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Exploiting IoT Data to Improve Brand Loyalty and Success

TimPeters

 

Untitled design (5).jpgBig data and the Internet of Things (IoT) are changing the way businesses interact with their customers. IoT, a network of connected physical objects embedded with sensors, is allowing today’s businesses to collect, analyze, and act on large quantities of data in order to streamline operations and better serve customers. In fact, harness IoT data is expected to have a retail environment economic impact between $0.4–$1.2 trillion per year by 2025. A survey of 1,700 retail decision makers found that seventy percent are ready to adopt IoT to improve the customer experience, and seventy-three percent view big data management as business-critical. Key areas of improvement will include automated checkout, in-store promotions happening in real time, layout optimization, smart CRM, inventory optimization, and employee productivity.

IoT FOR BRAND LOYALTY

Clearly, IoT is critical to future success. For retailers, IoT data is empowering them to better understand their customers, capitalize on shopping trends and behaviors, and uncover new ways to enhance the experience both in-store and online. Retailers are innovating with IoT to create brand loyalty in the following ways:

  • Rewarding customers with IoT technology. Legacy reward programs only capture web activity and point of sale purchases. By using sensor and mobile technology, brands can trace customer movements, proactively engage customers with the right content at the most relevant time, and reward their participation with special deals and promotions.
  • Customer information and decision making. With IoT, retailers have the ability to access and act on valuable intelligence about their offerings, using sensors to understand customer preferences and location-based technology to help guide customers to the product or service. IoT can also monitor usage or conditions to alert shoppers when to purchase or service a product, as well as provide news, updates, or public awareness.
  • Easier, faster, and more convenient user experience. New technologies like Disney’s Magic Band act not only as payment devices and forms of ID, but they also record what attractions the customers visit and make the appropriate recommendations and offers based on their patterns.
  • Business innovation. By collecting data from products, sales, search histories, shopping environments, and more to better understand customer needs and expectations, retailers can take these insights and quickly act on them, allowing products and services to be tailored to each customer.

SAFETY IN IoT

With all this to gain, small to midsize business (SMB) retailers should look to IoT to improve brand loyalty and success. But is IoT safe? Although more than half of retailers surveyed have seen a return of up to forty percent on their IoT investment, seventy-six percent reported an IoT related security breach. HPE Aruba ClearPass leverages known and trusted contextual information to create policies that secure network access on any multi-vendor wired or wireless network. That means all intelligent devices – such as IT-managed laptops, unmanaged customer smartphones or tablets, and IoT devices – can connect without compromising the network. ClearPass uses a three-step process to identify devices, enforce policies, and protect resources. For retailers, whose customers bring unmanaged devices, policy enforcement and protection are the most important aspects of this plan.

Working with ClearPass, Aruba Policy Enforcement Firewall (PEF) provides user-level awareness of all traffic across the network, eliminating the cost and complexity associated with manually configuring static VLANs, access control lists, and the wired switch infrastructure. PEF comes with AppRF, a feature designed to give network administrators insight into the applications that are running on their network. This information can be used to troubleshoot application performance in real time, set global WLAN policies, and plan for future growth. Additionally, Aruba Wireless Instant Access Points provide an added layer of security for all SMBs. These Access Points feature built-in firewall protection to prevent harmful data from entering the network, allowing retailers to receive and transmit data securely from IoT devices.

To learn more about how IoT solutions are helping modern retailers improve their brand loyalty, please follow us on Twitter at @HPE_SMB for the latest SMB news and updates.

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About the Author

TimPeters

VP/GM for HPE ProLiant Rack and Tower Servers and SMB Solutions. Previously VP/GM for HPE Server Software and Enterprise Solutions. Prior to HPE, Tim founded and partnered in technology management to provide strategic and operational expertise to both established and emerging companies. Seventeen years at Dell with scope of responsibility broad and inclusive for managing the company’s single largest P/L of the core product portfolio. Established successful start-up businesses in new product segments. Worked in Asia to consolidate and scale global development and operations while engaging new business partners to create a forward-thinking organization responsible for the long-term horizon in business investments, technology planning and solution development.

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