Guest contribution • 19.04.2021

Retail at the edge of change

The value of real-time data analytics for retailers

Seismic shifts in the retail sector in the last year have put unprecedented pressure on retailers to bounce back and make the most of the first half of 2021. With disruption expected to continue, retailers must also set themselves up for maximum resilience and this means assessing their digital transformation strategies. 

In addition to functional requirements such as e-commerce platforms and contactless payment options, retailers also need to consider competitive offerings like real-time stock checking, in-store navigation and personalized recommendations and offers. In-store Wi-Fi networks will prove invaluable – not just to facilitate these digital initiatives but also to help unlock more accurate analytics as anonymizing features to stop tracking become more prevalent on Apple and Android devices. 

man with glasses looks at the camera
The author of this article is Axel Simon, Chief Technologist DACH at HPE Aruba.
Source: HPE Aruba

This will mean two things: Firstly, the volume of data will continue to grow and to survive, retailers need to get smarter about how they harness, analyze, secure, and store the data at their disposal, or risk grinding to a standstill and losing their competitive advantage. Secondly, the next seismic shift will be the move to the “Edge”.

Where is the edge?

The “Edge” is defined as the place where people, devices, and things connect to the digital world. It’s where enterprises interact with their customers, where manufacturers build products, where employees interact with their colleagues, and where people explore, shop, entertain, and learn. An Intelligent Edge orchestrates connectivity and compute services centrally so that data from users and devices is processed close to where that data is generated: enabling real-time analysis and surfacing actionable insights that can be used to uncover efficiencies and improve business outcomes. 

So, what will this move look like for retailers? While full adoption of “Edge technologies” is still at an early stage, some key trends have already begun to emerge. Here’s what we’re seeing. 

There has been an uptick in the adoption of Edge technology

The Edge will soon be mainstream. According to our latest survey 74% of retailers are actively using Edge technologies to deliver outcomes (either in pilot or production deployment). The majority (83%) also acknowledge that an integrated system for handling data at the Edge is an urgent requirement. 

Retailers should not dismiss this urgency. Our results suggest there is a capabilities gap growing between those who deploy at the Edge and those lagging. Looking at the results across industries 78% of organizations in production deployment say they are creating actionable insights from the data extracted to improve business decisions and processes. Comparatively, only 31% of those trialling projects in the next year, and 24% of organizations waiting beyond this year, report the same ability.

Printed circuit board with wires and contacts
Source: PantherMedia/VadimVasenin
“A retailer with no network is like a car with no tyres.” (User testimonial: Laurent Briffaud, head of IT, Decathlon UK)

Driving efficiencies, and, ultimately, enhancing the customer experience

The Edge may be a growing necessity, but it is also a huge opportunity. Retailers are capitalizing on the enhanced potential of real-time data through a number of key use cases. Of those already deploying Edge technologies in some guise, 51% are utilizing the Edge to continuously track and monitor items through the supply chain, while 50% are using it to provide customers with automated, instantaneous calculations of their shopping cart’s price and environmental footprint. Another 46% are offering deep personalization of live retail experiences through targeted offers, and 45% are applying dynamic pricing based on footfall and sales volume data.

This is just the beginning, with retailers also looking at more innovative areas such as VR and multi-sensory experiences that allow customers to try on clothes and examine goods virtually. 

More agility across the industry

The closer a business gets to where data is being generated, the greater its visibility and responsiveness should become in turn. Our research revealed that this agile approach to data is greatly needed by retailers – on average, retailers are at least 12 months away from being able to act on much of their data, largely because of shrinking budgets and the daunting cost of implementation.

Data analytics, business intelligence, innovation management – read on:

The growing trend towards “as-a-service” provider models would address this by offering flexible financial and consumption options across hardware, software, and management operations. An agile approach to data also demands speed and open access, but securing and monitoring users, devices and things is time-consuming and hard to nuance in an external environment that presents ever more threat. Survey responses reflected this – other significant concerns cited by retailers were a lack of available skills (30%) and security implications (26%). 

At the same time, 46% said that an increase in security would be one of the biggest benefits of capturing data from user devices, and 75% indicated that IoT adoption would have a positive impact on security in the next two years. The Edge would enable retailers to keep up with the growing demands of security, while freeing up IT capacity to focus on the most complex problems and important opportunities.

Optimized data usage

The Edge is not just about the innovative use cases of data that can be processed and harnessed in real-time; it is also about a more efficient approach to capitalizing on data, one that removes cost, increases speed and reliability, and allows retailers to deliver the experiences that are now necessary to survival. 

The good news for retailers is that while shifting to the Edge requires a new mindset and approach, it does not mean they necessarily need to prepare for a costly and complex transition.

“We can send up-to-date and relevant promotional offers to our visitors' smartphones as they [...] walk past a particular store. We can tell them [...] that their favorite store is running a special promotion.” (User testimonial: Markus Aumair, CEO and founder, PlusCity)
Author: Axel Simon, HPE Aruba

related articles:

popular articles:

Thumbnail-Photo: The first cashier-free supermarket inaugurated in Dubai...
21.10.2021   #food retail #refrigeration cabinets

The first cashier-free supermarket inaugurated in Dubai

Unmanned stores with remote-controlled counters

“The world of retail is evolving and digital transformation will be the engine of change. Customers are increasingly demanding and they are asking for a fast, pleasant and safe shopping experience. The innovation will support retailers in this ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Cloud POS technology – shaping up the future of retail and restaurant...
30.09.2021   #marketing research #POS software

Cloud POS technology – shaping up the future of retail and restaurant industries

The escalating trend of online payments is expected to strengthen the cloud POS market up to 2026

The digital payment landscape is transforming incredibly, worldwide. With specific technological advancements and penetration of cloud systems being a top priority, various corporations, retailers, and in-store leaders have pivoted to the use of ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Global Retailing Ideas Summit 2022
12.10.2021   #retail #event

Global Retailing Ideas Summit 2022

27.04.-29.04.2022 | Arizona

GR | Global Retailing will be a global hub for innovative ideas and thinking in retail from April 27-29, 2022 in Arizona. Through our free idea platform and annual summit, retail and brand leaders from across the country and beyond are able to ...

Thumbnail-Photo: RetailTech Japan 2022
11.10.2021   #brick and mortar retail #retail

RetailTech Japan 2022

01.03.-04.03.2022 | Tokyo, Japan

RETAILTECH JAPAN is Japan's largest and most influential trade show specializing in retail information systems. It will be staged in Tokyo on 01.03.-04.03.2021. There is a wide range of cutting-edge retail information technology ranging from ...

Thumbnail-Photo: MWC Barcelona 22 – Mobile World Congress
13.10.2021   #e-commerce #retail

MWC Barcelona 22 – Mobile World Congress

28.02. - 03.03.2022 | Barcelona

It’s time to reconnect, reimagine, and reinventMWC Barcelona is the world’s most influential event for the connectivity industry. From 28 February to 03 March 2022 world-leading companies and trailblazers share the latest thought ...

Thumbnail-Photo: E-Commerce Expo Asia 2022
11.10.2021   #e-commerce #brick and mortar retail

E-Commerce Expo Asia 2022

12.10.-13.13.2022 | Singapur

Discover all the end-to-end knowledge in the e-commerce space at E-Commerce Asia 2022 on Oct. 12-13, including Customer Experience, Mobile Commerce, Cross Border Commerce, e-Commerce Trade Strategy, Supply Chain Management, Omni-Channel Retail, to ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Success at c-stores with workforce optimization...
08.10.2021   #retail #personnel management

Success at c-stores with workforce optimization

Despite the turbulence of the past year, C-stores are almost certainly due for a promising quarter–or more.

The pandemic’s effects are receding, and the public is itching to spend and move about again. In fact, many retailers expect consumers to make both routine and leisure trips at pre-COVID-19 levels.This means C-store associates will be ...

Thumbnail-Photo: GLORY Announces IoT Enabled Vending Solution with Deutsche Bahn...
22.10.2021   #Cash #hygiene

GLORY Announces IoT Enabled Vending Solution with Deutsche Bahn

Delivering 24/7 convenient access to fresh, local produce helping consumers to make sustainable choices

Global technology company Glory, has today announced the launch of a new Internet-of-Things enabled vending solution with Germany’s largest railway operator Deutsche Bahn.Passengers at two busy stations in the Munich area will now be able to ...

Thumbnail-Photo: K5 Future Retail Conferenz 2022
12.10.2021   #e-commerce #brick and mortar retail

K5 Future Retail Conferenz 2022

29.06.-30.06.2022 | Berlin

The K5 FUTURE RETAIL CONFERENCE in Berlin is the leading event for digital retail in the DACH region. As part of the K5 FUTURE RETAIL CONFERENCE in Berlin, more than 150 speakers, movers and shakers and innovators from the German e-commerce ...

Thumbnail-Photo: E-commerce Germany Awards are back to business!...
11.11.2021   #online trading #e-commerce

E-commerce Germany Awards are back to business!

Awards presented in categories such as Omnichannel, Logistics, Payment, Analytics and IT Solution

We're not only bringing back the E-commerce Berlin Expo in February 2022, but also all the events associated with it. E-commerce Germany Awards is, of course, one of them. There are exciting times ahead, so let's find out what they will ...

Supplier

CCV GmbH
CCV GmbH
Gewerbering 1
84072 Au i.d.Hallertau
EuroShop
EuroShop
Stockumer Kirchstraße 61
40474 Düsseldorf
Reflexis Systems GmbH
Reflexis Systems GmbH
Kokkolastr. 5-7
40882 Ratingen
POS TUNING Udo Voßhenrich GmbH & Co KG
POS TUNING Udo Voßhenrich GmbH & Co KG
Am Zubringer 8
32107 Bad Salzuflen
iXtenso - retail trends
iXtenso - retail trends
Celsiusstraße 43
53125 Bonn
APG Cash Drawer
APG Cash Drawer
4 The Drove
BN9 0LA Newhaven
Citizen Systems Europe GmbH
Citizen Systems Europe GmbH
Otto-Hirsch-Brücken 17
70329 Stuttgart
GLORY Global Solutions (Germany) GmbH
GLORY Global Solutions (Germany) GmbH
Thomas-Edison-Platz 1
63263 Neu-Isenburg