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Business owners can monetize cloud-ready IOT data by using it to gain insights into their customers’ behaviors and to communicate with and engage them more effectively.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a vast network of connected devices in the physical environment that share information. The things can include RFID tags, customer traffic counting technology, printers, POS systems, digital signage, and customers’ mobile devices. IoT and mobile devices and sensors collect massive amounts of data about our habits—what applications we use the most on smartphones, the entertainment we are streaming, which retail brands we prefer and the items we purchase. Business owners can monetize this data by using it to gain insights into their customers’ behaviors and to communicate with and engage them more effectively. Retailers can also leverage the IoT to enhance in-store shopping experiences.
Here are three ways the IoT and mobile devices can help your business excel.
- Device Management. IoT technology can help identify a problem before it starts. With devices that have the capability to communicate when they are in need of repair, shoppers never have to wait while a sales associate finds a replacement device. IoT devices are often able to communicate issues before they are apparent to the user, helping to minimize downtime.
Cloud-ready IoT and mobile devices can also be managed remotely. Business owners or managers can identify what and where the problem is while working at the store or from home, another store location or sitting on the beach via the cloud dashboard. Error status notifications can tell you in real-time what the problem is—whether a printer cover or cash drawer is left open or if a printer is out of paper or unplugged. Identifying and fixing the problem immediately helps improve efficiency and increase productivity, so you’re never wasting time hunting around for the problem.
- Data Collection. IoT and mobile devices can collect and store important customer information. A cloud-ready device gives you the ability to transform shopping receipts into valuable digital transaction data. If you don’t have the time or manpower to analyze customer data on your own, data facilitation allows retailers to send digital receipt information to third-party partners or vendors who can offer a wide range of analytic and shopper engagement services. These third-party vendors can run loyalty programs and issue customer updates about new products and promotions. Through these services, retailers can gain unparalleled information about shoppers’ habits and promotional campaigns, including which ones are effective and which ones aren’t resonating, to ultimately increase ROI.
- Data Utilization. Data collected by IoT and mobile devices and stored in the cloud can be used for other purposes, including digital signage. Digital signage is an interactive gateway that allows a business to communicate directly with a consumer, engaging them while they are in the store. Digital signage is easy to control and can be modified quickly, allowing it to be incorporated into virtually any environment. Depending on the setup and service you choose, you may be able to store your own graphics and update the signage as often as you want. This is especially useful during holiday shopping time, or if you want to promote doorbusters and flash sales during certain hours.
Cloud-ready IoT and mobile devices can help you gain important insights into your business, customers, and operations. They can help you identify a hardware problem in-store, even when you’re offsite, and collect data that can keep messaging and promotions relevant. Evaluate how your business is collecting and leveraging data to provide better in-store experiences. Are you doing what it takes to be competitive?
Kyle Lauber, the Marketing Coordinator at Star Micronics. Kyle has been in the industry for only two and a half years but he has already touched so many areas. He started out writing blogs, social media posts, and even webpages for Star. Since then, Kyle has become a member of RSPA’s STS Committee, began setting up Star’s Tradeshows, and took on the role of product champion for Star Micronics Cloud Services and mUnite stands.