Oct 12 2023

How Smart Shelves Are Revolutionizing Retail

With real-time inventory, data insights and customer support, smart shelves are essential to any retailer’s digital transformation and omnichannel experience.

Smart shelves are changing the retail landscape for the better. And it’s especially true as omnichannel sales are becoming a preferred way to shop. In fact, the global market for smart shelves is expected to increase to $15.34 billion by 2030.

Equipped with sensors, radio frequency identification (RFID) tags, and Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity, these intelligent shelves provide real-time data on product availability, track and manage inventory, record valuable insights on consumer behavior and automatically detect when an item has been removed from a shelf.

Competitive brick-and-mortar stores are leaning into omnichannel strategies to keep pace, and these smart shelves are well suited to bring the virtual and physical worlds of shopping closer together. Here’s everything IT leaders need to know about smart shelves this holiday season.

Click the banner below to learn how you can prevent loss and improve security in your organization.

The Core Benefits of Smart Shelves

Smart shelves are a valuable tool for retailers. They optimize store performance, enhance customer service, track and manage inventory and provide real-time alerts to employees in-store. These benefits can have a positive impact on in-store purchases, which, according to The National Retail Federation, can be more profitable than online sales in some cases.

One major benefit of smart shelves is that they offer retailers a transparent look at their inventory. Thanks to their weighted RFID sensors, if stock is low, an alert can be sent to a sales associate to restock items. This enables more precise inventory management. Customers benefit too, as in-store inventories have a better chance of sharing accurate stock information.

Smart shelves can also enhance product displays and strategic placement of items in-store. With data analytics on customer behavior, smart shelves can provide retailers guidance on where items should be placed around the store. Employees can also receive alerts on any incorrect placement.

Smart shelves can connect to apps on customers’ phones to direct them within the store, a particularly useful benefit in times of retail staffing shortages. These real-time alerts also help stop theft before it happens and reduce overall shrinkage.

READ MORE: How to improve your in-store shopping experience.

How Smart Shelves Can Drive In-Store Sales

In the big picture, smart shelves can help retailers operate in a more integrated way across every point of the retail journey, from supply chain to in-store shopping and checkout.

By minimizing out-of-stock situations, customers have higher satisfaction rates and more brand loyalty. The better the shopping experience, the more likely the chances of a return visit.

And, as with all IoT devices, smart shelves can collect advanced data analytics, which allows IT leaders to understand customer preferences and sales trends. This also offers retailers a better sense of how in-store product placement affects purchasing habits.

For retailers looking to exhibit a tech-first approach, smart shelves are a great way to advance their digital transformation goals and improve the customer experience in-store.

B4LLS/Getty images

Become an Insider

Unlock white papers, personalized recommendations and other premium content for an in-depth look at evolving IT