M2M has the power to reinvent the retail business. As retailers continue to innovate and provide a totally new and convenient shopping experience for customers, M2M technology helps the industry with real-time inventory tracking, fixed asset monitoring during production, fleet tracking during delivery, and real-time surveillance for security, among others. From production and marketing to customer insighting and the supply chain, M2M revolutionizes the shopping experience.
Here are three key examples on how M2M technology is having a profound impact on the retail sector:
The Shopping Experience. Through EPOS/PDQ terminals and tablets, shoppers no longer need to wait in line to pay. Customer service staff have access to customer data that is readily available, enhancing their ability to answer queries. Also, customers can complete the purchase there and then via the terminal. Businesses get the opportunity to boost sales by providing convenient payment avenues, while customers can avoid the queue—a nuisance for those used to the convenience of online shopping.
Tracking and Predicting Consumer Behavior. In the past, people mostly shopped physically and knew their retailers, and they knew them. The retailer recognized what people liked, how they liked it, and could use that information to recommend new products or new combinations of brands. That was business analytics based on data, though all just in the retailer’s head. Now, with M2M technology, new kinds of data can be collected in real-time, stored in a computer, and accessed with ease. Thus, sharing all kinds of data-sets, retailers have the chance to get to know their customers intimately, locally or internationally, all at the same time.
Logistics: The Supply Chain and Delivering the Goods. M2M solutions can be used to monitor the condition and location of goods during shipping, from manufacturers to distributor and onto retail outlets. Wireless, battery-powered M2M tracking devices can monitor conditions in transit, ensuring product safety regulations (especially perishable goods) are complied with, maintaining great product quality, and reducing wastage. These devices can also monitor where shipments and assets are—from entire containers to individual products and pieces of equipment—to minimize the costs associated with delays and shrinkage.
Opportunities to increase revenue, reduce costs and better serve customers using M2M are achievable, provided that the business undertakes strategy development, planning and deployment thoughtfully with an eye towards growth.
Clearly, shopping is not going out of fashion. In fact, we are shopping more than ever before, with the multitude of channels available these days. However, consumers have changed, and the technology within the retail industry has changed, too. So always be on your toes and be on the lookout for technology—whether it has been there for years or just in its early stages—that can have real impact on your specific industries.
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Machine-to-Machine (M2M) Connections Market by Technology (Wired, Wireless), Industry (Healthcare, Utilities, Retail, Consumer Electronics, Automotive & Transportation, Security & Surveillance, Others), and by Geography - Forecast to 2020). (2017, October). Retrieved from http://www.marketsandmarkets.com/Market-Reports/machine-to-machine-market-732.html
What is the difference between the "Internet of Things" (IoT) and "Machine to Machine" (M2M)? (2015, 11 January). Retrieved from https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-difference-between-the-Internet-of-Things-IoT-and-Machine-to-Machine-M2M