M2M Makes Shopping Interactive


The retail experience is evolving rapidly with the help of M2M and connected devices. In the not too distant future consumers will be able to manage the shopping basket, loyalty benefits, and more on connected devices—all while shopping. What’s more, the dining experience is also developing, with servers and hostesses able to offer diners new services.

With the rise of online and mobile shopping options, traditional brick-and-mortar stores have a big task to get shopper in the doors. M2M and connected devices offer interactive in-store shopping experiences that could be enticing to buyers. A recent study from Exolevel, www.exolevel.com, shows roughly half of consumers believe the best thing for retailers to do to improve the shopping experience is to better integrate in-store, online, and mobile shopping channels.

The technology to enable such an experience is becoming more readily available for retailers. Last week, NXP Semiconductors, www.nxp.com, and SES (Store Electronic Systems), www.store-electronic-systems.com, set forth on a joint venture to enable large-scale adoption of NFC (near-field communication) technology in the retail industry. SES offers an electronic shelf label solution that can integrate with NXP’s NFC NTAG chips.

What does this partnership mean for retail? Shops will now be able to offer different services to brands including digital marketing, social media integration, personalized cross-selling, up-selling, and loyalty schemes. For consumers, shopping will no longer be the same. Customers will have more information at their fingertips including origin and manufacturing of products, calorie counts, and allergy alerts. Simply by tapping their phone on the price label, consumers can also manage their shopping basket and gain loyalty benefits.

The dining experience is also changing with the help of M2M and connected devices. As one example, Next Gen Dine from Prelag Partners, www.nextgendine.com, gives restaurants a cloud-based Web and mobile point-of-sale software for use on tablet devices such as the iPad and iPad mini.

With technology such as this in place, managers can keep track of employee schedules and make changes to the menu. Servers can take orders and payments and send an order to the corresponding prep station in the kitchen. Additionally, servers can combine orders, split checks, track bar tabs, sort items on the menu, and track orders.

What’s more, hostesses can add reservations to the system and a reservation confirmation can automatically be sent via text message or page to a customer when their table is ready.

These are just two examples of how technology is shaking up the retail and dining industry. This week, at the Value Chain Awards Gala being held on Wednesday evening as part of the Connected World Conference, companies will be honored for innovative uses of technology in categories such as consumer packaged goods, agriculture, automotive, vending, energy, healthcare, and much more.

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June/July 2014
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