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Advancing retail with AI, IoT and specialty tech

June 27, 2019

Retailers are looking to embrace new tech as they simplify and consolidate their IT partnerships. Solution providers that deliver AI, IoT and specialty tech are winning the race as trusted advisors, all while adding new revenue streams to their businesses. Those that aren’t are at risk of losing retail customers that want to innovate with a single vendor point of contact.
 
So sit back and imagine yourself arriving at a retail store’s connected parking lot. IR sensors identify prime, empty parking spaces and send alerts to your connected vehicle. Now that you’re parked, let’s get to more tech.
 
 
AI, IoT and specialty tech for retail
 

Facial recognition
Thanks to AI and IoT, we predict it’ll be the norm to pay for everything through facial recognition or retina scan. Retail customers will be identified immediately and payments will be automated. In terms of security, they can steal your cash, credit card and phone—it’s hard to steal your face or iris. 
 
Investment in outcome
If traditional retailers focused on return on investment, the future of retail will focus on outcome. What do companies want consumers to do? What action do they want them to take? If you shop in New York City or Tokyo, the top stores are investing more in experience than anything else. This ultimately creates a buying environment. If consumers expect to touch screens at home, they expect the same in public. In today’s connected world, the best experience wins. Solution providers must take note.  
 
Mobile analytics
Today, it’s all about meeting consumers where they are, as individuals, not in broad terms. Mobile is going to continue to grow in the POS, data capture and digital signage world. In retail, for example, we all have different buying habits, and this data is coveted by these retailers. If a woman purchases a black dress, technology can recognize both her purchase and her smartphone—and automatically market matching accessories to her via digital signage along with offering discounts.
 
In another scenario, if you’re shopping and a retailer doesn’t have your desired product in stock, the retailer traditionally loses that sale. With IoT and AI, you can pay for the transaction and the exact product is on your doorstep within 24 hours. 
 
What is specialty tech?
The retail industry is becoming comfortable with AI and IoT, but where does specialty tech come in?
 
In its simplest form, specialty tech represents any IP device off a network. Whether that network is on-prem, off-prem, cloud or hybrid—specialty tech starts with an IP address attached to that. For example, solution providers that have been core data center integrators are now being asked by their retail customers to deploy digital signage or POS devices for retail.
 
How can Ingram Micro help solution providers in retail?
Ingram Micro has already invested in the intellectual property, certification and subject matter experts. We make it easy for our core network partners to add IP-based specialty technology to your portfolio—without the major investment. In other words, you can now say yes to more end users. This also works the other way for our pro AV, signage and data capture partners who want to offer network-based solutions to their customers.
 
Ingram Micro’s support includes sales, technical, marketing, vertical market, professional services and more resources. We make solution providers look robust while we’re supporting them behind the scenes. Our differentiator is that we provide this expertise with limited risk, exposure and investment for our customers.
 
 
Want more tech talk?
Infographic: The future of IoT in retail

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