Discover 3 smart ways that grocery and general merchandise retailers may use AI and IoT in their stores

When it comes to brick and mortar stores, particularly grocery and goods merchants, margins have always been slim, and competition has always been fierce in these markets.

Getting an upper hand in terms of advantages is therefore one of the primary ways in which to expand revenue, increase customer satisfaction and grow the business for years to come. Today we are exploring how Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things can help stores around the world achieve all of this.

Using data to increase customer interest

One popular area that has seen a lot of adoption over the recent years is the various methods that involve predictive analytics. These methods are used to create customer-specific data points that the business can then explore. 

From recording videos of the customer sales experience to AI that assists in predicting which items would cross-sell best, there are many ways to achieve results, and more methods are sure to be discovered in the future.

One interesting method was tested in Germany, where they used predictive analytics to improve sales of certain products by focusing on the lighting that showcased the products. By using data to learn about customer behaviour, the hypermarket chain tried mixing soft pastel coloured lights with traditional spotlights, and by using motion sensors to detect customer traffic, they measured an increase in traffic of 15% to the areas with the customised lighting.

AI and IoT in groceries and general merchandise retailers
AI and IoT in groceries and general merchandise retailers

Using AI and IoT for maintenance

Not everything has to do with customers directly, and both AI and IoT can be used for optimising the administrative side of the business as well. When it comes to equipment, grocery shops, in particular, have high maintenance, replacement, and upgrade costs.

By using AI and IoT, it becomes possible to predict and report on potential issues, before they turn into expensive problems. Microsoft has pioneered a solution for coolers that use location and temperature sensors to allow for optimal conditions based on machine learning and minimise the downtime required due to repairs and technical issues.

Serving customised prices and offers for customers

When customers agree to have certain data collected about them, it becomes possible to truly customise their experience. This can mean offering certain discounts for customers that only are available in periods where people would be less likely to shop. 

Dynamic price adjusting can be used in many ways, but when combined with AI and IoT, it can lead to growth when done correctly. One great example of this is a European non-food retailer using AI to calculate which products had the greatest impact when discounted, leaving better margins and an overall increase in profits.

Final thoughts

In terms of history, we are writing the first few pages of the chapter about artificial intelligence and retail. Much is yet to be explored, which means the businesses that act first stand to gain the most. Many methods are already proven to yield positive returns, and more will surely follow. 

Further Reading

If you enjoyed this post: How groceries and general merchandise retailers can utilise AI and IoT in their stores, be sure to check out our recent IoT and AI pilot with Adnams here: AI and IoT for retailers how physical stores can enhance customer experience

Proven benefits of Alertiee technology

Alertiee will help you realise missing sales opportunities, stores’ performance based on conversion rate, and stores’ sales hotspots areas.

We support and guide you through how you best convert both inside and outside traffic opportunities by supplying you with options around service risks and how to serve your existing and potential new customers best.

Alertiee will help you to provide a harmonious customer experience across your omnichannel business. Our technology enables customer experience, marketing and retail teams to close the gap between customers’ digital experience and their physical experience.

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Sahand Malek