Top IoT uses for smart retail

In a world of increasingly connected ‘things,’ retail is enjoying an array of benefits, with sensors, data, and analytics all combining to give retailers unprecedented insight into store operations and the customer experience.

But how exactly is the brave new world of the Internet of Things (IoT) applied in retail?

Let’s take a quick tour of the top uses of IoT in the retail sector and how it’s creating increasingly smart and efficient store operations.

iot smart store - smart retail
March 16, 2022

The rise of IoT

For many, the concept of IoT is most familiar in the smart home where products like cameras, sensors, and smart speakers all talk to each other to make homes more automated, more energy-efficient, more secure, and more liveable.

But of course, the impacts of IoT go far beyond the smart home, encompassing everything from smart cities to smart manufacturing and more.

In retail, IoT sees an array of smart products and software combine to make the operation of a store more efficient and more predictable.

In the process, it offers retailers unprecedented insight into exactly what’s going on in a real-time instore, along with trends emerging, customer engagement, security analysis, and staff performance.


The concept of a smart store

A smart store is one where each element of the retail operation is connected and is in communication with other components.

iot smart store - smart retail

It combines critical retail elements such as merchandising, display, security, and product management into one single ecosystem where retailers can gain real-time insight into all areas of their operation.

As a result of these connected components, retailers have a greater ability to maximise sales opportunities, improve staff efficiency, reduce theft, and increase customer engagement.

With that in mind, here are some of the current top IoT uses for smart retail…


Smart inventory management

Managing inventory is critical to ensuring both a positive customer experience and ensuring operational efficiency of a store.

Smart inventory solutions like on shelf- availability sensors determine how much stock is available or whether an item is running low.

This information is then instantly relayed to the store’s operational software, prompting staff to restock the shelf or re-order the required products.

This assists with inventory management, merchandise display and the customer experience, alerting the retail outlet before an out of stock occurs.


Smart access

Imagine if you could provide each retail associate with a single key that could be programmed to open the displays, cabinets, and drawers they needed, then track exactly what they had accessed and when that access occurred.

smart retail - smart access

Smart keys combined with software offer this option. Together they improve store efficiency while also identifying sales opportunities and improving store security.

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Smart merchandising

Smart merchandising tracks the way customers interact with products and displays, while protecting them against theft.

smart retail - smart merchandising

Combined with analytical software, it also helps identify which products customers engage with and improves sales opportunities.

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A smart ecosystem

Together the above items are part of a smart store ecosystem, which then connects with analytics and insights software that allows retailers to track and manage store operations in real-time.

Offering Merchandising, Access Control, Security, and Operations in one single place, it enables retailers to gain in-store visibility across their estate.

Our suggestion: InVue LIVE


For more information about products that tap into the power of IoT to offer smart insights and smart retail operations, see here.