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Internet of Things & Digital Commerce

Business Use Cases – IoT & Retail

May 25, 2017

Amanpreet Singh, Zensar DCS Intern – IIM Bangalore


Internet of Things & Digital Commerce

Business Use Case Document – IoT & Retail

Below is the list of certain identified general use cases that can leverage the concepts of IoT and analytics (predictive or edge) to enhance customer experience and add to our market offerings. The retailer type has been mentioned in each use case.

List of Retailer Use Cases:

  1. Proximity Marketing – Real time promotions
  2. Rewards - Personalized digitized coupons for walk in/ nearby passing customers
  3. Smart CRM - Data driven push sales
  4. Indoor mapping solutions for Wayfinding , in store navigation
  5. Barcode scan Information display / Online info display
  6. RFID enabled customer loyalty card
  7. Smart shelves for dynamic product info
  8. Smart mirrors – Dynamic try in and customer alerts
  9. Store layout optimization / Energy Management
  10. Gamification for enhanced in store experience
  11. Smart Vending machines
  12. IoT enabled in store Conversational User interface chat bots
  13. Automated contactless checkout / check in
  14. Smart packaging – Maintenance , Warranty & Theft Management
  15. Wait time estimation & Queue Management
  16. Logistics – Last mile delivery
  17. Warehouse operations – Smart Inventory
  18. IoT enabled smart parking

In house Zensar office use case: A pilot use case designed for Zensar office that can use IoT capabilities to improve employee tracking, time sheet management, meeting room bookings and much more. This very use case can serve as a testing pilot for testing our capabilities in IoT and analytics space.

Client specific Use case list: From the use cases documented , a tabular list of use cases that may be specifically relevant to our Zensar DCS clients based on their retail vertical say apparels, departmental store etc.

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Use Case 1: Proximity Marketing – Real Time Promotions

Use Case Name: Real Time Promotions

Identifier: UC 1

Description: Provide real time promotion offers and discounts to customers as they enter a specific area of store

Preconditions: The store has a well established IoT infrastructure (beacons, RFID) in place to track customer movement and display real time results on retailer mobile app / aisle specific kiosk / smart physical shopping carts used by customers.

Retailer type (Apparel, Electronic Merchandise, Groceries, Toys):  Generic for all (American Eagle, Michael Kors, Kohl’s, BestBuy, ToysRus)

User type (First time User, Frequent Customer, Loyalty Card Holder, Offline Only User):  Generic with modifications

Use Case facilitator (Mobile App, In-Store Kiosk, Smart Carts): Generic based on user preference

Basic Course of Action:

1. The use case begins when a customer enters a retail store. A loyalty card holder can punch in his card at the entrance to automatically load his profile. A retail mobile app user can subsequently punch in to the in store module of the app and the store is automatically notified of his entrance. A first time user can choose to enter his/her preferences at the entrance kiosk to received promotional offers or do so afterwards (Alternate Course A).

2. The user can choose to continue with his mobile app or avail a smart cart to serve as a UI platform for receiving offer notifications. The smart cart loads into a personalized shopping vehicle as in user enter their customer ID or scan their loyalty card at the sensor placed on the cart.

3. The user enters a particular aisle of the store say health foods for groceries store or trousers for an apparel store and gets notified of the ongoing offers of products kept on a specific shelf. Promotional rewards are in the form of coupons, discounts, or deals. The offers keep changing with user’s movement in the aisle are constantly displayed on the mobile app or smart cart screen.

4. A second level improvisation of this use case involves analytics to track past user purchase records, their e-commerce website wish list with the retailer and display promotional offers based on user interest. Offers are typically sent based on variables like the customer’s shopping history, personal preferences, location, as well as real-time weather, traffic, and special events. The offers change based on the type and quantity of products already in the cart. Loyalty points based offers are also included for loyalty card holders.

5. The user avails the real time offer by accepting offer terms on mobile app/cart and adds the purchased items to his/her cart. After the user completes its shopping journey, user is asked for feedback on offers received which is further used to improve their experience next time they visit the store.

6. The use case ends when the user makes the payment and checks out of the store.

Alternate Course A: First time customers are asked to create a profile using in store kiosk or download the mobile app for a better shopping experience before or after the completion of his shopping journey. If not, the users are displayed with standard offers on each aisle.

Existing Implementations (if any):  Walgreens is using an IoT enabled reward app that displays real time promotions.

Business Benefits:   Implementation of the above use case

  • An opportunity to up sell leading to higher sales revenue  as users prefer to buy more and high quality products when offered on discount
  • A seamless shopping experience to different customer types. The user is insisted to spend more time in the stores leading to a higher cart value
  • With personalized offers on board, more users are set to enroll the loyalty program to avail in store discounts. More loyalty customers means frequent store visits leading to high sales
  • Increased number of retailer app downloads enabling opportunities to tie up with leading brands for promotions leading to higher business value
  • The data received from in store purchase patterns can be used to boost online sales by catering users with offers on products they generally like and frequently purchase

Use Case 2: Proximity Marketing – Rewards Based Pull

Use Case Name: Personalized digitized coupons for walk in/ nearby passing customers

Identifier: UC 2

Description: Provide promotional offers and discounts to customers as they are in vicinity of the retail store or pass by it

Preconditions: The store has a well established IoT infrastructure & Geo fencing capabilities  on the outside (beacons, RFID sensors) in place to track customer movement and display real time results on retailer mobile app used by customers.

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