he said. “Then they may want to know what the customer is doing inside the store.”
MacDonald added: “The customer can be sent a dynamic deal on their smartphone, there can be targeted ads, features of the day. It can be linked into the rewards system.”
The store owner can also use the information to gain location-based analytics. This can help with placing of digital signage and then targeting the information on the signs to the customers around them.
“You can provide a heat map of where your customers are going,” said MacDonald. “You can see traffic patterns. We also have security, from cyber-security to loss prevention. We want to protect customers as well as retailers.”