The emergence of the IoT has had a positive impact in the development of seamless retail, but these solutions pale by comparison with the functionality of the smartphone
The development of the Internet of Things (IoT) allows a variety of connected smart devices to link shoppers to purchases. This has been instrumental in supporting and furthering the alignment of physical and digital channels – a concept we now know as seamless retail.
With the advent of IoT, if a customer wants to place an order, they no longer have to log into a website or an app. Instead, consumers can directly shop via connected smart devices such as the voice-activated Amazon Echo. They can even rely on fridges and printers which track their usage and notify them when ink or milk is running low. Some connected devices even complete the task of consumption by placing automatic orders or adding items to digital shopping lists.
To work efficiently, however, seamless retail needs to have a solid foundation that can support hidden supply chain complexities. The customer wants to see uniformity across all channels, whether they are looking at pricing, availability, special offers or product information. To deliver this, retailers need real-time, back-end inventory awareness.
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