The ENTOUCH Blog

06. 23. 2017

How Are Retail Facilities Using the Internet of Things?

The Internet of Things gives retail facilities managers an upper hand in managing inventory and layout, engaging with consumers and increasing company visibility.

Retail facilities are taking advantage of the IoT in unprecedented ways. According to the Professional Retail Store Maintenance Association, reports CleanLink, 65 percent of retailers are already using the IoT in at least one capacity, and 49 percent are discovering new ways to increase inventory accuracy and shelf-life through this technology. Although the IoT can be deployed to increase energy efficiency in individual systems, it is important to consider the ways it can improve the overall “health” of a retailer.

The IoT Extends Building Quality

The IoT can extend the life expectancy of equipment, but it can have a bigger impact on the quality and integrity of the actual retail building. Leak detectors can generate work orders for plumbing issues, and vibration sensors can help prevent the destabilization of the structure. In earthquake-prone areas, this application could save millions. Meanwhile, leak detectors could also be used to prevent gas line ruptures by identifying leaks when they begin, and sensors embedded in the floor will identify areas of excessive wear and tear.

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New Technology Creates a Safer Environment

The use of the IoT in increasing building stability contributes directly to a safer environment for both consumers and staff. Indications of instability or leaks could be used to prevent falls among occupants, reducing legal costs and their subsequent rise in insurance premiums. Also, the system can prevent fires and other risks from becoming disasters by giving retailers a “heads up” on the issue. Also, a climate-controlled, monitored environment can enhance food safety for grocers, reducing the risk of food-borne illness and increasing the shelf-life of products.

It Enhances the Retail Environment, Creating a Pleasant Shopping Experience

Retail facilities management reaps indirect benefits too. When customers are comfortable, they may be more likely to spend. IoT-enabled environmental controls and automated systems can keep busy areas cooler by diverting energy to appropriate HVAC units or preventing the loss of conditioned air during record-breaking heat waves.

IoT Enables C-Suite Understanding of Savings and Potential Value

A widespread problem with investments is a lack of transparency and usefulness when pitching it to the C-Suite. Retailers can use the IoT to provide immediate, real-time results and factual information to C-Suite personnel, ensuring the continued investment and dedication toward systemwide integration and use.

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Staying Competitive Requires the IoT in Retail Facilities Management.

The IoT is integral to the future of today’s retailers, and in fact, 27 percent of retailers believe the IoT is essential to staying competitive. Of course, another notable benefit of this technology is its impact on product price points. In other words, overhead cost reductions and reduced risks mean greater profitability, read “better, more affordable pricing to draw in more customers.” Ultimately, the IoT is going to change how retailers view the fundamental concepts in retail facilities management.

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