In a highly competitive industry like the retail sector, it is important to maintain efficiency in routine operations and develop innovative methods of engaging with the customer. M2M technologies can help improve coordination in the supply chain, react adequately to market demands, and improve interaction with the customer. This market insight discusses the challenges faced by the retail sector and explains how using M2M technologies can address these issues and contribute to the development of a smart shop.
Setting the Scene
The retail sector will provide strong growth opportunities for the information and communication technologies (ICT) industry. According to
The retail sector may not have direct legislation that drives ICT investments towards a 'smart' environment, as apparent in ICT spending patterns in energy or automotive industries, but, the retail sector is so intensely driven to protect margins and so competitive for customers that appetite for new technologies, including machine-to-machine (M2M), big data, and cloud computing, keeps the ICT industry very engaged.
Retail is a highly competitive industry, with participants encountering multiple challenges on a daily basis. In order to maintain their position in the market, retailers need to find a convenient method of maintaining an organised, well-connected supply chain, and develop production plans that are in tune with the desires of their customers. Implementation of M2M technologies can facilitate communication between supply chain actors, promote easier management of inventory, and provide a complete shopping experience for the customer. For example, M2M gives the retailer real time visibility of inventory levels, thus, providing useful information to maximise sales. Within retail stores, M2M can also enhance customer satisfaction by relying on automation and accurate customer segmentation to guide through the whole shopping experience. Finally, the M2M technology can also help develop innovative methods of communicating with customers.
As the retailer adopts wider M2M technologies and progresses towards integrating customer analytics with big data, there will be a transformation in retailer processes and in turn the ICT infrastructure.
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