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Jan 1, 1970

Retail and IoT: a match made in heaven?

Written by

James Means

By James Means, European Channel Manager – Intelligent Grid, IGS

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 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, 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 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!

Value Optimisation
Systems Thinking

At IGS, we believe that innovation is essential in agriculture, as in many other areas. A circular model must be one that we adopt more broadly, and our commitment to this is two-fold.

Sign-up below to learn more about how IGS has designed and developed a vertical farming platform to enable sustainable food production with alignment to the circular economy framework in part one. You will also seefor yourself how the engineering, supply chain management, and maintenance of the GTs aligns to circularity in part two.

Part one. How IGS’ Growth Towers enable sustainable farming and alignment to the circular economy

Recent research by the UN Environment Programme found that ‘countries are missing significant opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions’ and that ‘other actions in the food system, such as reducing food loss and waste, or shifting to more sustainable diets, are widely ignored’.

‍While many of us are aware of the impact of food miles and foodsrity, the UN believes policymakers need to address ‘food waste and a shift more plant-rich diets’.

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