Phygital Retail: Blending Physical and Digital Shopping

Shopper using phygital retail technology

The retail landscape has undergone a significant transformation in recent years and one trend that’s gaining traction is the phygital retail experience.

As shoppers increasingly demand a seamless interaction with brands across all touchpoints, phygital retail offers a way to bridge the gap between digital and physical spaces. This approach not only refines the shopping experience but also has the potential to drive sales, with 43% of shoppers indicating they’re likely to spend more with retailers that offer meaningful in-store experiences.

As e-commerce continues to grow, accounting for 24% of global retail sales by 2026, creating an effective phygital strategy will be important for retailers to win and retain customers in this new retail landscape.

What is phygital retail?

Phygital retail is a term that combines the words “physical” and “digital.” It refers to a retail experience that merges the best of both online and offline worlds to create a unique, integrated and seamless shopping experience.

This approach recognizes that today’s consumers want to move smoothly between physical and digital touchpoints. Phygital retail aims to bridge the gap between the two worlds so that customers can enjoy fluid, coherent shopping experiences within an omnichannel retail environment.

How does phygital retail work?

Phygital retail thrives on the integration of multiple touchpoints to create an omnichannel ecosystem where each platform complements the others.

In short, phygital retail works by integrating digital technologies such as augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), in-store digital kiosks, mobile apps, QR codes and the Internet of Things (IoT) into physical stores to optimize the shopping experience.

Benefits of phygital retail

There are several factors that make phygital retail a perfect way to achieve the key elements of a successful shopping experience for all types of retail customers.

Consistent omnichannel shopping

In the core of phygital retail is the idea of creating seamlessness. This means retailers aim to give shoppers a unified and integrated journey across all the different touchpoints they interact with the brand, without any friction or disconnect.

High level of personalization

Post-pandemic, 71% of consumers expect companies to deliver personalized interactions and 76% get frustrated when this doesn’t happen. Personalization is a driving force in modern retail and phygital strategies take personalized experiences to new heights by leveraging customer data, artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms to deliver tailored recommendations, offers, content and interactions to each individual shopper.

Seamless convenience

Retailers can successfully integrate digital elements into their physical stores and physical elements into their digital stores to combine the advantages of both physical and online shopping.

Live video shopping allows customers to interact with a live host or ask questions, see products in action and get as much of a physical experience as possible while shopping online. It’s convenient for avoiding crowds and line-ups during peak seasons and still includes that all-important element of customer engagement.

Enriched customer experience

Some customers want distinctive in-store experiences that cannot be replicated online while also enjoying the flexibility to shop, pay and fulfill orders from any location. Brands can create unforgettable, immersive in-store phygital experiences using technology, lighting, music, visual merchandising and more, while allowing consumers to finalize purchases online.

Others want the convenience and information-rich experience of online shopping while still being able to physically interact with products. Digital kiosks or mobile apps can provide in-depth product info, real customer feedback and personalized recommendations – all right there in the store! This empowers shoppers to make smarter choices with confidence.

Real-time availability updates

One common shopping frustration, especially during busy seasons, is the potential unavailability of popular items. Phygital retail alleviates this issue by offering real-time information on product availability. Customers can easily verify whether a product is in stock at their local store or ready for immediate online delivery, minimizing the likelihood of disappointment from finding items sold out during store visits.

In addition, as AI solutions find their way into the retail landscape, adjustable in-store product displays using digital signage make it possible to update important stock and promotional information almost instantaneously across multiple store locations.

Data-driven insights

The better you understand your customers, the better you can serve their needs. Phygital retail provides data-driven insights that enable businesses to understand customer behavior, preferences, pain points and shopping habits.

This data can be used to tailor marketing strategies, improve customer service and create targeted promotions. Informed decision-making is key to success in the retail industry, combined with effective marketing campaigns and optimized inventory management.


A positive customer experience is proven to yield higher customer-satisfaction rates and boost sales-conversion rates. By creating a phygital retail environment that successfully responds to consumer demand for an engaging, personalized omnichannel shopping experience, brands can dramatically increase individual customer loyalty and reap the many benefits of repeat purchasing.

When to implement phygital retail

Suppose you own both a physical retail store and an online shop, making 25 in-person sales and 200 online sales monthly. It might seem like your brick-and-mortar store isn’t performing well, but a portion of your online sales might actually come from customers who initially visited your physical store and later made their purchase online.

By developing an omnichannel shopping experience, you can maintain engagement with these customers across both platforms, thereby enhancing the potential for repeat business. Phygital retail works in every situation where consumers interact with your brand in both physical store locations and online.

How to implement phygital retail

By merging physical and digital storefronts, retailers can provide a holistic shopping experience that combines the best components of ecommerce and brick-and-mortar business models to boost sales revenue.

Phygital retail can be used on a grand scale, but many businesses can integrate elements of the trend with accessible technology like Electronic Shelf Labels to drive efficient use of data and effective in-store communication.

Here are 5 simple ways to begin implementing phygital retail:

  1. Offer flexible fulfillment options: Allow customers to buy online and pick up in-store (BOPIS) or use curbside pickup, reducing shipping costs and increasing sales.
  2. Streamline checkout: Implement self-checkout or no-checkout options, like Amazon Go’s “just walk out” experience, to digitize the checkout process and make things more convenient for customers.
  3. Implement endless aisles: Offer buy-in-store, ship-to-home options to increase in-store sales and create a seamless customer experience, even when products are out of stock.
  4. Use local push notifications: Communicate with customers through mobile notifications to alert them to new products, special offers and post-purchase follow-ups, building relationships and boosting engagement.
  5. Host pop-up stores: Add a physical presence to online businesses with short-term pop-up shops, allowing customers to engage with products in person and testing the waters for a physical location.

Challenges of implementing phygital retail

Some common challenges of adopting a phygital approach include:

  • Implementing digital technologies
  • Ensuring data privacy and security
  • Overcoming the complexities of maintaining inventories across channels.

Retailers need to choose and invest in technology that supports their current business model and ecommerce tech stack and prioritize data security by implementing robust security measures and complying with data protection regulations.

As with any new strategy, start small, test and then scale.

Examples of phygital retail

Several well-known businesses have already embraced the phygital trend, including Harry Rosen. They have successfully created digital versions of their in-person services, combined the traditional in-store experience with the simplicity and convenience of online shopping and used digital technologies to elevate the physical shopping experience.

Here are three industries that are successfully using a phygital approach for retail success in 2024:

  1. Pharmacies: Some pharmacies have introduced virtual consultations with pharmacists to allow customers to assess their needs at home and proceed to in-store pick-up or delivery at their convenience.
  2. Liquor Stores: Many liquor stores have digital kiosks that allow customers to find information about their accounts digitally. Customers have the option to interact with digital channels while still visiting the physical location. If they have a concern, an actual human is close to assist if needed.
  3. Clothing: Luxury brands are embracing the phygital in creative ways. Guggi uses innovative social media campaigns to catch millennials’ attention and was one of the first to design interactive in-store displays that let customers search through, rewind and pause content with hand gestures.

JRTech is a trusted provider of phygital retail solutions

While some sources, like the New York Times, claim that phygital and omnichannel retail are basically the same thing, there is no doubt that the trend – whatever you want to call it – is here to stay.

Phygital retail has the potential to offer retailers improved operational efficiency and higher profitability, but to make phygital integration a success, retailers need to know which digital technology to implement.

JRTech has a proven track record in providing high-performing digital tools to retailers in various industries.

Contact us today to learn how our digital signage and cutting-edge Electronic Shelf Label technology can help your business embrace the future of phygital retail.

How Digital Signage Boosts Sales for Convenience Stores

convenience store shopper

Convenience stores are reporting record increases in sales, thanks to a changing market landscape and access to proven sales-enhancing technology like digital signage.

During the first 6 months of 2023 alone, convenience store in-store sales had increased by 9.4% compared to the same period in 2022.

Convenience stores are successfully using digital advertising to improve customer experience, implement targeted sales tactics and respond to the increasing demand for self-service options.

Benefits of digital signage in convenience stores

Digital signage is proven to drive convenience and speed, two key elements of customer experience. Since it can be altered in an instant, digital signage opens the door to dramatically improved adaptability. Adaptive product promotion makes it possible for store owners to reduce waste, adjust to demand, respond to inventory challenges and increase margins, all thanks to focused, flexible in-store communication.

1. Food and beverage sales

As convenience stores report steadily increasing user interest in food-on-the-go options, stores that contain Quick Service Restaurants (QSRs) and other related solutions could benefit from significant profits with the right digital signage approach.

Quick-service restaurants can display digital menu boards outside and inside physical store locations, so customers can easily see what’s on offer and make a choice. Providing customers with an enhanced menu increases operational efficiency, and also provides an opportunity for suggestive selling and promoting special offers.

Compelling content is key to upselling and cross-selling, in particular as it concerns beverage purchases. People who visit convenience stores may have a clear purchasing goal in mind, but this does not mean that they are unlikely or unwilling to change their order while they stand in line. In fact, over 40% of American consumers claim to have changed their purchases as a result of being exposed to digital signage while waiting in line.

2. Customer satisfaction

In the current era of personalized shopping experiences, customer engagement has become vital to successful retail operations. Digital signage offers an opportunity to stimulate interest and increase engagement with minimal output by staff and management.

Digital signage is reported to reduce the perceived wait time at checkouts by as much as 35%. In addition, retail firms using digital signage solutions have seen a 46% boost in customer satisfaction. Clearly, a well-implemented digital signage solution can have a major impact on customer satisfaction.

3. Direct in-store traffic

Convenience store owners can implement digital signage to motivate customers to enter store locations and, once inside, to direct traffic. Combine quality visual content and strategic sign location to encourage customers to frequent historically low-traffic areas and take an interest in products or offers that you want to promote.

4. Implement self-service options

Convenience store owners report that labour shortages are their biggest concern in the current business landscape. Digital signage is becoming a recognized solution for providing optimal customer service with minimal staff. Today’s consumers have become comfortable with different forms of self-service experiences, including BOPIS (Buy Online, Pick up In-Store) kiosks and QSR self-ordering kiosks.

In fact, according to a recent survey, 66% of shoppers preferred self-service and self-checkout to interacting with a human representative. Digital signage is now established as a dependable alternative to human-to-human interaction in retail.

Key areas for convenience store digital signage

Convenience stores can benefit most from implementing digital signage in three key areas:

Forecourt: Engage customers with vibrant colours, informative content and up-to-date promotions to create a dynamic and modern shopping environment. Here is a place to communicate fuel prices and highlight loyalty benefits. Remember that digital signage allows for real-time updates without waste, making it an excellent way to improve your convenience store’s sustainability score.

In-store: In-store digital displays have been shown to boost store sales by up to 30% and have long-term effects on customer satisfaction and loyalty. They can help consumers find products quickly.

Personalized promotions via digital signage can lead to better customer experiences and higher customer return rates thanks to dynamic and engaging content. For example, a social media wall allows retailers to display user-generated content alongside their own posts, enabling them to push promotions, encourage follows, and increase brand awareness.

Checkout: Digital signage helps in reducing perceived wait times at the checkout counter, leading to a more positive customer experience. It can also increase sales: Real-time promotion updates encourage impulse purchases, and clearly communicated offers can increase opportunities for cross-selling.

Future trends in convenience store digital signage

As retail continues to transform thanks to developments in AI, digital signage has become a fundamental tool for linking a variety of IoT solutions.

While no-one can predict the future, it is certain that technological solutions that enhance customer engagement, offer opportunities for customizing the purchasing experience and contribute to overall store efficiency and reduce environmental impact will remain a part of every retail outlet, including convenience stores.

JRTech is a trusted provider of digital signage solutions for retail

JRTech has a proven track record in providing retailers with high-performing digital tools. From state-of-the-art digital signage to cutting-edge Electronic Shelf Labels, our solutions are tested and trusted.

Whether you need to increase customer engagement, or you are looking for efficient and effective solutions to inventory management and in-store communication challenges, digital technology offers the means to facilitate change and boost profits in retail.

Contact us today to learn how this technology can help take your convenience store service and operations to the next level.

19 Types of Retail Customers: How to Sell to Every Persona

There are many types of customers in retail, each with their own unique Persona. Understanding the customer’s viewpoint is crucial in any sales situation, but you can go even further by understanding their individual goals and identifying broader behavior tendencies.

Let’s take a look at the types of retail customers in more detail, so you can cater to their precise expectations and needs, and make your retail business thrive!

Retail customer types: before the purchase

Customers who haven’t bought anything yet are often described as being at the ‘awareness’ stage of the marketing funnel. They could become valuable customers, but first you need to encourage them to make a purchase, according to their specific purchasing behaviors. 

There are 10 main types of retail customers that fall into this category.

1. Lookers and unsure customers

Lookers are customers who are just curious. They don’t have a specific purchase in mind and are just browsing around.

What To Do: Whether you run an ecommerce or a brick-and-mortar store, excellent customer service will have a huge impact. Consider installing a chatbot or live chat option on your website. Do everything you can to make your virtual and physical stores appealing and user-friendly, and encourage customer engagement. You can offer assistance or recommendations, without being overly intrusive, and let these potential buyers navigate products at their own pace.

2. Discount customers (bargain hunters)

Discount customers, or bargain hunters, are on the hunt for special offers and discounts. If your products are not on sale, they probably won’t visit your store, in-person or online. They are more focused on price than on the product or the brand.

What To Do: Despite their focus on price, discount shoppers contribute to inventory turnover and tend to shop frequently. Showcase the value you offer, even if your discount isn’t quite as deep as that of your competition. Display promotions on digital signs and use Electronic Shelf Labels to color-code special offers and make it easy for these customers to identify special discounts and deals. If you entice them further with a loyalty program and excellent customer support, or use customer segmentation tools to really hone your offer, bargain hunters can turn into loyal customers.

3. Researchers

Researchers have a clear understanding of their needs and have diligently done their research to compare your brand with competitors. They are not easily swayed by attractive websites or substantial discounts; their focus lies more on benefits and value.

What To Do: Researchers base their decisions on value, price, and product quality. Incorporate social proof, such as testimonials or reviews, to draw them in, and use digital tools to communicate relevant information in-store.

4. Impulse customers

An impulse customer relies on their emotions when making a purchase. They spot a product, it makes them feel good, happy, or excited, and they decide to buy it.

These customers are often open to upselling, especially if you enhance the positive feelings associated with their purchase.

What To Do: Provide a unique or exciting experience to encourage impulse buyers to make purchases. Advertise your promotions and special events clearly, and add atmosphere and interactivity to your store with digital signage. Simplify the checkout process so it is fast and easy both for online and in-store transactions, so they can complete their purchases seamlessly.

5. Unsure customers (indecisive)

These are customers who aren’t sure if they want to purchase or what exactly to buy. Often, they either don’t have enough information or have too much, leading them to feel overwhelmed. Indecisive customers can consume valuable time that could be better put toward nurturing paying customers or engaging in other business-boosting activities.

What To Do: Unsure customers usually hesitate due to a lack of confidence rather than an unwillingness to make a purchase. Engage them in conversation to find out what they need, what their budget is, and how they intend to use the product. Narrow down their choices to two options if possible, then confidently guide them toward a purchase. Remember, each indecisive customer represents an opportunity for a sale, so stay cheerful and avoid displaying frustration.

6. Looking-to-switch customers

These customers are actively seeking to switch brands. Their favourite brand may no longer be available, or they may be dissatisfied with prices or service quality. Looking-to-switch customers present a valuable opportunity to expand your customer base and increase revenues by positioning yourself as an attractive alternative to the brand(s) they know.

What To Do:  Research your competitors and do a SWOT analysis to identify their strengths and weaknesses, then find out what your customers want. Focus on communicating that your brand offers what competitors lack, and present your product or service as the solution to their problems. Offer a unique solution that sets you apart from the competition, such as a better shipping option. By strategically addressing the needs and concerns of customers looking to switch, you could attract and retain their business.

7. Need-based customers

Need-based customers actively search for a solution to a specific need or pain point. They know what they require and are on a quest to find it. Their needs are often recurring, and by successfully addressing their pain points, you could become their go-to source for the product or service they want.

What To Do:  Train salespeople in physical stores and customer support teams in e-commerce businesses to identify and cater to this customer type. Make sure your mobile and e-commerce checkout processes are smooth and secure, and do everything you can to prevent stock-outs.

8. Wandering customers

Wandering customers explore malls or spend time online without a specific purchase in mind. They might enter a physical or online store without a clear intention to buy, just for the fun of exploring and having a unique experience.

What To Do: You can attract wandering customers by putting friendliness at the forefront, both online and in-store. Offer unique experiences such as product sampling. Avoid being intrusive while they’re browsing in-store, as they are probably enjoying the experience and don’t want to feel rushed or pressured.

9. Chatty customers

Chatty customers crave the social aspect of shopping, and may take quite a bit of time to talk and tell stories. They can show enthusiasm, but may not necessarily make a purchase.

What To Do: Chatty customers are not necessarily bad, but they can be a distraction. Be friendly but firm: if you see another customer who needs attention or could benefit from your involvement, excuse yourself politely and move away. Just remember to remain courteous to avoid negative customer service reviews. You can also learn to manage an overly talkative person in ways that won’t backfire.

10. Showroomer

Showroomers are people who may try on clothing or handle products in person, but intend to purchase them online if they can find a better price. You can spot them using their mobile phones to scan products, and scrolling through price comparison apps as they browse. 

What To Do: If possible, try to match your competitors’ prices so the showroomer won’t find a better offer online. Try to convince showroomers that the value of your product is greater than the online option. Remind them they can take their purchase home immediately, with no shipping costs or risk of damage, and they know exactly what they are getting.

Types of retail customers: after the purchase

Customers who have made a purchase have a lot of potential. They’ve made it through the ‘consideration’ and ‘conversion’ stages of the funnel, so now is your chance to convince these purchasers to become loyal!

Let’s take a look at 4 types of customers who have already made a purchase, and see how to respond to the very different ways in which they might respond.

1. New customers

Recent customers have just made their first purchase from your physical or online store. At this stage, they haven’t developed loyalty and are merely testing the waters to see if they like buying from you.

What To Do: New customers generally seek guidance and support. Ensure that your customer support team is responsive and helpful. Clearly communicate your return policies to avoid confusion. Make concerted efforts to show appreciation, as making a good impression can turn a new customer into a loyal one.

2. Active customers

An active customer currently uses your products or services, but hasn’t yet developed complete brand loyalty. They choose your offerings for convenience, but could switch to a competitor if presented with a more appealing option.

What To Do: Provide robust support and foster ongoing engagement through excellent customer service. Direct your efforts toward assisting active customers throughout their buyer’s journey with the goal of establishing your brand as the answer to their needs.

3. Referral customers

Referral customers are directed to your store through recommendations from one or more of your loyal customers. They may not be familiar with your brand and offerings, and are often cautious. They can have high expectations and require careful handling.

What To Do: Similar to new and unsure customers, referral customers benefit from guidance before making a purchase. Offering support and assistance can improve their understanding and confidence in your products or services. You can use digital signage to display products and promotions in an attractive, minimally invasive manner.

4. Unhappy customers

You usually find yourself dealing with unhappy customers when something has gone wrong. However, there are many possible reasons a customer can become unhappy, and sooner or later, you will find yourself having to deal with angry customers, bullies, complainers, impatient customers, customers who claim to know everything, customers who are hard to please, and lapsed and at-risk customers. 

What To Do: First, remember that the customer’s dissatisfaction is not a personal attack. Take a breath, take a distance, and try to stay calm. Listen to their issue, and if possible, guide them to a solution. Be courteous and respectful, and try to see the issue from their point of view. If you can offer some level of solution, they may calm down. If they insist on ranting or hurling insults, you are well within your rights to ask them to leave your store or to call for assistance from security. Dealing with angry reviews online also requires specific strategies, which every retailer should be familiar with in this digital age.

High-value retail customers

The best customers in retail are loyal shoppers who may even take the initiative to put in a good word for your brand on their own time. It’s tempting to sit back and relax around this type of customer, but this is not necessarily the right approach for long-term success. Here are a few ways to encourage and retain the most high-value types of customers.

1. The customer on a mission

Customers on a mission have a clear goal in mind. They know what they want to buy from you, and intend to get out of your store with their product as quickly as possible as they have other things to do.

What To Do: Make the purchasing process quick and easy and focus on a seamless user experience both online and in-store. If everything is set up correctly, this customer will almost take care of themselves. All you need to do is behave courteously and thank them for their business.

2. Loyal customers (regular customers)

Loyal or regular customers are already happy to shop from you, so you don’t have to work hard to make a sale. Statistics agree that it is more than twice as easy to sell to a loyal customer than to a new one, making them a great source of revenue.

What To Do: The best way to retain loyal customers is by keeping them consistently satisfied. Remind them of your commitment and your values. At JRTech, for example, we are committed to sustainability: our Electronic Shelf Labels are eco-friendly and help grocery stores minimize waste by managing near-expired inventory more efficiently. To date, our retailers have eliminated the use of over 440 million disposable paper price tags by using our digital tags, saving an average of 1,375 trees and reducing their CO2 footprint by over 63.8 tons.

Loyal customers benefit from personalized offers and unique customer experiences. Offer exclusive perks and rewards. You can also use customer segmentation tools to target loyal customers with personalized marketing messages.

3. Lifetime Customers

Lifetime customers are loyal customers who are committed one notch further: they are devoted to your brand not just for now, but for the long run. When measuring Customer Lifetime Value (CLV), these customers rank high, but this doesn’t mean you can just assume they will remain loyal without your making an effort.

What To Do: Never allow a customer, even a lifetime one, to feel neglected or unappreciated. Stay engaged! Encourage their involvement in your community and referral program if applicable. Request them to refer your brand to others and express your gratitude by rewarding them for successful referrals. Consistently deliver value to these customers, coupled with personalized experiences and recognition, to maintain and enhance their loyalty over time.

Long-term benefits like recycling or returns programs can really add value for these buyers. For example, JRTech Solutions has implemented an eco-recycling program where we collect and reuse end-of-life labels, further reducing their carbon footprint. Our customers really appreciate our initiative!

4. Referring Customers

Referring customers are not only devoted fans of your brand but also go the extra mile to recommend your products or services to others. They exhibit loyalty and share positive sentiments about your brand with their friends and family.

What To Do: Once you receive a five-star rating or a positive review, approach these satisfied customers and ask if they would be willing to refer your brand to others. To streamline and monitor referrals, set up a referral program. You can also offer incentives and rewards to the customers who have been referred. This approach helps create a symbiotic relationship that encourages ongoing referrals and fosters brand advocacy.

5. Advocate Customers

Advocate customers represent a unique blend of loyalty, lifetime commitment, and referring behavior. These customers willingly share positive sentiments about your brand, essentially engaging in free marketing on your behalf. This segment stands out as the most valuable within your loyal customer base. 

What To Do: you won’t need to exert much effort to convince these customers to refer others to your brand. However, given that advocate customers are a prized segment, it’s crucial to ensure they feel appreciated and well-cared for. To retain their loyalty, consistently demonstrate gratitude for their advocacy.

Prioritize advocate customers when they reach out to your customer support team, providing them with exceptional service. Engage them through personalized messages and advertisements, and offer additional perks as part of a rewards or loyalty program. This proactive approach not only reinforces their loyalty but also enhances their overall experience with your brand.A

JRTech offers essential digital tools for in-store retail operations

Now that you are aware of the 19 types of retail customers, you can adjust your in-store environment accordingly, for optimal sales and success. 

JRTech is the leading provider of Electronic Shelf Labels and digital signage in North America. Our digital solutions enable retailers to effectively manage inventory, communicate efficiently both in-store and behind the scenes, and provide the best possible customer service through clear labeling and rapid and efficient information updates to prices and promotions.

Contact us to learn how this technology can help you meet the needs of all types of retail customers, today.

Warehouse Inventory: Minimize Human Error with Electronic Shelf Labels

Warehouse facilities are central to inventory management for many types of business. Although there have been many advances in warehouse inventory management in recent years, a surprising number of businesses – estimated at 46% by some sources – still rely on manually-driven warehouse management and inventory tracking systems, including paper shelf labels. Unfortunately, these systems are subject to high levels of human error, and are no longer considered competitive in a sector where IoT and digital solutions are becoming the norm.

What are the major challenges in warehouse management?

Effective warehouse management involves coping with three main types of challenges: inventory, data, and operations. Let’s take a closer look at each one.

  • Inventory: Keeping accurate warehouse inventory records is essential to effective business operations, and inventory distortion caused by human error has been estimated to cost retailers close to $1.1. trillion a year globally. Inaccurate inventory records are also proven to contribute to customer dissatisfaction and business failure.
  • Accurate Data Collection: Human error is common in manual data collection systems, and can greatly impact the efficiency of an entire warehouse inventory system. Traditional paper shelf labels also take time and effort to update, install and remove. As businesses face increasing numbers of labour shortages, finding the manpower to collect data can also be a challenge. 
  • Warehouse Operations: Manual processes in warehouse operations, like order picking and labeling, often demand a significant workforce. It’s worth noting that up to 70% of warehouse costs stem from labor resources. The more manpower required, the higher the operating costs and overhead, affecting your bottom line. Additionally, manual tasks like updating and installing labels on products, racks, and bins are prone to human error. This not only introduces inaccuracies in your inventories but also has the potential to negatively impact relationships with partners and customers.

Using Electronic Shelf Labels for efficient warehouse inventory management

There is an ever-increasing demand for warehouse space due to the booming ecommerce sector and recovering demand for in-store shopping experiences. Likewise, the need for efficient data collection and inventory management systems continues to grow.

Manual systems are no longer able to compete with the speed and efficiency of technological solutions, especially as human error continues to play a large role in warehouse inventory management failures.

Imagine having to change hundreds or even thousands of labels using a sticker or paper-based system. With Electronic Shelf Labels, updates to multiple labels can be done in real-time or on a scheduled basis, making the process much more efficient. And that’s not all.

Electronic Shelf Labels can help improve warehouse operations

ESL solutions make managing and finding products easy, as they help with automating tasks related to product location and navigation. Interactive labels simplify finding items, devices, or assets, especially in large warehouses with extensive inventories. Thanks to wireless connectivity, they are highly efficient, and their light and thin designs make installation on bins, racks, items, or assets a breeze.

Electronic Shelf Labels can be used in a variety of warehouse settings

In warehouses with cold storage where temperatures can drop significantly, such as those used by the grocery and pharmaceutical industries, regular paper labels won’t suffice. ESLs can guarantee optimal performance in these special conditions. They enable real-time updates through reliable wireless connectivity and user-friendly displays. When paired with sensor solutions, using Electronic Shelf Labels in freezers provides an extra layer of security as it enables managers to monitor critical temperature levels.

Electronic Shelf Labels help prevent stock-outs

Implementing Electronic Shelf Labels across the shelves, containers, and merchandise in your warehouse offers a sophisticated solution for optimizing processes and saving time, but these tools play an even more crucial role in notifying your staff about inventory levels. With accurate, real-time data about stock levels, warehouse managers and retailers can work together seamlessly with A.I. to use algorithmic predictions for state-of-the art inventory management, preventing stock-outs and responding quickly to consumer demand.

Proactively resolving stock issues contributes to creating a cost-efficient operational environment.

Electronic Shelf Labels boost internal warehouse communication

In retail, Electronic Shelf Labels can serve as effective advertising tools that allow for real-time updates, ensuring accurate, efficient in-store communication. Customers can get relevant, up-to-date information on special promotions or discounts directly from the label, across many locations at once. Similarly, in warehouses, crucial information or reminders for staff can be efficiently communicated through ESL labels. Improved communication between the various levels of management and staff increases efficiency and employee confidence, improving warehouse inventory management at every level.

Embrace the future of warehouse inventory management with Electronic Shelf Labels from JRTech

As companies increasingly shift toward semi and fully automated processes to enhance warehouse efficiency, sales in warehouse automation are predicted to hit $41 billion by 2027. This growth is projected at a steady annual rate of 15% over a span of 5 years, as reported by Business Wire.

Electronic Shelf Labels are an important component in any warehouse inventory system that intends to remain competitive in 2024 and beyond. 

JRTech Solutions is a leading provider of Pricer Electronic Shelf Labels that can be easily integrated into a technology-based or even automated warehouse inventory management system, making data collection almost instant and largely free of human error.

Contact us today to learn how our technology can take your warehouse inventory management to the next level.

10 Ways AI Is Changing Retail Experiences in 2024

ai in retail

AI has already left an indelible mark on the retail sector, from personalized product recommendations and inventory management to enhanced customer service and loyalty programs. 

As we move forward in 2024, AI will continue to affect retail operations to bring even more change to this quickly evolving sector. 

Join us as we explore 10 ways that AI is impacting customer experience and overall operations in the retail industry.

1. Personalized recommendations

In the years to come, successful retailers will continue to rely on AI to provide personalized product recommendations to customers based on their preferences and behavior. With online sales and keyword-driven advertising the norm, all areas of retail must be personalized, unique and inspiring to keep up with consumer expectations and maintain a competitive edge. This approach is crucial across all touchpoints, ensuring a seamless and memorable shopping journey.

Examples of how AI can be used in retail to enhance personalized shopping experiences include:

Tailored homepage experience

In the realm of mobile and digital interfaces, platforms are now adept at recognizing individual customers and personalizing the e-commerce journey based on their current situation, past purchases, and browsing habits. Through the continuous evolution of AI systems, users can expect hyper-relevant displays tailored to their preferences with each interaction.

Proactive consumer engagement

Employing advanced Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and marketing technologies, businesses are gaining insights into consumer behavior and preferences over multiple interactions. This accumulated knowledge is utilized to craft comprehensive shopper profiles, enabling the delivery of proactive and personalized outbound marketing. This may include tailored recommendations, rewards, or curated content.

According to one report by McKinsey & Company, effective personalization efforts lead to elevated client engagement and revenue in retail, resulting in a 20% increase in customer satisfaction, sales conversion rates, and employee engagement.

2. Inventory optimization

Efficient inventory management is vital for retailers to strike a balance between having adequate stock and avoiding excess inventory, which can result in increased management costs and markdowns. Today’s successful retailers use AI to optimize inventory levels and benefit from better management of stock and reduced instances of stockouts and overstocking.

AI in retail improves demand forecasting by analyzing data from the market, consumers, and competitors. AI business intelligence tools use these insights to predict changes in the industry and make proactive adjustments to a company’s marketing, merchandising, and business strategies. This also influences supply chain planning, pricing, and promotional strategies.

Walmart provides a notable example of leveraging AI technologies to enhance its inventory management. Their system of “inventory intelligence towers” is mounted on top of floor scrubbers and captures over 20 million photos of merchandise on shelves daily. AI algorithms analyze these images, accurately identifying individual brands on the shelves and determining inventory levels with over 95% precision. It is a winning example of how AI can be used to optimize the balance between stock levels and operational efficiency.

3. Pricing optimization

Moving forward, AI will continue to help retailers optimize their pricing strategies by analyzing market trends, customer behavior, and other factors to set the right prices for products.

Smart algorithms can analyze extensive data and explore numerous pricing possibilities, then recommend the most suitable price. These algorithmic models consider numerous hidden connections, like how changing the price of one product can impact the sales of other items in the retailer’s lineup. By considering these intricate relationships, the algorithms do work that would take thousands of hours if done by humans, and accurately suggest individual prices that optimize both revenue and overall sales.

And by complementing your AI methods with top of the line electronic shelf labels and digital signage, every person in the loop can be made aware of price changes in record time.

Using AI for price optimization in retail typically involves five steps:

  • Gather the required data.
  • Decide whether to hire a technology provider or develop an in-house solution.
  • Select the products for which AI will recommend prices.
  • Ensure that managers are educated about the system.
  • Maintain the system to keep it operational and effective.

4. Fraud detection

As fraud continues to cost retailers billions of dollars annually, AI-powered tools will increasingly be used to secure online transactions and protect customer data. AI helps to detect and prevent fraud in retail, especially the most common types of fraud:

  • Return Fraud: Return fraud, involving deceptive practices such as false returns or using fake receipts, poses a significant challenge for retailers, leading to financial losses through illegitimate reimbursements and potential inventory inaccuracies.
  • Credit Card Fraud: Credit Card Fraud, involving the unauthorized use of stolen credit card information for transactions or withdrawals, poses a significant problem for businesses, as they may be held responsible for chargebacks, leading to substantial financial losses.
  • Inventory shrinkage: Inventory Shrinkage, a prevalent issue in retail, refers to losses in inventory due to theft, damage, or poor management, with challenges in detection often arising from the complexity of maintaining large inventories and various factors like employee theft, shoplifting, and procedural errors contributing to the problem.
  • Employee Fraud: Employee fraud in retail involves harmful acts committed by an organization’s employees, exploiting their access to sensitive information and internal systems, encompassing activities such as theft, document fabrication, financial manipulation, and collaboration with external parties like suppliers or consumers, posing significant risks for merchants.
  • Gift Card Fraud: Theft of gift cards is a growing fraud trend in retail, with fraudsters exploiting the simplicity and anonymity of gift cards, often involving the use of stolen credit card information to purchase and sell gift cards for cash or create fake, indistinguishable gift cards, posing risks for both consumers and retailers.

Fraud detection techniques involving the use of AI can greatly reduce the risk of fraud in retail. The most common types of fraud detection that AI-powered tools can assist are:

  • Anomaly Detection: In anomaly detection, AI tools are used to identify data points that significantly deviate from the norm. In the context of fraud detection, unsupervised machine learning methods can be employed to distinguish unusual transactions by comparing them to a baseline model developed from a sizable dataset of typical transactions.
  • Predictive Modeling: Predictive modeling examines trends in past data, and finds traits linked to fraudulent transactions. It then refers to this information to analyze large datasets of transactional data and customer behavior to identify patterns that may indicate fraudulent activity.
  • Natural Language Processing: NLP approaches may be used to examine text data, such as product descriptions, customer reviews, and comments on social media, in the context of retail fraud detection to spot possible fraudulent behavior. NLP algorithms help in fraud detection by pulling out important words and phrases from customer reviews that mention a fraudulent experience, signaling the need for a closer look. Additionally, in chatbots and virtual assistants, NLP can spot potential fraud by analyzing language, and prompt further investigation by the retailer.

There are significant benefits to using AI-based tools for fraud detection, including their ability to analyze large amounts of data and reduce the instances of false positives. By implementing these tools effectively, retailers can boost consumer confidence and cut costs in the long run.

5. Customer service

AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants will continue to be used to provide round-the-clock customer support. These AI tools answer queries and assist with purchases, adding a level of all-important interactivity to the retail experience and making it possible to provide exceptional customer service at any time of day or night.

Interactive chat programs “converse” with customers to guide users to helpful answers and outcomes, without the burden of heavily staffing a call center. While doing so, these bots also collect invaluable consumer data which can be used as a basis for later decision-making. 

In addition, retailers are elevating customer service by employing AI to offer special, personalized experiences, such as:

Customer sentiment analysis

This involves using AI algorithms to examine customer feedback, social media posts, and online reviews, enabling businesses to address complaints promptly, gauge customer sentiment and pinpoint areas for enhancement. AI not only aids in monitoring these accounts but can also provide suggested responses to complaints through generative AI and, if allowed, even respond to them. Retailers are likely to increasingly rely on these AI tools to handle customer relations and address issues promptly in the future, as better customer service always translates into higher customer satisfaction.


By leveraging IoT-enabled technologies in retail, it’s possible to obtain valuable insights into consumer behavior and preferences without direct interaction. For instance, tools like interactive tablets can boost engagement and success with customers by making it possible to analyze consumer data and behavior trends with optimum efficiency. As all elements of retail operations become increasingly interconnected, IoT is becoming the logical way to integrate the benefits of AI into everyday retail operations.

6. Supply chain management

AI will continue to be used to optimize supply chain operations, forecast demand, and identify potential disruptions, leading to more efficient and reliable supply chains.

As uncertain global events and labour shortages continue to affect the stability of retail operations, AI technology can provide retailers with the timely data and insights necessary to make fast adjustments and meet the next challenge. 

Efficient supply chain management affects every area of retail operations, and when events affect multiple retail locations, both online and in-store, digital technology can keep promotions on track. AI tools can assemble and analyze vast quantities of data quickly to present retailers with the information they need to make vital decisions related to supply chain management. 

To meet a diverse array of customer needs transitioning from mainstream to niche, retailers should reconsider their conventional supply chain in favor of adaptable and flexible ecosystems capable of swiftly responding to changes in consumer behavior. Overall, AI tools make it possible to strengthen agile logistics networks.

7. Enhanced shopping experiences

AI-powered technologies such as augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) will be used even more frequently to create immersive and interactive shopping experiences for customers. Here are a few ways in which AI is helping to create enhanced shopping experiences:

Guided discovery

To assist customers in gaining confidence for their purchase decisions, automated assistants can recommend products that align with shoppers’ needs, preferences and fit, helping to narrow down the selection.

Visual curation

Algorithmic engines transform real-world browsing habits into digital retail possibilities, enabling customers to explore new or related products through image-based search and analysis. Recommendations are curated based on aesthetics and similarity.

Personalized recommendations

Artificial intelligence in retail can be used to make suggestions based on past order history and user profiles. Online retailers leverage recommendation AI to enhance the customer experience and maximize product sales, replicating the cross-selling benefits of physical stores through intelligent upselling and suggesting complementary add-ons.

Adjustable in-store product displays

Smart retail environments identify customers and adjust in-store digital signage, product displays, prices, and services using biometric recognition to match customer profiles, loyalty accounts, or available rewards and promotions. This creates a tailored shopping experience for each visitor on a larger scale. Stores also leverage AI and sophisticated algorithms to predict customer interests based on factors like demographics, social media activity, and purchasing history, enhancing both online and in-store shopping experiences.

8. Predictive analytics

AI will be used to analyze data and predict customer behavior, market trends, and other factors, helping retailers make informed decisions and stay ahead of the competition. The primary functions of predictive analytics are demand forecasting and insight generation.

Demand forecasting

Knowing which customers want specific products and their preferred purchase locations is crucial for assisting retailers in handling the supply chain, optimizing inventory levels, and preventing markdowns. AI business intelligence tools analyze data from the marketplace, consumers, and competitors to predict shifts in demand, enabling proactive adjustments to a company’s marketing, merchandising, and business strategies.

As AI algorithms become more advanced, an increasing number of companies are expected to adopt the capabilities of demand forecasting using AI.

Generate insights from diverse data

Moving forward, more and more companies are likely to utilize AI tools to sift through vast amounts of data and gain insights into their customer base. Retailers are inundated with information spanning supply chains, stores, and consumer interactions. In today’s retail landscape, it’s crucial to sort data and discard clutter to convert vast masses of information into useful strategies centered around the needs of the consumer.

9. Visual search

AI-powered visual search tools will allow customers to search for products using images, making it easier to find and purchase items online.

This machine learning technology has been widely implemented in e-commerce, enabling consumers to find products by simply uploading images, improving the overall shopping experience. AI-driven visual search not only simplifies information retrieval but also opens up new possibilities for innovation across various industries, including retail.

10. Store operations

AI can be a powerful tool to implement more efficient and cost-effective retail operations. With its ability to analyze data and devise optimizations based on consumer behavior, AI can be used to improve various aspects of store operations, including staffing, layout, and energy management. Some examples include:

Operational optimization 

Logistics management systems, enhanced by AI, dynamically optimize a retailer’s inventory, staffing, distribution, and delivery processes in real-time. This ensures the creation of highly efficient supply and fulfillment chains that align with customers’ expectations for quality, immediate access, and support.

Synchronized online and offline retail

Digital and physical shopping channels often follow different strategies and approaches. However, treating these channels as separate business units creates friction for customers who want a seamless shopping experience, and results in operational inefficiencies. AI can help harmonize the relationship between multiple retail channels, making purchasing and marketing easier across the board.

Cashierless technology

Retailers are exploring cashierless technology like self-service registers to streamline the checkout process. In advanced cases of use, such as Amazon, AI and cameras are used together to track customers in-store, tally up selected items and automatically charge consumers as they leave – buyers no longer have to stop to pay.

Explore the latest in retail technology with JRTech

AI tools are here to stay. With incomparable data analysis capacities and a wide range of uses, AI applications are powerful allies for all retailers. Every business that needs to stay head of the competition by providing exceptional customer service and optimizing operations can rely on AI for help. 

In short, retail and AI go hand in hand. But AI can only function at its best with the right in-store technology to support it. JRTech is an established provider of digital technologies like electronic shelf labels, essential in-store communication tools that ensure your valuable AI-generated insights don’t go to waste.

Contact us today to acquire the tools you need to make the most of AI in retail. Act now to win over the retail shoppers of the future.

12 Effective Upselling Techniques in Retail

Every retailer wants to make the highest number of quality sales possible. One way to accomplish this is by incorporating retail upselling techniques (also called suggestive selling) into your overall sales strategy.

Upselling is not a new tactic in the retail world, but the transformative digital technologies available to today’s retailers provide new opportunities for implementing upselling with unprecedented success.

Join us as the professionals at JRTech take a look at 12 upselling techniques in retail that can be made even more effective thanks to recent developments in digital technology.

What is retail upselling?

Upselling is a sales technique employed by businesses to encourage customers to purchase a higher-end product, upgrade their existing purchase, or add extra features or services. It involves offering customers a more premium or advanced version of the product they intend to buy, thereby increasing the overall transaction value. The primary goal of upselling is to enhance customer satisfaction and increase sales.

Upselling in retail is an effective strategy because it leverages the customer’s existing interest and intent to buy, steering them towards a better, more comprehensive solution. By highlighting the additional benefits, features, or quality of a higher-priced item, businesses can convince customers that the upgraded option offers superior value for their money. This process is often facilitated by well-trained salespeople or through targeted marketing efforts, both online and offline.

Why suggestive selling is important

In essence, upselling benefits businesses by increasing revenue, improving customer relationships, and creating a positive brand image. It also benefits customers by enhancing the overall shopping experience and ensuring they receive products or services that best suit their needs.

  • Increased Revenue: Upselling naturally boosts a company’s sales figures by encouraging customers to spend more. This additional revenue can be crucial, especially during economic downturns or when trying to fund expansions and improvements.
  • Enhanced Customer Satisfaction: If implemented effectively, upselling focuses on offering customers products or services that align with their needs and desires. By suggesting complementary or upgraded items, businesses enhance customer satisfaction. Satisfied customers are more likely to return, leading to customer retention and loyalty. By recommending products that genuinely enhance the customer’s experience, businesses demonstrate their commitment to customer-centric service, leading to positive feedback, referrals and customer loyalty.
  • Competitive Advantage: In a competitive market, businesses need to differentiate themselves. Offering personalized and value-added upselling options can set a company apart, creating a unique selling proposition that competitors may lack.
  • Optimized Inventory Management: By promoting specific products or services, businesses can manage their inventory more effectively. Upselling allows companies to focus on selling particular items, preventing overstocking and minimizing waste.
  • Cross-selling Opportunities: Upselling often opens the door to cross-selling, where customers are introduced to complementary products or services they might not have considered. This expands the customer’s understanding of the product range, potentially increasing their overall spending.

When done ethically and with genuine consideration for the customer’s needs, upselling can result in increased customer loyalty and long-term relationships, as customers appreciate the personalized attention and guidance provided by the business. Let’s take a look at 12 examples of upselling that can be supported by digital technologies.

1. Mention special sales and offers

One way to upsell products or services is by presenting customers with special offers and sales. To make this type of upselling effective, communication is key.

Online promotions can be brought to the consumer’s attention by an experienced marketing team (either in-house or outsourced) and by digital advertising.

When it comes to promoting sales and discounts in-store, technology like digital signage is key to getting your message across clearly, to the right customer at the right time and place. It’s worth taking the time to develop quality messaging systems to implement in-store upselling, as customers’ attention spans are short and a poorly-constructed upsell via a digital platform could even do more harm turn good, and turn customers off.

2. Bundles and buy-more-save-more opportunities

When it comes to bundled and buy-more-save-more promotions, it’s important to make it easy for consumers to find the products that are grouped together for sales. This type of upselling only works if consumers can quickly and easily find the ‘extra’ products they are looking for. 

Embrace the digital transformation and implement IoT in your retail space to make your store run smoothly and improve customer experience. This will make additional sales more likely due to an efficient and customized shopping experience. Logistics are key.

3. Customer rewards programs

Customer rewards programs like points systems are a great way to encourage consumers to spend more at your retail outlet. These usually involve accumulating points for every dollar spent, which can be put toward a freebie, purchase or gift card. 

Customer rewards programs require that you communicate to customers exactly how many points they will be getting on each sale, and an effective way to keep this information readily available and easy to understand is through the use of Electronic Shelf Labels. These labels do much more than show prices in a digital format. They can display other types of information too, including brand information and points rewards, as needed. 

Customer reward programs also involve data management on a large scale. Consumers will not be able to cash in their points unless they have been accurately tracked and associated with that individual shopper. It is therefore imperative to rely on digital technology like GHGH software to make this type of upselling viable.


FOMO, or Fear Of Missing Out, involves making the most of a sense of scarcity or urgency to motivate customers to buy more. There is a fine line that must be respected when it comes to this suggestive selling technique: go too far and you could be engaging in unethical practices. But if you respect the limits of this method and stick to tactics like ‘today only’ sales, easily presented and adjusted through the use of digital signage, FOMO can be an effective and legal way to boost sales.

Accurate pricing is essential to FOMO upselling. If customers are not convinced that they are really getting a deal, due to inaccurate price labelling or signage, your efforts could do more harm than good. Retailers can rely on Electronic Shelf Labels to provide accurate, up-to-date information about promotions and regular prices, which is instantly communicated to your POS system so there are no ugly surprises at the check-out. It’s one of the many benefits of implementing a comprehensive digital retail solution.

6. Clienteling

Clienteling is all about treating customers like the people they are, and not just consumers. It’s the basis of developing long-term relationships with your clientele and developing customer loyalty, which will lead to repeat traffic and purchases.

Effective stock management is key to clienteling. Faced with a stockout , many consumers will not only take their business elsewhere to fulfill their needs at that moment, they are also likely to change their shopping habits and avoid your store entirely. When implementing an upselling strategy, be sure that you mange your inventory effectively with the help of digital technology like Electronic Shelf Labels so that you can be sure that the products you are promoting are in stock and ready to move off the shelves.

7. Don’t offer too many options

‘Choice overload’ exists! If you offer too many options while upselling, you could overwhelm your customers and make them feel worse instead of better.

It’s harder for customers to pinpoint which product they want most if they are too busy trying to sort out their choices. In addition, they could be afraid of missing out on the perks of the options they have not chosen, leading to dissatisfaction rather than a sense of consumer satisfaction. It’s been proven that fewer options result in more sales.

Instead of offering too many choices, focus on assessing your customers’ needs accurately. One way to do this effectively is with Electronic Shelf Labels linked with a complete inventory management system. This type of digital technology permits you to analyse which items are frequently bought together, which items are most popular, and other data from promotions and price changes. A customer data platform will allow you to analyse your consumers’ habits and offer them choices that make them happier to visit your store.

8. Leverage first-party data

First-party data is the key to understanding the relationship between each customer and your business. This is particularly easy to access when selling online, as you can analyse pages visited, products purchased, and a myriad of other behaviors on your ecommerce website. You may even have access to certain social economic information, such as customer location and average purchasing power. 

The more you know about your customers, the better you will be able to choose the type of upselling techniques may appeal to them, and when it may be most effective to approach them using suggestive selling. Just knowing whether a customer is likely to open a post-purchase email can allow you to put your time and money into the right marketing channels. 

Remember, with the digital transformation in full swing, there are new ways for consumers to interact with a brand, both online and through connected technologies in-store. Every development, such as the recent implementation of grab-and-go shopping, brings a new opportunity for retailers to collect relevant data and implement changes according to what they learn from analyzing that data, quickly and efficiently.

9. Remember to upsell online as well as in-store

Merging online and offline experiences is vital, and having identical promotions can be time-consuming and problematic without the right technology to support your efforts across multiple channels and locations. 

By relying on digital systems, retailers can seamlessly implement promotions and upselling efforts in-store and online. Changes can be made quickly, prices updated almost instantaneously. This means that your valued customers can access the same bundles, two-for-one deals and points rewards online as in-store, expanding your reach and potential profits significantly.

10. Showcase your commitment to the environment

When upselling, it’s important to focus on customers’ values and make appropriate suggestions. Adapting your store to broader trends, such as retail sustainability will make your customers more likely to be open to suggestive selling tactics, as they will recognize your commitment to current consumer values.

Digital signage and Electronic Shelf Labels are two of the many environmentally-friendly tools retailers can implement as part of their digital transformation. Gone are the days of printing out labels and posters which would have to be replaced as soon as a promotion or season came to an end. Now, with a few taps, retailers can change prices and update signage, adapting to current in-store and online needs without increasing their carbon footprint. Remember, Electronic Shelf Label batteries last for years.

11. Use visuals to upsell

In the current retail environment, customers expect to be able to see how a product can be used before they will commit to making a purchase. Visuals are essential, and digital signage is here to help, whether you need to display an unboxing video or a detailed set of instructions. 

Visuals are also a big part of actual upselling. An effective upselling message should include short copy outlining the benefits of the suggested purchase, an image, information comparing the products in question, and plenty of color to code an easily understandable message.

12. Adjust your upselling tactics to your industry

When you know your industry, you know what your customers want. Upselling tactics should always reflect your understanding of your customers’ needs, priorities and pain points. For example:

  • Hardware: Customers need to be informed and advised during the upselling process in hardware stores. By relying on Electronic Shelf Labels for pricing and inventory management, resources can be better allocated to having trained staff who can fulfill consumer expectations when it comes to getting the help they need to make a good choice, especially during labour shortages.
  • Grocery stores: It’s no secret that grocery stores display hundreds or even thousands of products on their shelves, each requiring an accurate price tag. Upselling promotions can quickly become complex if these tags are not digitized, as points programs and two-for-one specials demand careful coordination of data and products. Keep your upselling simple, whenever you can, and choose the appropriate technological support for your store.
  • Pharmaceuticals: Pharmacies today contain a large array of products, and upselling in this sector is only appropriate for certain items. Knowing which products are likely to be viewed as complementary is vital to successful upselling in this sector, and nothing can replace the efficient data collection of digital tools used for this purpose.

Make retail upselling a success with digital solutions from JRTech

Customer experience is set to overtake price as the defining feature of successful retail. By choosing to upsell with the support of digital technology like Electronic Shelf Labels, you can take your store to the next level and continue to attract the right type of customers with the right type of offers. 

The Electronic Shelf Labels market continues to grow as more and more retailers recognize the value of this technology for successful sales and store management. 

Contact us today to learn how JRTech can help you move toward creating a digitized upselling experience.

5 Strategies to Increase Shopper Engagement in Retail

Today’s consumers have an abundance of choices readily available, and grabbing and retaining their attention has become a significant challenge for retailers. Recognizing the potential loss or gain for a business or brand, it’s crucial for retailers to actively pursue engagement with their intended market and keep that connection alive to secure customer loyalty for the future. The foundation for such success is establishing an effective customer engagement strategy for retail.

What is retail customer engagement?

Customer engagement in retail refers to the various ways a retail brand interacts with current and prospective customers, both in person and online. It is an emotional connection between a customer and a buying process, where customers become invested enough to buy. Retailers are competing on the quality of their service, and customer engagement plays a vital role in building brand loyalty. 

Customer engagement in retail is about building an emotional connection with customers and providing a seamless experience across all channels. Personalization is essential. In fact, 66% of consumers now say they will leave a brand if their experience is not personalized. Digital transformation has become an indispensable tool for facilitating individual interactions with a brand that will lead to conversions and increased revenue.

How has customer engagement changed in 2023?

Overall, customer engagement has become more customer-centric, personalized, and digitized, and the results of increased investment in digital customer engagement have been dramatic.

Here are four ways in which customer engagement has changed in 2023:

  • Focus on customer-centricity: Brands are shifting their focus from costs and acquisition to building customer trust and loyalty through delightful experiences.
  • Importance of personalization: Customers are more likely to quit a brand if their experience isn’t personalized, and 46% of customers will buy more when given a personalized experience.
  • Increased demand for a seamless phygital experience: Customers want a seamless experience that combines both digital and physical mediums in a single transaction.
  • Importance of human connection: As interactions become more digital, the need for a human connection has also increased, and brands are seeking ways to enhance and improve the human connections they have with customers.

Brands are also recognizing the importance of a seamless phygital experience and human connection in building customer trust and loyalty. Overall, retailers report that efforts to increase engagement have increased revenue by an average of 90%.

Benefits to increasing customer engagement

There are numerous benefits to increasing customer engagement, all leading back to the primary goal of increasing sales and profits. While retailers may question whether the effort and investment required to increase engagement will reap adequate rewards, statistics have proven that there is a direct correlation between engagement and purchasing. 

Here are some examples of how efforts to improve customer engagement will contribute to more a successful retail store:


  • Increased customer loyalty: Engaged customers are more likely to stay loyal to a brand, resulting in reduced customer acquisition costs and reduced churn rates. According to Bain & Company, apparel shoppers will purchase 67% more per order after shopping for 30 months from the same company.
  • Increased sales and conversions: Engaging with customers can build stronger relationships, increase brand awareness and reach, and ultimately drive more sales and conversions.
  • Valuable customer insights: Engaging with customers can uncover valuable customer insights, including their preferences, behaviors, and buying patterns. This information can be used to improve customer satisfaction and a better overall customer experience, improving Customer Lifetime Value (CLTV).
  • Brand advocacy: Engaging with customers and providing exceptional experiences can create a community of highly satisfied loyal customers who willingly advocate for the brand. This can greatly impact the effectiveness of your online presence, making for more effective omnichannel marketing. 
  • Improved customer retention: Engaging with customers can improve customer retention and reduce churn rates. According to the Harvard Business Review, it costs anywhere from 5 to 45 percent more to attract new customers than to retain existing buyers. And while new customers convert at a rate of 5-20%, an existing customer will purchase at a rate of 60-70%. Customer retention can be very profitable. 
  • Increased cross-selling and upselling opportunities: Analyzing customer engagement data can personalize recommendations and accurately target cross-selling and upselling offers.
  • Longer time spent in-store: Engaged customers are more likely to spend more time in your store, which is a major concern post-pandemic. With shoppers more and more likely to make purchases online or to rely on BOPIS (Buy Online Pick Up In Store, or ‘click and collect’), increasing time spent in a retail outlet is important. More time in store can translate to more sales.

5 ways to increase customer engagement in retail

Customers are more likely to stay loyal to a brand if they have a good experience, and they are more likely to switch to a competitor after a single unsatisfactory experience. Personalization is also becoming increasingly important, with many customers saying they will quit a brand if their experience isn’t personalized. Companies that prioritize customer experience are more likely to be successful, and investment in digital customer engagement can lead to increased revenue.

Let’s take a look at 10 ways you can increase customer engagement in retail:

1. Transform retail stores into hubs of personalized, experiential shopping

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the retail shopping experience has changed. Transactional shopping used to be the norm: customers would enter the store location, find the product they were looking for, pay and leave. While this type of shopping experience is still part of the retail landscape, more and more consumers want more than just the ability to get what they need: they want a shopping experience.

Shopper engagement is a vital element of a shopping experience. Consumers can try products, interact with digital tools or staff, and learn how to use products through special events in-store. The retail environment is expected to offer stimulation in the form of digital signage, and a seamless shopping experience in which stockouts and pricing issues are never an issue. Some retailers have even managed to create such a memorable shopper experience that their location has become a tourist destination, such as IKEA, who leveraged insights gained from social media to come up with the idea of inviting customers to a warehouse where they could stay the night and use IKEA sleep products. 

“Retailtainment” is the term now used to describe how retailers use entertainment to attract and engage customers. The goal is to make the retail environment comfortable, with streamlined pricing solutions like digital price tags, and enjoyable, with engaging visuals on digital signage and other tricks to increase loyalty and sales. Implementing IoT to master operations and enhance store spaces with interactive technology can create an immersive shopping experience. The goal is to add energy and increase the fun of the shopping experience. While this will ultimately take some creativity on the part of each individual retailer, using advanced technology will make some ideas easier to implement. It’s all about making your store a place where shoppers want to spend both their time and their money.

2. Harmonize online and offline retail worlds for enhanced shopper engagement

The digital transformation is here to stay, but many retailers are still learning how best to incorporate digital technology in their individual stores. Most brands will benefit most from essential steps like implementing IoT or developing a better online or omnichannel marketing strategy, but there are more advanced methods for increasing consumer engagement that are hitting the shelves now. Many of these have to do with linking your online and offline retail worlds, for example:

  • Endless Aisles: To allow in-store shoppers to order products through an online store while visiting a retail location in person, and have out of stock items delivered to their door. 
  • Proximity marketing: To do targeting advertising and present personalized offers via mobile, to drive sales and increase engagement. US retailers that have integrated proximity marketing into their strategies have experienced a 9% increase in profits and a 175% uptick in ROI. Since 66% of consumers say they will quit a brand if their experience isn’t personalized, proximity marketing opens the door to a vital element of enhancing hopper engagement.

3. Integrate sustainability into your retail customer engagement strategy

Sustainability has been an important element of brand identity for some time, but in order to make this element of your retail business appealing to consumers, they have to know about it. 

According to a survey by Sensormatic, nearly 90% of consumers think that retailers are not transparent enough when it comes to informing buyers about their sustainability efforts. This includes not only business practices and products, but also supply chains. By communicating with customers, retail stores can promote their efficient and effective supply chain management and emphasize how the use of digital technology reduces the environmental impact of many retail operations. For example, implementing Electronic shelf labels reduce the environmental toll taken by repeated printing and disposal of paper labels. However, advanced ESL technology makes labels look so good that shoppers may not even notice the difference. This is where it becomes the retailer’s responsibility to engage the consumer with a compelling story about their green in-store operations.

4. Elevate in-the-moment customer engagement with visual interaction tools

Once customers are in your store, it’s time to make the most of all your tools to increase visual interaction with products and promotions. Digital signage is key to getting the right message in front of the right shopper at the right time, and is used in a wide variety of industries, including pharmacies, grocery stores, liquor stores, hardware stores and other types of retail. 

Electronic Shelf Labels are vital to communicating prices, promotions and more through clear and engaging visuals. According to one survey by Pricer, 2 out of every 3 retailers are of the opinion that their sales operations would be difficult to manage if they did not have electronic labels in their stores. Digital solutions of this type, that check more than one box, are vital tools in the ever-evolving retail marketplace. 

Digital tools also allow for increased access to customer data, which in turn can help establish successful customer engagement with customers, allowing operators to be better equipped with product and service knowledge.

5. Simplify the shopping journey for enhanced customer engagement

While shoppers may crave interesting and engaging in-store experiences, and marketers continue to promote the importance of offering a vast array of choices, customers also want the actual purchase of items to be as easy and as simple as possible. Forbes has stated that 88% of buyers claim that experience matters as much as a company’s products or services, and 80% of customers feel an increase in brand loyalty when customer service solves their problem. In contrast, over 50% of customers will go to a competitor after a single unsatisfactory experience.

There are multiple digital tools for simplifying the shopping experience, including Electronic Shelf Labels, to seamlessly manage price changes, inventory issues and promotions, and digital signage, to keep shoppers up-to-date on products and sales via effective in-store communication and direct in-store traffic so that the journey from selection to purchase is stress-free and easy to navigate. 

Simplifying your customers’ journey involves asking several key questions:

  • What can I do to make it easier for customers to understand and evaluate what I am offering?
  • How can we make our pricing more consistent and transparent?
  • What can we do to optimize in-store layout and make the most of point-of-sale technologies like automated recommendations and mobile payments. 

The goal for retailers should be to create a frictionless purchasing experience, where engagement efforts are reserved for enticing and motivating customers, not for solving mundane purchasing challenges.

Increase shopper engagement with technology from JRTech

Digitization has compelled various sectors to transform their old ways, and customer engagement platforms are breaking all the barriers and helping organizations understand changing customer demands and behavior.

Customer engagement is one of the many areas of retail shopping that has become reliant on digital technology to be truly effective. JRTech is an established provider of essential digital in-store technologies like electronic shelf labels. 

Contact us today to learn how we can help you acquire the tools you need to engage the next generation of retail shoppers.

How to Prevent Stockouts: 9 Digital Inventory Management Tips

Stockouts are becoming more and more of a problem due to a variety of issues worldwide. It may be getting harder to avoid running out of stock, but that shouldn’t stop successful retailers from doing everything they can to prevent stockouts from happening.

Digital technology can help retailers to avoid stockouts, with tools that can be used for everything from improving inventory management to communicating more effectively and efficiently in-store and behind the scenes. 

Join us as we examine the common causes of stockouts, explore why it is important to avoid them, and take a look at what retailers can do to prevent them.

What are stockouts?

A stockout occurs when a product is temporarily unavailable or out of inventory. When customers cannot purchase a product, they often go elsewhere to do so, even if the stockout is temporary. Stockouts hurt retail outlets and contribute to consumer dissatisfaction.

Common causes of stockouts

There are several reasons why a retailer might experience stockouts, depending on the type of merchandise they sell and various other factors like store location, retail trends and global supply disruptions. Common causes of stockouts include:

Supply chain disruptions

Anything that throws off the smooth flow of products, like natural disasters, labor strikes, or production problems, can cause items to be unavailable, leading to stock shortages.

Poor demand forecasting

Poor inventory management can lead to retailers’ being unable to accurately predict what customers want, and they might not maintain enough stock. This could mean needing to keep extra inventory just to meet demand, which in turn can lead to expired merchandise and financial losses.

Late deliveries

When suppliers don’t deliver goods on time, especially during high-demand periods, businesses might run out of stock waiting for the supplies they need.

Promotions and seasonal changes

Unexpected periods of high demand, caused by events like seasonal shifts or promotions, can strain inventory. Failing to plan for these changes can lead to items being out of stock.

Product quality problems

If a product has quality issues and customers are returning it, suppliers might struggle to replace the items quickly, resulting in stock shortages.

Shortage of funds

If a business doesn’t have enough money to operate smoothly, they might not be able to order enough stock. Poor cash flow management or having too much money tied up in excess stock can lead to stockouts.

Incorrect inventory records

Mismatched records of what a store has and what they’ve sold can lead to stockouts. If the actual inventory is lower than what’s believed, items might run out unexpectedly. Effective inventory management is crucial in any industry, and the best approach may vary according to the type of retail outlet. Pharmacies, grocery stores and liquor stores each face unique challenges when it comes to inventory management.

Mistakes in planning and human error

Errors in inventory management, forecasting, or simple human mistakes can all contribute to stock shortages.

Logistics problems

Issues in the transportation and logistics processes, like shipping delays, can also lead to products not being available when needed.

Why it’s important to avoid stockouts

Running out of stock can spell trouble for businesses, and here’s why:

Lost Sales

When products are unavailable, potential sales slip through the cracks. Customers might turn to competitors or decide not to buy at all. This hits a company’s profits hard.

Consumer dissatisfaction and lost customers

Stock-outs diminish customer satisfaction and erode customer loyalty. If a retailer frequently runs out of items, customers might lose trust and permanently switch to other options.

Damaged brand image

Regular stock-outs can tarnish a brand’s reputation. Customers may start associating the brand with unreliability. Bad word-of-mouth and negative online reviews can scare away new customers.

Hidden expenses

Stock-outs come with extra costs like managing backorders and rushing to reorder items. These hidden expenses eat into a company’s profits and operational efficiency.

Missed opportunities for upselling

When popular items are unavailable, retailers not only lose immediate sales but also the opportunity to suggest complementary products via streamlined tunnels like digital signage. This means lower sales and missed chances for growth.

Supply chain problems

Stockouts can signal bigger issues in the supply chain, like delays, poor forecasting, or financial constraints. By addressing the root causes of stockouts, retailers can identify and fix underlying problems and make their overall retail operations smoother and more resilient.

How to avoid stockouts

Digital technology is key to preventing stockouts in today’s retail landscape. Rather than an advantage, digital transformation is the expected norm, and for good reason. The digitization of data collection and communication allows for faster, more efficient and more effective retail management.

1. Clean data

Retailers can keep data clean by embracing digital technologies. Digital tools like Electronic Shelf Labels allow for real-time stock updates and help managers keep their data up to date and accurate, allowing for more accurate inventory predictions and timely, efficient ordering. Live inventory data allows for fast and accurate assessments both in-store and in warehouses.

2. Improved demand forecasting

Understanding what your customers want is vital for your business. By effectively implementing IoT, retailers can look at past sales data and trends and accurately predict which products will be in demand. This not only ensures that you order the right amount of stock at the right time but also helps in reducing excess inventory and the costs associated with it.

3. Strong relationships with suppliers

Communication is key in any successful partnership. Rely on digital communication to keep your suppliers in the loop about any changes in your business that might affect your inventory needs. A good relationship ensures you get the inventory you require precisely when you need it, and helps reduce the risk of stockouts.

4. Reorder points

Every product has a threshold level. Reorder points are the triggers that indicate when it’s time to restock. Use digital data collection to understand the speed at which your products sell and the time it takes to restock. By calculating these points, you can keep your inventory at optimal levels, preventing stockouts.

5. Just-in-time inventory

Why keep more than necessary? Just-in-time inventory is about having what you need, exactly when you need it. When an order comes in, you produce or purchase only what’s required to fulfill that order, avoiding overstocking and losing merchandise. Safety stock is no longer a priority. Digital technology makes this type of ordering fast, efficient and cost-effective.

6. ABC analysis

Not all products are created equal. Some are more important for your business than others. ABC analysis categorizes your inventory into three classes: A, B, and C. A items are your top priority, while C items are of lesser importance. This classification helps you focus your attention and resources where they matter the most. Inventory management software makes it possible to analyze your stock behind the scenes, quickly and accurately.

7. Invest in new technology

In today’s digital age, new technology emerges quickly and retail businesses need to keep up with the changes to maintain a competitive edge.


  • Relying on digital signage to implement an effective in-store communication strategy makes it possible to update promotions according to supply, minimizing the impact of stockouts on your customers.
  • Using Electronic Shelf Labels saves time and energy, which is especially helpful during labor shortages.
  • Implementing an inventory management system helps you keep a close eye on your stock levels. It tracks sales trends and even automates the reordering process. This ensures you never run out of products unexpectedly, keeping your customers satisfied.

8. Diversify your supplier base

Putting all your eggs in one basket can be risky. Relying solely on a single supplier increases the chance of stockouts if they face production or delivery issues. Diversifying your supplier base spreads the risk and ensures a steady supply, even if one supplier encounters problems. With digital tracking and digital communication methods at your fingertips, it’s possible to maintain multiple relationships and make appropriate supply decisions in real time.

9. Monitor and adjust inventory levels

Change is constant in the business world. Regularly reviewing your inventory levels is crucial, and made much easier by implementing technology like Electronic Shelf Labels and relevant retail management software. Keep an eye on shifts in customer demand, seasonal variations, and other factors. By staying proactive and making necessary adjustments, you can prevent stockouts and keep your inventory management finely tuned.

JRTech: digital technology for better stock management

All retailers want to avoid stockouts, and digital technology can help. With the right approach to digital transformation, preventing stockouts can be a challenge rather than an impossibility. Choosing the most relevant technology is key, and it’s up to businesses to decide which of the many digital tools on the market will be most effective for their unique retail environment.

JRTech Solutions is a leading supplier of state-of-the-art digital signage and Electronic Shelf Labels in North America. Contact us to learn more about implementing these tools in your store now.

How Technology Can Help Manage Labour Shortages

While some solutions to labour shortages involve changes to recruitment practises and optimized staff schedules and benefits, many retailers are also turning to technology to help satisfy customer needs and take pressure off their existing personnel. And it’s not a short-term fix – technology and IoT are changing retail operations for good around the world, by increasing operational efficiency and making it possible for businesses to thrive with fewer personnel.

Let’s take a look at 5 labour shortage solutions that rely on technology to solve the problem.

1. Automation

Automation is nothing new, but many companies are relying on automated processes more and more to compensate for a shortage of human staff. Rapid advances in robotics technology have made it possible for some sectors to replace more people with robots than was previously possible, which has helped some types of business deal with labour shortages. 

However, this option is generally only available to companies with large budgets that rely on processes that are suitable for automation, such as sorting, stacking and painting. 

2. Better Communication

Four out of every five workers are frontline employees. However, many of these employees feel disconnected from the rest of the organization they work for, contributing to lower motivation and a greater likelihood of leaving.

Technology can make a difference. With better communication between management and front-line employees, companies can create a work atmosphere that encourages both efficiency and team spirit. When an employee knows that they will be notified rapidly and accurately of promotions, price changes and policy adjustments thanks to digitized operations, they feel they are an important and valued part of retail operations. Effective in-store communication includes both practical signage and informed staff, a coherent combination of technology and the human element that will continue to make real people a part of your strategy.

3. Self-checkouts

Retailers are increasingly adopting self-serve checkout terminals as a labour shortage solution that also improves operational efficiency. These self-service checkout machines typically require only one person to monitor multiple checkouts (anywhere from 4 to 10), depending on the location and usage frequency. This reduction in the need for checkout staff does not slow down customer service. Instead, it allows employees to be reassigned to more strategic tasks in the store, such as restocking items, arranging products for optimal visual merchandising, and providing direct assistance to customers.

The result is a well-organized store with available staff, easy-to-find products and a quicker checkout experience.

4. Digital pricing

With a labour shortage, changing price tags and labeling can be a challenging task for retailers. The retail market’s high frequency of price changes due to weekly promotions and inflation-driven increases poses a risk of errors.

However, digital display technology offers a labour shortage solution by allowing store employees to focus on essential tasks instead of spending hours relabeling multiple products. In some smaller retail stores, price changes and promotions require a dedicated resource, which can be difficult to manage with reduced staff.

Electronic Shelf Labels enable retailers to change label information simultaneously with all cash registers through their point-of-sale software, eliminating the need for manual label replacement.

The result is the elimination of in-store pricing errors and improved task management, allowing employees to focus on value-added tasks like customer service. Customers can shop with confidence, knowing they won’t encounter surprises at the checkout. Not only has the business found a labour shortage solution, they have also created an overall better shopping experience.

5. Ecommerce

Operating a physical store requires multiple employees, some of whom may only be available part-time, making work schedule management complex, especially during labour shortages.

An online shopping platform presents a viable alternative for struggling retailers. With online commerce, businesses can grow without the costs associated with opening new physical locations. While launching an e-commerce platform still requires dedicated employees, it can yield significant revenue with far less investment compared to a new brick-and-mortar store.

For optimal efficiency, it is advisable to integrate the online platform directly with your point-of-sale software. This way, any changes made to prices, promotions, product descriptions, or inventories in the software will automatically reflect in both your physical and your virtual stores. This seamless two-way communication between the physical store and the online platform boosts operational efficiency and speed. 

JRTech solutions help business deal with labour shortages

Using technology to bring everyone closer can help overcome labour shortages by creating a happier, better-informed workforce. Digital solutions like Electronic Shelf Labels can also help businesses become more efficient and effective, reducing the number of staff required to keep operations up and running. 

JRTech offers Electronic Shelf Labels and digital signage that big retail have put into place to improve operations and deal with labour shortages. Contact us to learn more about how our solutions can help your business manage worker shortages.

How to Implement IoT (Internet of Things) in a Retail Environment

IoT in retail is proving to be widely effective in transforming logistics, inventory management, supply chain management and other challenging elements of running a business.

By introducing seamless, automated functions into the retail environment, IoT is an opportunity for retailers to improve customer experience and increase profits via improved operational efficiency and store management. While implementing IoT in retail may require initial investments of time and money, the long-term benefits are undeniable. Retail businesses around the world are riding the wave of technology-based transformation and reaping the rewards.

According to global management consulting firm McKinsey & Company, retail IoT environments are expected to be valued at anywhere from $5.5 trillion to $12.6 trillion by 2030. The IoT retail revolution is happening now, and competitive brands need to learn how to implement IoT in ways that will keep them moving ahead as technology continues to transform the retail experience.

What is the Internet of Things (IoT)?

First coined in 1999 by Kevin Ashton, MIT’s Executive Director of Auto-ID Labs, IoT refers to a network of interconnected devices that can collect, analyze, and share data over the internet without human intervention. In the context of retail, IoT has proven to be a game-changer, enhancing customer experiences, improving operational efficiency, and optimizing inventory management.

IoT relies on sensors, actuators, and communication protocols that enable devices to communicate with each other and link to the Cloud. These devices can range from smart shelves and beacons to wearable devices, all designed to collect valuable data.

There are many ways to implement IoT in a retail environment, and the systems and technology you choose will differ depending on the size and scale of your inventory and operations. Let’s examine 5 elements of effective retail operations that are affected by IoT, so that you can choose the technology that will have the greatest impact on your retail business. 

1. Self-checkout

One successful application of IoT in retail is the implementation of smart checkout systems. Retailers like Amazon Go have introduced cashier-less stores, allowing customers to shop and leave without traditional checkout hassles.

Many other large retail stores such as liquor storespharmacies and grocery stores currently implement a combination of human cashiers and self-checkout stations, allowing customers to choose the checkout experience they prefer. Retail store owners can leverage this IoT technology to minimize labour costs while still providing excellent service. 

2. Customer experience

Marketing personalization is a trend that continues to grow in popularity, especially as it affects the younger generation of consumers who are susceptible to the appeal of a customized shopper experience. Marketing personalization has a significant impact when it comes to inducing in-store purchases as opposed to online. 

IoT enables retailers to engage customers both inside and outside the store. For instance, retailers can use IoT data to send personalized offers to customers’ smartphones when they are near the store, enticing them to visit and make a purchase. Interactive digital displays powered by IoT technology can enhance the in-store experience by providing product information, recommendations, and reviews.

Additionally, IoT-enabled beacons can push personalized offers and recommendations to customers’ smartphones based on their location within the store.

Retailers have utilized IoT to track customer movements within a store and analyze customer behavior. This data-driven approach helps retailers optimize store layouts for better customer flow and product placement.

3. Inventory management and supply chain optimization

Perhaps the area where IoT can have the greatest impact in retail is inventory management. Traditional inventory management often leads to stockouts or overstocking, affecting customer satisfaction and store profitability. However, IoT-powered smart shelves fitted with Electronic Shelf Labels can track inventory levels in real time, making it easier for retailers to anticipate consumer needs and ensure products are always available on the shelves.

IoT-enabled inventory tracking has significantly improved inventory accuracy and reduced stockouts and excess inventory issues for many retailers. IoT can be implemented in warehouses also, increasing efficiency at every level of stock management.

Smart shelves that automatically detect inventory levels and send restocking alerts are an excellent example of IoT implementation.

4. Data gathering and analysis

With IoT, retailers can gather real-time data on customer behavior, foot traffic, and product preferences. By analyzing data collected through IoT devices, retailers can gain insights into individual shopping patterns and preferences. Information obtained through increased connectivity allows retailers to offer personalized product recommendations and tailored promotions and discounts, thereby creating a more engaging and effective shopping experience.

IoT’s real-time data tracking capabilities enable retailers to optimize inventory levels, enhance overall supply chain efficiency and reduce waste. The importance of sustainability in retail cannot be overestimated, as it not only affects consumer confidence and brand identity, but also the health of the planet. IoT contributes to operational efficiency and helps retailers make eco-responsible choices. 

5. General operational efficiency

IoT directly impacts the retail experience, but connected devices can also be used to keep a retail environment functioning optimally behind the scenes. 

For example, IoT can be implemented for predictive maintenance. IoT sensors can monitor the health of machinery and equipment in a retail store, predicting maintenance needs before any significant breakdown occurs. This proactive approach reduces downtime and enhances the overall store operation, in addition to helping store owners maintain expensive equipment to keep it working at its best for as long as possible.

Retailers can also leverage IoT to monitor energy consumption and implement energy-saving measures. Smart lighting and HVAC systems that adjust based on occupancy and external conditions can lead to significant cost savings and environmental benefits.

Security and privacy concerns

While IoT offers numerous benefits, it also brings potential security risks, such as data breaches and hacking attempts. Retailers must implement robust security measures to safeguard sensitive customer information and prevent unauthorized access.

It is always necessary to adhere to strict data protection and privacy regulations to ensure the responsible handling of customer data collected through IoT devices. Compliance with laws such as the GDPR is essential to maintaining customer trust.

Best practices include implementing encryption, regularly updating software, and performing security audits. Retailers should be transparent with customers about any data being collected and how it will be used.

Challenges to implementing IoT in a retail environment

One of the major obstacles to adopting IoT in retail is integrating new IoT technology with existing legacy systems. Many retailers have invested heavily in their current infrastructure, which may not be IoT-ready. Adopting scalable and flexible IoT solutions that can be seamlessly integrated will ensure a smoother transition and minimize disruption to day-to-day operations.

Introducing IoT into a retail environment also requires employees to adapt to new technologies and workflows. Retailers may need to invest in training programs to educate their workforce about the benefits and applications of IoT. By fostering a culture of continuous learning, employees will continue to use IoT tools effectively, leading to improved productivity and enhanced customer experiences.

Budget constraints could also hinder some retailers from fully implementing IoT, as it will involve an upfront investment in devices, sensors, infrastructure, and data analytics tools. To overcome this challenge, retailers should conduct a cost-benefit analysis to assess the potential return on investment (ROI) of entire systems as well as individual technologies. The cost of Electronic Shelf Labels, for example, may only be justified if a retailer is also able to purchase the software that will allow them to make the most of this technology. The long-term cost savings, improved operational efficiency, and enhanced customer engagement that IoT can bring will help justify the initial investment and motivate investors.

Make IoT in retail a reality with JRTech Solutions

As IoT continues to evolve, its impact on the retail sector will only grow. With widespread IoT adoption, retail environments will become increasingly efficient. Smart checkout systems will become the norm, eliminating long line-ups and checkout delays. Predictive analytics will allow retailers to anticipate customer needs, ensuring that the right products are available at the right time and location. Personalization will reach new heights, as IoT data will enable retailers to offer tailored promotions, discounts, and product recommendations.

Staying competitive in retail demands that businesses adapt to new technologies and norms. JRTech Solutions offers electronic shelf labels and digital signage that are used by some of the biggest retailers in North America. Contact us to learn how we can help you implement IoT and take your retail outlet to the next level.