Before I even write a few words on this , I must hashtag #IoT #AI #BigData #Sensors #Analytics #Heatmap #ZoneAnalytics . Beyond this point its going to be a juice for everyone. I feel today’s brick & mortar retailers are like warriors of stone age where they are strong but without smart tools. Hunting for food was no easy game then & same is the fight at store front today.

With retail evolution in past decade & online revolution of Amazon’s, Flipkart’s & Wallmart’s of world, we have gone way ahead in online space in comparison to offline world of retail. Yes, the value of retail is well understood by shopper when it comes to picking up best red capsicum from your nearby super-mart but that’s being getting captured by online players as your liking & interest are getting stored on clicks. They have started delivering to smart shoppers at door steps.

Again , we agree that the online shoppers are no more than 10% of overall market size & offline will survive its life this way for next couple of decades for sure. Now its time to realise whether offline retail wants a decaying death or revival in time.

Let us step up a ladder from super-mart to shopping mall. The fantasy of shopping in malls will never go, as it is something that we want to do. I am not referring to shopping items, its shopping the experience. The feeling of felt superior can be achieved by driving a Ferrari , wearing an Armani or staying at Burj Khalifa. This line has secret of sales wrapped inside.

Customer’s Superior Feeling !

This is the real trade off, either you are a candy seller on small cart inside the mall or you are a lavish store of Salvatore Ferragamo you need to know your customer before he arrives & make him a hero. Now reality knocks the door & the store manager says …

  • How will I know a customer before he arrives at my store ?
  • How will I be prepared enough to greet him ?
  • How will I make him a hero ?

First thing First – You need to know who is around & who is at the door. Further your door branding & look in window will decide who will walk inside the store. Technology is shaping up the retail spaces like never thought before. Answers to all questions exists & here starts the personalization for customers.

Even though the General Data Protection Regulations #GDPR is realigning some pillars of online mansion but here in offline world the mansion is yet to be built. Before you set a #RIP tag to your brand , think baby steps towards adoption of technology.

Malls are first one in this #RIP list & mall owners are suffering the most. The effort of finding a tenant in mall is far difficult than constructing the mall. Mall owners are ready to lease out 3-6 months of rent free period to brands, so that the boat starts sailing. New entrants are way too scared to even think of setting up shop inside a mall.

This is a real pain both for the mall owners & brands. Since mall has never planned for hashtags those I had used in beginning of this article while constructing & neither is aware of how to implement it now. Even if the proactive initiatives are took then mall owners really don’t know what is the gestation time to see the fruits of seeds sown.

The most important aspect is how does it look like ? what should I call it – a smart retail or retail 2.0 ?

Retailers are doing numerous meetings with mall management to plan week by week activities ranging from putting danglers in parking area to banner ads inside the mall , all are keeping each stakeholder busy everyday.

Think despite of any such traditional methodology are we able to grab any data ?

The secret is secret until you don’t see it , let me explain this with a pictorial view how retail tech start-ups are solving this unicorn size problem with some sensors & gateways.

The importance of Internet of Things is the buzz word & retailers must learn this fast. Learning the ABC of Smart Retail becomes easy with collaboration & staying united. I gave this presentation in 2015 at an IoT Conclave & we are fortunate to map over 200+ Malls world wide with Freedom Desi. The secret for boosting sales lies in the execution of retail 2.0 & understanding the importance of IoT.