Powering Retail Experiences with Edge Computing

Edge Computing

The retail industry is rapidly adapting to a growing scenario of the digital age. This transition towards innovation will give businesses access to provide the experience customers want. Innovation is the key in the sector which will enable retailers to outperform others in the same market segment regardless of a company’s age or size. As the evolution of immersive technologies is already leading customers to shop online, their expectations are also increasing while interacting with a brand.

Today, customers want to move across online and offline experiences where they can see, touch and feel a product in-store, and explore similar products, visualize them and make the purchase online. In this way, retailers who capture these customers’ buying and preferences across their online and offline activities have a great opportunity to create personalized experiences. By leveraging disruptive technologies such as IoT, AI, digital signage, and big data, among others, they will get the ability to deliver superior products and services, eventually leaving customers with exceptional retail experiences.

Edge computing infrastructure into brick-and-mortar stores also provides retailers to extend the lifespan of their stores in today’s highly competitive environment. The technology will also help retailers to capitalize on the benefits delivered by cutting-edge technologies. Currently, edge computing is being used in the retail sector to leverage new technologies including smart and IoT devices as well as improve operational efficiency and glean insights into customer behaviors and trends using data.

Edge computing typically refers to the inevitability of on premise IT infrastructure resources outside of the data center where they would generally be housed. Its resource needs are small and do not require a full data center or even a small data center implementation.

In retail, most traditional platforms were put into place without any consideration into centralized management, automation, and control. Thus, leveraging edge technology provides accurately what this legacy infrastructure didn’t, the ability to utilize management, automation, and control. This enables for a leaner and more reliable IT infrastructure that can operate multiple applications.

Moreover, edge computing has a significant impact on retail stock inventory with the help of edge devices and edge analytics. Edge devices including sensors, RFIDs and cameras can make it easier to track inventory, their exact location in the store, items that are fast selling and in demand, and items that are misplaced. It can also be placed close to the billing area that can help gather customer feedback on their overall experience, alter speech to text, assess their sentiments and use it to improve the store experience.

The use of edge computing in retail can boost businesses’ operational efficiency, enhance customer experiences and help understand trends. Many retailers are relying upon their edge computing infrastructure to deliver insights into how best to leverage their technological resources so as to foster the highest level of operational efficiency.

As edge computing assists in collecting and evaluating data into customers’ purchasing histories that are either in-store or nearby, retailers can use them to tailor their advertising and marketing efforts to better address their customers’ preferences and recommend new products or offers based on their purchasing decisions.