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What is a smart store?

Over recent years there’s been a lot of talk about smart technology in a range of industries.

This technology connects with and talks to each other to offer greater insight into an environment – whether that’s a home, a manufacturing plant or even a retail outlet.

So let’s look at how smart technology works in retail, including what constitutes a smart store and how you can go about creating one.

what is a smart store
December 07, 2021

 

What is a smart store?

As alluded to above, a smart store is one where the technology talks to each other in order to offer a big-picture perspective of what’s going on.

In retail, this technology ranges from general analytics to people counting, sensors that track product engagement, and tools that make the operation and management of a store more efficient.

In isolation, each of these technologies offers interesting data and improved efficiency, but it’s when it is combined and looked at together that a comprehensive picture of what is going on within a retail operation begins to emerge.

 

Types of smart retail technology

Smart retail technology comes in a variety of forms, ranging from overarching analytics to technology that tracks customer and staff interaction with specific products.

Here are just a couple of examples…

 

Unified displays

For big-box retailers, consistency across stores is key, and that’s particularly the case when it comes to selling high-value items like entertainment products or technology.

unified displays - what is a smart store

Smart tools such as InVue’s TV Manager allow retailers to more efficiently manage this merchandise, ensuring it is consistent and compliant.

The technology enables retailers to automate all displays across a store, delivering real-time status alerts and reports on planogram compliance.

Meanwhile, smart displays help manage and secure products like smartphones and IoT devices.

The displays allow devices to remain charged and ready for customer interaction but also feature alarms to mitigate shoplifting and theft.

Combined with software such as InVue Insight, retailers can then track customer engagement with each product.

 

On-shelf availability sensors

Sometimes it’s small yet simple things that can improve in-store efficiency and the customer experience.

on-shelf availability sensor

For example, on-shelf availability sensors are a smart tool that alerts retailers when specific items are running low. These sensors help eliminate out of stocks and offer increased insight into product demand.

 

Insights

Tying these sensors and tools together are smart platforms like InVue LIVE. The software allows retailers to track, manage and gain insight into products and customer interaction in real-time.

The ecosystem connects tools like TV Manager, smartphone displays and on-shelf availability sensors that monitor products, and alert staff when action is required.

In the process, it provides analytics and insight into customer engagement, store performance and more.

 

Smart keys

For retailers looking to understand customer interaction with a product and improve the customer experience, tools like smart keys and locks offer a neat solution.

smart keys for retail stores - what is a smart store

These keys can be programmed to open one or more locks, while also tracking what cabinet, drawer or display has been accessed by a member of staff.

Together this allows for faster more efficient customer service, while also addressing issues like employee theft and shoplifting.

Combined with analytics it can also provide valuable clues into a store’s conversion rate.

 

Analytics

When used in conjunction with general analytics, each of these tools helps paint a clear picture of exactly what is going on instore, offering essential clues into conversion, customer service, store performance, product merchandising and more.

You can learn more about the smart technology that is available to streamline and improve your retail operation here.