Connected devices are emerging as a modern way for grocers to decrease food spoilage and energy waste losses. With bottom-line advantages, it is not surprising to experience some of the biggest business giants are putting internet of things (IoT) techniques to work and enhance the operating results.
According to Talk Business, Walmart uses IoT for different tasks like tracking food temperature, equipment energy outputs, etc. IoT apps help monitor refrigeration units for several products such as milk cold, ice cream, etc. It reports back to a support team if sensors have intimate equipment difficulties fixed without serious malfunctions and minimal downtime.
IoT solutions are used broadly during Walmart's massive store footprint. The connected devices send a total of 1.5 billion messages each day. Throughout the grocery business, IoT is leveraged to enhance food safety and decrease excessive energy consumption. IoT solutions allow food retailers to reduce food spoilage by 40% and experience a net energy saving of 30%.
It was forecasted that in 2018 grocers lose around $70 million per year due to food spoilage. However, large chains are losing hundreds of millions due to the same. Hence most grocers have started implementing sustainability-focused IoT technology to avoid wastage and increase their business profit to a great extent.
Explore How IoT Helps to Offer Safer Shopping Experience to Shoppers
People prepare to stock up food in preparation; however, there are numerous challenges that the pandemic raised in front of retails. But more retail trends are an answer to all the challenges, beginning from product moving to stock and much more.
It also helps to ensure safe and healthy deliveries to customers' doorsteps, especially whenever they need it. Harvard study shows that grocery shopping is a high-risk activity than traveling on an airplane during COVID 19 pandemic. With COID 19 pandemic raging, retailer stores need to provide an efficient shopping experience; they must look for ways that help them overcome exposure and the risk of infection as customers venture to the store for food.
Most grocers turn towards modern technology such as IoT to help retailers or supermarkets offer safe service and meet the bottom lines. By placing internet of things devices throughout the store, smart grocery carts, baskets, etc., grocers can help make experiences more efficient and safer. Let's check how IoT is helping retailer businesses to overcome today's challenging scenarios and stop food spoilage.
Smart Stock Monitoring
Retailers keep warehouses full of goods to ensure that they don't run when there is high demand. And by integrating IoT-enabled sensors, retailers can easily detect weight on sleeves at warehouses and stores. It also helps them determine popular item lists; keeping track of items helps retailers restock them and prevent overstocking a particular product.
Guaranteeing Timely Deliveries
The report shows that 66% of customers anticipate they will increase online shopping in 2020. Undoubtedly online shopping is a new norm these days; most people prefer to order their daily essentials using a grocery delivery mobile app. However, it becomes vital for brands to ensure timely delivery. It's a critical factor, especially when it comes to customer satisfaction, especially when there is a lack of traditional consumer engagement like a friendly salesperson.
And by integrating IoT-enabled devices into containers and shipments, retailers can quickly obtain insight into shipments. They can even track real-time updates to keep their customers up to date on the approximate delivery time. It's critical, especially when you want to achieve excellent customer experiences in the eCommerce market.
However, data collected using IoT-enabled devices can help you drive the supply chain effectively by empowering retailers with root optimization for ensuring fast delivery. The IoT can play a crucial role, especially when it comes to recognizing warehouse delays. It also helps to optimize delivery operations for better and quicker service.
Manage Store Capacity
With the new COVID 19 safety guidelines to follow, IoT helps retailers ensure their customer's safety by supporting social distancing rules. For example, retailers can place IoT sensors at the entrance and exit to efficiently monitor traffic and grocery carts. The sensors provide accurate and up-to-date details. Details enable retailers to efficiently operate capacity, ensuring safety, and eliminates the need for store "bouncers" at exit and entrance.
Retailers can offer a safe and unique shopping experience by benefiting from IoT. It helps them with contact monitoring and social distancing as well. Retailers can provide shoppers with IoT-enabled wearables paired with the shopper's mobile phone through their branded app. It helps shoppers detect whether they are too close to another shopper and report them through their phone and record the incident.
Combating COVID 19: How IoT is Helping Retailers?
Preventing food spoilage, saving energy, and reducing waste are good practices for grocery stores helping them to increase their profit margin. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, digital resilience has boosted drastically.
Many brands and retailers, however, put a pause on initiatives during COVID 19. But to ensure their survival and profit margins, they need to start with new strategies and techniques. Check few IoT use cases that retailers are considering these days:
Although supermarkets have practiced video surveillance technologies for the last many years, some brands are repurposing these systems to enhance their inventory management practices. Cameras would monitor consumer behaviors and help retailers to prevent theft.
As the customer's purchase preference changes constantly, it becomes essential for grocery stores to start stocking more perishable goods. A 2018 survey shows that more than 60% of retailers integrate refrigerators to store fresh products at their stores and meet customers' growing demand.
And by monitoring customers' purchasing patterns, grocery stores can gauge how much extra produce they need to acquire and how unexpected surges and falls in the market will affect their margins.
Autonomous Cleaning Robots
To promote social distancing, grocery stores are taking all essential precautions. They have implemented a rigorous cleaning schedule to reduce the risk of COVID 19 spread. Retailers are focusing on sanitizing and disinfecting frequent touch surfaces using autonomous cleaning robots.
Robots can be controlled using IoT-based devices and help to sanitize various parts, including doors, shopping carts, countertops, etc. All these tasks demand a reasonable amount of time and employees' attention as well. But performing functions with the help of autonomous cleaning robots can help retailers save their employees time and energy.
Contactless checkout has become increasingly popular over the few years. It has helped supermarkets reduce the requirement for cashier dedication to increase the customers' shopping speed. During the COVID 19 pandemic, the self-service environments have allowed customers a way to acquire essential food, cleaning products, and other day-to-day essentials without having to communicate with supermarket staff directly.
What's Next for Smart Supermarkets?
IoT technologies help supermarkets to tackle new challenges efficiently. Most stores know that they receive products from a different location, which went to a distribution center, making them lose traceability. But with IoT integration, it has become easier for them to track every business activity and provide an internet of shopping experience to customers.
Modern IoT technology makes it possible for grocery stores to track every activity at each stage. It becomes crucial for the health and safety of your customers, while it helps to handle top purchase priorities. It helps grocery stores exist and maintain healthy purchasing trends. IoT initiatives provide the shopping 2.0 infrastructure like smart shelves, carts, cashless, and other options that change the primary service experience.