The Internet of Things (IOT or IoT) is one of the technological developments that could significantly transform retail. Alexa, Siri and other electronic friends are systems or hubs to connect various IOT enabled devices for consumers. But, it’s not just about consumer technology and smart homes. In retail, it will connect the whole store together and offers a huge opportunity for collecting data and optimising the shopping trip. Joe Jensen, General Manager for the Retail Solutions Division at Intel, joins the podcast host, Oliver Banks, and tells us more about IOT.

Listen to this episode to:

  • Build a greater understanding of what IOT looks like for retail.
  • Get clear examples of how IOT could work for you.
  • And also, why Joe thinks retail has been like television.

Introducing Joe Jensen

Joe Jenson, General Manager, Retail Solutions Division (RSD) at Intel CorporationJoe Jensen is the General Manager of the Retail Solutions Division (RSD) at Intel Corporation.

He’s a VP and is looking at IOT opportunities across retail, banking, hospitality and education. He has 35 years experience at Intel across a variety of senior roles.

The RSD aims to bring together the hardware, software and analytics technologies that combine to realise the Internet of Things. In turn, retailers can offer personalised shopping experiences, optimise the shopping trip and prepare their business for improved performance in a number of different ways.

In addition to his Intel role, Joe is also a member of the board of directors for the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA). This organisation aims to promote operational excellence and innovation in retail.

Now, no doubt, you’ll have heard of Intel. But you may not have come across the Retail Solutions Division. So it would be worth checking out to find our more about what they do and how they could help you.

You can also connect with Joe Jensen on LinkedIn.

Why should IOT be used in retail

With the increasing power of technology and computing, there are more opportunities for using advanced technologies like IOT, AI and machine learning.

Collect and use data to optimise the business

Online businesses are increasingly advanced at using cookies and analytics. In turn, these are used to understand more about the customer journey and shopping trip. But in physical retail, there is a load of data created by shoppers and shops. But, with no way of collecting this data, there is no way of using that data to improve.

IOT can help physical retail to gather data and optimise shopping trips and operating models to improve business performance. Maybe this is through security cameras or other sensors.

Once you have data, you could then use the IOT to help make relevant recommendations to customers on digital screens and signage. Making more personalised offers could make the shopping trip more fruitful for the customer and retailer.

But, personalisation isn’t necessarily about one to one

In the podcast episode, Joe explains some of the frustration points where “personalisation” initiatives are sometimes too slow to react. However, Joe feels that some of the challenges of personalisation are created by trying to focus on a one to one relationship. Instead, he argues, why not focus on the broader details of the person. That way, you can use the pattern and scale from a wider group of people, rather than just from one person.

Going back to how this could work in a retail setting. For example, let’s say that you’re selling women’s perfume. If there is a man standing in front of a digital screen, you will want to sell that women’s perfume in a particular way. But, if there is a lady in front of the screen, you’ll want to use different graphics, benefits and call to actions. So, by changing what you display, the interaction will be more relevant.

Overcoming challenges with the shopping trip

Listen to the podcast in full to hear about more of the opportunities opened up by IOT. Examples include:

  • Optimising layout and routes that customers take.
  • Preventing customer dissatisfaction through incorrect stock records.
  • Understanding if your coupon strategy is working or just wasting money.
  • Why IOT can help you get the data for whatever you want to know.

Essentially, there are many ways in which IOT can help to improve retail. There are too many to list out, but hopefully Joe has given some food for thought and inspiration to help you understand what could be possible.

Everything is still to play for

Arguably, Amazon have worked out how to do ecommerce best through a screen.

When it comes to voice, it’s forecast to expand massively. Who is investing in R&D and could potentially be the best at voice commerce? Amazon, again.

So, the IOT is now an opportunity that will allow retailers to create the best physical stores. There is a huge amount to play for and the key is to get started now if you want to lead rather than be left behind.

Retail Week Live 2020

The Retail Transformation Show is a media partner of Retail Week LiveAs mentioned on the Retail Transformation Show, the podcast is a proud media partner of Retail Week Live 2020. Retail Week Live is a big event in the UK for senior retail leaders. It takes place on the 25th and 26th March 2020, in London. It’s big. In fact, there are over 200 speakers across multiple tracks or stages. So, hear about the latest thinking and hot strategies from across the retail and consumer facing marketplace. And at the same time, network with thousands of your peers from across every category in retail.

Also, I’m delighted to share a special discount for listeners of the Retail Transformation Show. Just use the code “RTS15” to get 15% off your tickets. No strings attached and this is not an affiliate scheme. We earn no money if you buy tickets through this code or link – so this is a special discount, just for you.

Find out more and buy your tickets at

You may also enjoy listening to:

Episode 14: Richard Hammond talking about how loyalty has changed and how thinking about loyal customers is an out of date perspective

Episode 56: Ian Shephed explains why it is so important to continue to learn. Check out this episode for other career tips too.

Engage with Oliver Banks on social media

It would be great to hear what you think about the Internet of Things in retail. What excites you most? Or do you think we’re still far away from really making useful and realistic use cases of the technology?

LinkedIn: Oliver Banks

Twitter: @ollie_banks



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