What the Internet of Things Means for Transactional Retail

2014 will kick off with an invigorating start for the retail world with the 103rd Annual National Retail Foundation (NRF) show in New York City. At this year’s conference, we expect to see a lot of excitement around solutions that will bring the Internet of Things (IoT) into the retail marketplace.

IoT is going to be a hot conversation, not just at NRF, but throughout 2014 and beyond with many solutions making their way to the mass market and a large number of people receiving exposure to IoT for the first time through retail experiences.

If you’re not yet familiar with IoT, the term refers to Internet-enabled devices that can network and communicate with each other and the cloud, forming intelligent systems that gather and quickly analyze millions of bits of data. As retail customers engage with intelligent devices, retailers can use Big Data analytics to drive a more personalized shopping experience for consumers.

This is already happening in connected stores with solutions such as:

  • Mobile POS: Meet customers at their point of need, provide great service, check inventory, order merchandise, and process payment without barriers, lines, or interruptions.
  • Digital Signage: Showcase hot new inventory, promote closeouts, measure message effectiveness, receive analytics, and control it all remotely.
  • Intelligent Vending: Engage shoppers like never before with touchscreen controls, video, audio, scent, gesture-based interaction, and cashless payment.

Today’s shoppers want to enjoy an engaging and seamless shopping experience, regardless of where they are or what device they are using. When customers can enter a connected store and be welcomed and guided by the store to their favorite products—using variables the customer has opted in for, such as online search histories, and previous shopping activities—then shoppers are finally getting that personal VIP treatment they crave.

Recent articles point out that IoT will have a multi-trillion-dollar impact and this infographic shows that by 2020 there will be 26 intelligent devices for every human on the planet. IoT is coming to retail in a diversity of environments and solutions and it seems that opportunities for retailers are limitless. But no matter which solutions a retailer decides upon, consumers can expect IoT to deliver seamless, customized experiences to the connected store, whether they’re shopping at home, online, or at the mall.

I hope you’ll stop by and check out these exciting experiences at NRF in Booth 2738. Contact me via Twitter (@Intel_Michelle) if you have questions about Intel retail solutions or what we’ll be featuring at the show.


Michelle Tinsley

About Michelle Tinsley

Director, Mobility & Secure Payments, Retail Solutions Division
Michelle Tinsley is the director of the Mobility & Secure Payments team in the Retail Solutions Division. In this capacity, she is responsible for Intel’s efforts in setting global strategy for retail mobility devices and defining product strategies to solve end retailer problems. During her 23-year span at Intel, Tinsley has progressed from controller proxy in Copenhagen, Denmark, to supporting the Embedded Computing Group in various controller positions, and then General Manager of the Personal Solutions Division. Outside of Intel, Tinsley is an active member of the Arizona State University Dean’s Council of 100, a hand-selected group of professional thought-leaders who council the W. P. Carey School of Business in both undergraduate and post-graduate degrees. Michelle is also an active angel investor in the Arizona Technology Investment group and also serves on the board of directors for Ubora, a small biz IT solutions firm. Tinsley received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Oregon and an MBA from Arizona State University.

One Response to What the Internet of Things Means for Transactional Retail

  1. Michelle, I’m eager to see what new insights come from the NRF 2014 panel discussions.

    I’ve worked with retailer systems integration projects over the last two decades and I’ve witnessed the inconsistent adoption of technology. As an example, while some retailers were keen to use RFID tags, many others showed little interest. Also, while I’m optimistic about the potential upside opportunities for IoT apps in retail, once again I expect that that the forward-looking early adopters will quickly distance themselves from the more conservative legacy retailers. In-store wireless app uses are likely limited only by the retailers imagination.