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    Retail IoT solutions: Modern Solutions for Brick and Mortar Stores

    Modern retailers use the Internet of Things (IoT) to improve service, optimize operations, and gain advanced insights from their stores.

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    The Internet of Things (IoT) is transforming many industries, but the term originated in retail, where it’s been revolutionizing RFID and more for over 20 years. Kevin Ashton first referenced the Internet of Things in a presentation he created for Procter & Gamble in 1999, where he described the possibilities of linking P & G’s RFID system to the Internet.

    In the years since, IoT has been used in retail to enhance the customer experience, complete transactions, track and monitor inventory, reduce operating costs, and more. Connected devices can improve various retail processes, and the applications are still growing as businesses discover new ways IoT can serve customers and simplify inventory management.

    But if you’re developing IoT solutions in this space, you’ll find some unique connectivity challenges:

    • Retail operations can take place in outdoor, indoor, and mobile environments, which many IoT connectivity solutions aren’t suited for.
    • Customer data is highly sensitive, and some of the worst IoT security breaches have occurred in the retail industry.
    • Large retail operations involve vast amounts of data and require robust networks to facilitate consistent service.

    The advantage of cellular IoT in retail

    Cellular connectivity was designed to keep a large volume of devices connected and secure everywhere. That’s why it’s one of the most popular solutions for IoT in retail. With EMnify’s global IoT SIM cards, your devices have secure network connections anywhere in the world, and your transmissions are always encrypted. Using EMnify’s Cloud Connect or IPSec, you can establish Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) to keep your sensitive data safe.

    Use cases for IoT in retail

    Connected devices pave the way for automating repetitive tasks, simplifying data management, and detecting irregularities. Here are some of the ways IoT is solving problems in retail today.


    Point of Sale (PoS) terminals

    PoS terminals need to provide smooth, secure service. Poor connections can cause transaction failures, delays, and loss of sales. With EMnify’s carrier-agnostic IoT SIM cards, your devices connect to the best signals wherever you are and route your data through the nearest cloud server to decrease latency.

    Read more about EMnify's solution for PoS


    Inventory management

    Inventory management was the first application for IoT in retail, and it’s grown to include a variety of opportunities. Today’s retailers combine RFIDs with IoT sensors to track product data including expiration dates, compliance requirements, stock, location, and more. They can track product shipments and get real-time insights into their supply chain and manage resources more efficiently.


    Vending machines

    If a vending machine runs out of inventory or malfunctions, it’s just wasting power and taking up floor space. Using IoT connectivity, retailers can adjust delivery schedules with vendors and coordinate with maintenance teams based on the machine’s current needs. Sensors can track how much of each product is available and send alerts when it reaches an established threshold or experiences an error.

    Get connected with EMnify

    EMnify keeps every device connected, everywhere. Our specialized IoT SIM cards connect to more than 540 networks in over 190 countries, so your devices work out-of-the-box wherever you deploy. Want to see how it works? Sign up for a free evaluation pack, and we’ll send you two test SIMs preloaded with data and 60 days of access to our platform.

    Customer Success Stories

    Read how the most innovative retail companies use EMnify