Three M2M pillars in the retail industry
Tuesday, 16 July 2013
From the moment that a customer sees the product’s signage to the payment, the whole retail process can be enhanced with machine-to-machine technology.
The M2M Point-of-Sale (POS) is the most clear example of how wireless connections are becoming a day-to-day technology for retailers. They are even more popular within the restaurant sector. These kinds of terminals are essential to charge credit cards near the table where the customer has eaten.
As far as retailing goes, M2M POS allows shop assistants to provide a better customer service thanks to a more flexible payment method which overcomes physical restrictions and boundaries. Machine-to-machine provides the industry with a secure and easier way of paying.
Berg Insight forecasts that the installed base of cellular POS terminals will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 21.4 percent between 2011 and 2017 to reach 29.4 million units worldwide by 2017.
NFC, on the other hand, is yet another technology solution which will revolutionize the retail industry. PIN codes will no longer be required to finish the payment transaction. You will only need to bring your smartphone close to the NFC terminal and the payment will be done. This will lead to a more rapid and efficent service without the hassle of queues.
However, retailers won’t have to wait until the moment of purchase to make use of M2M in an attempt to provide better customer service. Digital signage is another pillar of the technological changes this industry is going through. Posters are replaced by screens that can show different messages, in the shop or outdoors which change depending on the hour of the day or the kind of clients that visit the store in a given period of time.
Finally, connected vending is another key advantage in the industry which enables remote control and monitorization of these devices, no matter where they are. Other possibilities include lowering the prices of beverages when it’s hotter outside or identifying a person’s physical features with facial recognition technology to recommend one given product.
The increasing adoption of mobile devices in the retail industry is contributing to a huge market growth: a CAGR of 36.92 percent over the period 2012-2016, according to TechNavio's analysts forecast.
Image: Wirawat Lian-udom