We're coming to that day and age where customers will be walking up to your storefront where LED signage greets them, and knows their name, tells them the specials, and then tells the customers what they have on sale based on their shopping history in the store.
Sound a little far-fetched? Oh, Virginia, the technology is closer than you think. In fact, such techniques are already happening today.
Welcome to the Internet of Things
"Internet of Things? It sounds like somebody ran out of names."
We know. It really does. But what it can do is incredible.
The Internet of Things is a network that includes physical objects, each equipped with enough working components to send and receive data. It sounds preposterous at first until one realizes all the devices today that have little interfaces with computer hardware, a basic operating system, and performs computer functions. Such capabilities are now being found in everyday devices such as coffee makers, drink dispensers (yes, I need caffeine), lighting systems, thermostats, not to mention the devices that have had this technology for well over a decade now include televisions and phones that have become smart.
To make the example we used in the beginning of this article is already becoming a reality, one needs a computerized membership program, wi-fi network within the store property, and digital signage synced to the system. For example, several grocery stores have already developed apps that signifies to customers' who have the app on smartphones when they are in range. All they have to do is push a button on their screen which opens the app and from there, a list of specials and things the membership program's software believes the customer is looking for.
The rest is a few software tweaks synced to the signage.
Say you are running a sale on 3 products. Not every customer likes every product on sale, but every customer likes at least 1 of those products. Using today's tech, you can set up a system that detects your app on a user's smartphone. From there, you can identify who the shopper is, their history, and using software, identify their buying habits. The system can go so far as to pull data from their saved lists within the app, so your system knows what they're shopping for. Then, the system can cross-reference that data with the products you have on sale, see which ones are a match, and display a message on the LED outdoor digital signage out front, notifying the customer which products in their list are on sale. Before you say, "the shoppers probably already know," we point out that the system can 1) notify the specific user that those items are still on sale and 2) notify the shopper how many of each items are left, so the customer knows whether or not they need to run in or if they can get a couple other items along the way.