TECH­NOL­OGY RE­TAIL­ERS EYE PER­SON­ALISED IOT TO IM­PROVE CUS­TOMER EX­PE­RI­ENCE

Images Retail - - CONTENTS - – By Charu Lamba

Re­tail­ers in the Asia-pa­cific re­gion are fast adopt­ing In­ter­net of Things (IOT), ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence and au­toma­tion strate­gies to boost growth.

Re­tail­ers in the Asia-pa­cific re­gion are fast adopt­ing In­ter­net of Things (IOT), ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence and au­toma­tion strate­gies to boost growth. They are mov­ing from brick-and-mortar stores to on­line chan­nels, lead­ing to syn­er­gies be­tween the phys­i­cal and on­line plat­forms.

ith tech­no­log­i­cal supremacy be­ing built on the foun­da­tion of con­nec­tiv­ity, Bosch has been de­vel­op­ing lo­cal so­lu­tions that specif­i­cally cater to the needs of the In­dian cus­tomer.

Ac­cord­ing to a re­port, the In­dian In­ter­net of Things (IOT) mar­ket is ex­pected to grow to US $15 bil­lion with 2.7 bil­lion units by 2020 from the cur­rent US $5.6 bil­lion and 200 mil­lion con­nected units.

Tak­ing a note of the sit­u­a­tion, Bosch In­dia is also driv­ing the tran­si­tion to the IOT era by draw­ing on its in­no­va­tions. With tech­no­log­i­cal supremacy be­ing built on the foun­da­tion of con­nec­tiv­ity, Bosch has been de­vel­op­ing lo­cal so­lu­tions that specif­i­cally cater to the needs of the In­dian cus­tomer.

Elab­o­rat­ing on the same, Head IOT Busi­ness, Bosch In­dia, Uday Prabhu told In­di­are­tail­ing Bu­reau, “Our fo­cus pre­dom­i­nantly is look­ing at so­lu­tions which are re­lated to per­son­al­i­sa­tion. Per­son­al­i­sa­tion top­ics are re­lated to the rev­enue side of re­tail. For ex­am­ple: How can I pro­vide the right prod­uct at right price to the loyal cus­tomers or how can I help them find the right prod­uct in the store or how can I tar­get the right peo­ple for ad­ver­tise­ments? So per­son­alised IOT is one of our key so­lu­tions.”

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He fur­ther added, “In ad­di­tion, we have mul­ti­ple hor­i­zon­tal tech­nolo­gies like sen­sors for cold stor­age mon­i­tor­ing, fresh­ness mon­i­tor­ing and also in the space of en­ergy an­a­lyt­ics which are on the cost side of things like how can re­tail cost be much op­ti­mised and give enough in­for­ma­tion that is able to help them to get a bet­ter prof­itabil­ity.”

As the Om­nichan­nel ap­proach picks up steam, im­ple­ment­ing the right vis­i­bil­ity tech­nolo­gies from the ware­house to the store­front is in­stru­men­tal in ful­fill­ing or­ders, sched­ul­ing for fast de­liv­er­ies, and per­son­al­iz­ing the ex­pe­ri­ence for dif­fer­ent shop­pers.

Per­son­al­iza­tion in re­tail helps in gen­er­at­ing rev­enue. Prabhu ex­plained this fur­ther by say­ing, “Every per­son is a dif­fer­ent an­i­mal. Pref­er­ences are vastly dif­fer­ent and the mo­ment each per­son is treated for their spe­cific taste then the cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence goes up sig­nif­i­cantly. So the cus­tomer walks into a shop and the shop im­me­di­ately trans­forms it­self into all the likes that the cus­tomer has, so ob­vi­ously the ex­pe­ri­ence en­hances. To­day, the cus­tomer is prob­a­bly search­ing for things but maybe next time when they en­ter the re­tail out­let and th­ese things will be al­ready there. So the ex­pe­ri­ence counts a lot in re­tail and if so­lu­tions are de­signed around this then the re­tailer stands out as a clear win­ner.”

He fur­ther added, “Us­ing IOT, re­tail­ers will also be able to make the store ex­pe­ri­ence in­ter­est­ing. They will have the op­tion to cre­ate smart shop­ping list so the phone will guide the cus­tomer to the en­tire store, telling them where to buy and what. So th­ese are some of the so­lu­tions in per­son­al­i­sa­tion where each in­di­vid­ual is treated for the kind of pref­er­ence he has and the tech­nol­ogy is go­ing to take a note of all the prod­ucts in the store to pick the right ones and pass it on and if it is a loyal cus­tomer then they will get re­warded the more, so that they will al­ways come back for more. So that is how the per­son­al­i­sa­tion works.”

Will IOT be Suc­cess­ful in In­dia?

Since re­tail is all about the shop­ping ex­pe­ri­ence, there is a need to know how cus­tomers shop, spend money and time. If re­tail­ers want to un­der­stand all of this as per their spe­cific busi­ness mod­els, they need dig­i­tal and dig­i­tal is only pos­si­ble by IOT.

De­spite so many ad­van­tages, re­tail­ers are dou­ble-minded on im­ple­ment­ing IOT in re­tail.

“There are two sides of IOT – one is the cost side and other is the rev­enue side. The cost side is some­thing that re­quires a lot of re­turn on in­vest­ment dis­cus­sions, so the amount of money re­tail­ers spend in IOT should com­men­su­rate with what kind of re­turns re­tail­ers are get­ting on it. So there I think there is a lot of re­sis­tance, there­fore any so­lu­tion that works on the cost side has to be thought through prop­erly in terms of the ex­pense that it adds to the store and there­fore the re­tailer is right in say­ing that why should I pay more and where is the ben­e­fit,” Prabhu said elab­o­rat­ing on re­tail­ers point of view.

He fur­ther added, “Whereas the per­son­al­i­sa­tion topic is di­rectly linked to rev­enue and the rev­enue in­creases

As the Om­nichan­nel ap­proach picks up steam, im­ple­ment­ing the right vis­i­bil­ity tech­nolo­gies from the ware­house to the store­front is in­stru­men­tal in ful­fill­ing or­ders, sched­ul­ing for fast de­liv­er­ies, and per­son­al­iz­ing the ex­pe­ri­ence for shop­pers.

only if the re­tail­ers get paid. So here the in­vest­ments are higher. De­pend­ing on whether re­tail­ers play on the cost side or the rev­enue side the hap­pi­ness or the sad­ness quo­tient varies pro­por­tion­ally.” re­vealed Prabhu.

At present, re­tail­ers are try­ing to find the right spot and the right model that can ex­ist be­tween two as­pects – one which has the tech­nol­ogy and one which is look­ing at prof­itabil­ity – and once they find that sweet spot, the suc­cess will def­i­nitely come.

“We are at point where the hype about IOT is com­ing to close and the re­al­ity is dawn­ing and the re­tail­ers are get­ting very smart about the busi­ness model, the so­lu­tion, the ar­chi­tec­ture and how much of it should be passed on as a cost to the cus­tomer and I feel in next three to five years, we will see a spurt of in­tel­li­gent top­ics com­ing into the re­tail in­dus­try,” con­cluded Prabhu.

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