In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the retail experience has been fundamentally altered both for consumers and operators alike. As we begin to move forward and adapt to a new way of living and working, creating a retail space that is capable of being flexible to changing needs will be vital to ensuring future viability.

Playing a central role in making this possible will be a greater reliance than before on technology, and in particular Internet of Things (IoT) solutions. This could include a variety of different functions, including:

  • Queue management – improving the check-out experience and ensuring social distancing measures are being implemented and adhered to
  • Retail analytics – collating and analysing data about customers’ movements through shops
  • In-store engagement analysis – monitoring and collating data about customers’ interactions with adverts, promotions or displays

Not only can IoT solutions help to drive greater insights into customer behaviours and directly improve the in-store experience, there are also huge opportunities to increase efficiencies through technology such as adaptive LED lighting and smart sensors.

For example, our Intelligent Grid product is a low-cost flexible power and broadcast platform that allows retailers to develop a smart ecosystem of sensors, LED lighting, HVAC and security, connecting them in seconds. Unrivalled flexibility comes courtesy of the rapid deployment or redeployment without the need for an electrician and the entire system is forward-compatible if additional functions need to be added or upgraded.

The customer journey could be tracked from the moment they drive into a multi storey car park and are guided to an available space to their journey through the store. Internally, adaptive LED lighting could be used to create environments that inspire shoppers whilst still benefitting from daylight harvesting or occupancy controls that wring out additional ongoing savings without compromise.

Through the Intelligent Grid, self-testing emergency lighting can be cloud controlled so that maintenance schedules are adhered to, as can any other safety critical services. Meanwhile, sensors can collect data about shopping habits, customer routes or habits, which can then be used in both real-time and future system configurations to enhance the customer journey.

Smart connectivity to IoT solutions therefore delivers an economical infrastructure that has scale, efficiencies and broadcast connectivity in a futureproof guise. The fact that the Intelligent Grid also offers significant energy savings is really just the icing on the cake as far as we are concerned!

Find out more about our retail solution and how we can support your business to create a smart environment and great in-store experience.

About the author

James Means

I am a cyclist and enjoy taking my mountain bike out along the many tow paths of the Basingstoke or Kennet and Avon Canal. I play tennis at my local club and am full of endeavour and enthusiasm to make up for the lack of talent, usually washed down with a few beers to undo the good work. I absolutely love cars but in a clear rush of blood have just purchased a rather dull electric car. Currently growing chilli’s to go in the spicy curries I love making. I try to feed my spiritual side with a bit of meditation or mindfulness when possible.