The retail industry has demonstrated resiliency through many challenges over the years. News headlines often report on the bankruptcies of retailers and brick and mortar store closures, demonstrating a visible shift in how consumers are shopping for products.
Omnichannel strategies combine online with in-store channels, yielding a better experience that meets customers where they prefer to shop. It has been the chosen strategy for retailers aimed at surviving in the industry for years to come. A 2017 report indicates that 73% of shoppers use multiple channels for their shopping, adding credibility to those savvy retailers who have invested in their websites to optimize the online shopping experience.¹ As retailers plan and move toward the future, hybrid shoppers (the majority of shoppers today) will still make purchases at both retail locations and online shopping sites.
Therefore, for competitive retailers, it's not enough to have a storefront location and a cool website app to show business value and relevancy. So how can retailers ensure that their brick and mortar locations provide the highest levels of customer experience, which include shopping convenience and engagement while also providing operational efficiencies, enhanced data analytics and insights that can increase marketing impact and effectiveness? The answers lie in intelligent, connected retail solutions.
Intelligent Connected Building Solutions for Retail
In a recent white paper sponsored by Acuity Brands, Casey Talon from Navigant reviews intelligent connected building technologies helping retailers compete and close the gap between online and offline. Retailers can level up their stores, creating dynamic technology-enabled shopping experiences powered through smarter, connected lighting and other solutions like enterprise system integration and advanced controls and sensors.
Retailers can confidently step into the future by including a variety of IoT solutions. These solutions help physical locations create a more engaging and enhanced customer experience for targeted shopper channels by aligning store and online activity. "Beyond potential increased revenue for retailers, this can enhance the customer shopping experience, help increase customer loyalty, and provide brick-and-mortar retailers a solution to address this shift in the retail landscape," said Krystal Maxell, Navigant analyst.²
Moving Past the Pain Points
There are many pain points experienced by retailers:
- Price pressure from increased multichannel and online retailers
- Gaps in customer data relative to online retail analytics
- Operational inefficiencies
- Customer attraction and retention
- Inconsistent performance between store locations
However, installing intelligent connected solutions can solve for many of these challenges, in addition to others not yet presented to the business.³ By enabling the sharing and aggregation of data in a way that provides powerful insights, data can be provided that in turn helps retailers pivot digital marketing to their customer interests and even notify associates of customers in need of help while in the store. The information is collected through a series of smart sensors, lighting controls via connected LEDs and software which enable retailers to implement the solutions that offer immediate savings on energy and enhance the store experience.
The value proposition for connecting retail lighting and systems can be scalable for every business and facility type. This can be accomplished by targeting a few quick wins if you have a smaller budget (such as a single store LED installation) or implementing an entire suite of lighting solutions (enterprise-wide LED retrofit and IoT platform for omni-channel shopping) to best meet your company’s goals and objectives.
Beyond the Lights
Lighting is one of the most powerful use cases for retail digital transformation and the most visible advancement that can be made in a retail location. To take it a step further, what if you could connect to a Building Management System to receive further insights such as information on inventory levels and energy performance from sensors connected in the store? These scenarios and more are possible. Retailers will garner the most benefit from implementing intelligent solutions in their locations when the value is aligned against these three facets of the business - building, people and the organization – or the Connected Facility.
Looking to learn more about transforming your retail experience with intelligent connected facility solutions designed for the retail industry?
Download the white paper and contact us today to learn more.
Audey is a business leader who works in partnership with executive teams and large companies to transform their connected building spaces with smart lighting to Internet of Things (IoT) technologies. In his role at Acuity Brands, he governs the sales teams across the enterprise. From electronics to lighting, Cash has spent over 15+ years in the building market, transforming spaces to further the success of his clients, people and solutions.
Audey received his BS in Computer Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology and a Master of Business in Finance and Marketing from Lehigh University.