Retailers will gain $81 billion from the “Internet of Everything,” which is the term given to the connectivity of an increasing number of people, processes and things, in 2013. But according to new research from Cisco Systems, Inc., this only reflects 45% of the potential return.
Cisco data indicates the "Internet of Everything" could have returned another $99 billion to retailers this year by connecting more across their operations. However, retail IT executives are confident that they can capture this value. On average, retail IT executives rated their ability to capture Internet of Everything at 7.2, on a scale of 1 to 10.
Cisco identifies five key ways retailers are connecting people, process and things to capture more business value:
• Tap into dark data assets in-store: By connecting previously unused (or “dark”) data assets from sources such as video surveillance cameras, social media, the internet, and customer’s mobile signals to traditional retail data sets (such as transaction histories), retailers can begin to predict new trends and empower employees to improve profitability.
• Connect and build customer trust: When shopping, most consumers are willing to share personal information in exchange for better more personal service. Almost half (49%) of consumers are comfortable with retailers collecting personal information when shopping online in exchange for more personalized recommendations and customer service.
• Gain more visibility into inventory: This includes tracking materials and finished goods from the source, to the factory, to the delivery truck and ultimately to the store or warehouse using data-capture technologies such as RFID and sensors. In this model, retailers can anticipate exceptions to business rules and respond before anyone else.
• Drive higher levels of stock availability: In-stock performance is one of the four most critical indicators to overall store performance. With automated intelligent stock management and shelf sensing, stores can keep track of on-hand availability and order stock when inventory falls below a certain level, all without employee intervention.
• Maximize staff productivity: Employees can access and share best practices, operational alerts and develop smart training and development tools from their mobile device, while giving managers new insights into efficient ways to allocate sales personnel to drive profits. In addition, employees can provide real-time feedback on product and promotion performance. Also, experts can be connected across multiple stores via video conferencing digital displays to maximize productivity.