IIoT a key enable for shopping malls to create bonding links with customers

October 11, 2016

IIoT is a giant network of connected things, with relationships between people and people, people and things, and things and things.

Shopping malls have always championed technologies that help them get closer to customers, improve the centre experience, drive people through the door and encourage them to spend and return, so it is no surprise that they are also at the forefront of IIoT adoption as the physical and digital worlds move closer together.

How can shopping malls take advantage of IIoT opportunities:

 Get connected – tapping into mobile technologies

Location-based technologies, such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), leverage shoppers’ mobile phones and in-store sensors to passively gather shopper behavioural trends, providing mall managers and their tenants with valuable insights. Acting on these insights enables management to tailor a more personalised approach in order to delight and entertain customers.

Taking this one step further, shoppers who are happy to download an app then enable mobile devices and in-store sensors to effectively ‘talk’ to each other. This means consumers can receive personalised information, relevant offers and communications in real-time. For marketing teams, this is an opportunity to start a dialogue with customers as soon as they enter the centre, or sometimes even before – a fantastic way to improve your one-to-one shopper engagement.

The whole picture: obtaining a clear view of the path to purchase

Using additional location-based data such as people counting and in-store analytics, mall managers are able to understand how shoppers are interacting within the centre by piecing together insight into:

  • which entrance and exit points shoppers are using
  • which zones are receiving the highest percentage of traffic
  • how promotions and events are influencing the customer journey
  • how long, on average, consumers spend in the centre
  • how the customer travels through the centre and which are the most used paths to purchase

Working in harmony, these tools can drive decision-making across marketing, leasing and operations, helping management teams create the right tenant mix, inform staffing and security operations and create engaging events and promotions. The more information you gather the more you learn, the more you can act on, the better the experience.

Crucially, if a shopper leaves the centre without making a purchase it no longer means it’s the end of the journey. The shopping centre can send a follow-up email based on data gathered via a mobile app – this might include information relevant to the shopper’s tastes and may vary from vouchers for favourite retailers to discounted parking.

 Big data, big opportunity

The number of smart objects is expected to skyrocket in 2016; in fact Cisco IBSG has predicted that, by 2020, there will be 50 billion devices connected to the Internet. While the scope of opportunity is extremely exciting, the figures can seem a little overwhelming.

Shopping centre managers must be able to make sense of large amounts of data if they are to act upon it with confidence. Retail analytics platforms can help visualise the information and provide context by integrating insight from within the centre with external data sources, such as weather for example, providing a single view of what’s influencing the customer journey.

Benefits of IIoT to  malls and other large-scale shopping centers

Between enhanced lighting in the retail stores, giant electrical displays, and space heating and cooling, shopping malls have a very high energy demand. With the cost of energy on the rise, no one can afford to be paying for power that isn’t used efficiently.

If you are a property owner or manager of a retail shopping center, decreasing your energy consumption is a great way to improve your bottom line and reduce your facility’s carbon footprint. The easiest way to get started saving energy is by implementing an energy tracking & monitoring system by using the IIOT concept.

Here’s how IIOT power monitoring systems can benefit malls and other large-scale shopping centers:

  • Increase awareness of energy consumption through submetering.Intelligent Submeters, can not only track the overall energy consumption of your facility, but they can provide segmented data as well. See how much energy is being used to power your lights, HVAC system, signage, and more.
  • Identify areas where energy savings can be attained. Once you have a basic understanding of how your facility is using power, you can identify areas of inefficiency. Common weak areas include: common areas such as lobbies and bathrooms, food courts, HVAC systems, and tenants with high electric consumption.
  • Implement energy reduction programs and monitor progress.After identifying areas where savings can be attained,  the design of a power-saving program to reduce wasted energy can be done. Once fully implemented, you can keep using your energy management system to track your progress and continue to make improvements.

Saving energy in buildings such as Shopping Malls is a possibility for everyone to reduce the environmental impact of our energy usage habits and at the same time to drop down the costs!

Tips for shopping centres looking to embark on their IIoT journey:

  • Use traffic data to analyse the path to purchase – from the car park to the centre to the point of sale
  • Marry this with location-based technologies such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and BLE to gain a better understanding of customer behaviour
  • Make decisions based on behavioural patterns to increase loyalty, reinforce branding, drive promotions and cross-sell
  • Use this insight to personalise engagements with your customers at the right time in the right place
  • Tailor reporting using a retail analytics platform that can analyse and benchmark performance across marketing and operations

IIoT offers new ways to make better decisions in the shopping centre and the technologies available to gather shopper intelligence are key in providing a 360° view of the customer.

Are you looking to improve the efficiency of IIoT in your business . Learn how Anglo African team can help you to implement an IIoT strategy for your enterprise needs. The Anglo African team is fully committed to helping you in achieving your  new vision to drive operations to the fullest potential. For specific queries, get in touch with Navin by calling on: 2331636 or via e-mail at navin.mautbar@infosystems.mu .

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