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6 Ways to Enhance Your Retail Businesses with Smart Products

Retail is a notoriously tough business to succeed in. So to those who enter this risky terrain, all the more power to you. Being in retail takes a tough back bone: margins are slim, marketing is expensive, and competition is ever-evolving. Much like the restaurant industry, the majority of retail stores close their doors within the first year. Smart owners often have years of experience in the industry and the right connections to boot. But beyond those critical assets, successful owners also know where to invest their money: into smart devices that are more likely to ensure their business succeeds. The following products are smart devices for crafted with businesses in mind.


Why You Need It

Smart devices for businesses not only make succeeding in retail more likely, they also make everyday activities incredibly more convenient. From checking out a customer to checking out what’s happening when you can’t be on premise, these products not only help business owners, they help employees and even customers. With these, everyone can do their job or get what they need in the fastest and most efficient way possible. Ready to ensure you succeed in your retail business? Invest in these smart products that not only come with some rather revolutionary features, but also helps to ensure your retail business operates smoothly.


Create An Atmosphere That Encourages Buying


Smart Lighting Can Make Your Customers Shop Longer and Help to Influence Purchasing Decisions

The buying experience is partially about the actual objects for sale and partially about the shopping experience. Dim, dingy lighting not only makes your customers feel a little creeped out, it also makes your products look less attractive. Alternatively, overly bright lighting can be so intense it hurts shoppers eyes and makes them just want to leave a store. The purpose of lighting in your store is to make customers feel at ease and want to buy. Exceptional lighting even makes your products look more appealing, allowing you to increase the price of your goods and attract more customers. To ensure customers stay and buy, setting the right atmosphere with proper lighting is a must.

The Philips Hue smart lighting products can help you create the perfect ambiance inside your brick and mortar store. Newly enhanced, this lighting kit has been upgraded from 600 to 800 lumens and has increased internal storage. Now you can try out different lighting ‘scenes’ and save the ones you like most. Perhaps one scene is better at promoting purchases during daylight hours, and another is better for the evening.

‘Scenes’ and other smart features such as voice control can all be configured and used via your smart phone or tablet. If you keep an Amazon Echo in the back office, you can use voice control, and thee lights also works with Alexa as well as HomeKit for Apple iPhone integration. This lighting kit features varying shades of white, from warm to more of a cool blue and bulbs that can be used in a variety of places, including table and floor lamps, plus pendent, hanging, and other open fixtures.


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Looking for other ways to create the perfect atmosphere? Consider these products below:



Capture and prevent theft, even from employees


Not only a great security camera, but the Nest also allows you to speak to workers when you’re gone

Your store is your investment, and like anything you put your hard earned money, not to mention blood, sweat and tears into, you’ll want to keep that investment safe. Retail loss costs store owners a ridiculous amount each year, especially considering how easily it can be prevented. And we’re not just talking theft from shoplifters – employees are also often to blame for missing inventory and cash. While it would be nice to think theft would never happen, it’s something that we simply must deal with and accept in today’s world. Security tags and hiring who you think are the most honest and loyal employees does help, but you’ll also want to keep a watchful eye on what’s happening around your shop. Since you can’t be there all the time, or in every corner, security cameras act as an excellent second pair of eyes to not only watch over, but also document any suspicious activity that may occur.

24/7 live video streaming is only the beginning of what this smart camera can do for your retail business. An Amazon bestseller, the Nest allows you to see your store in 1080p HD and control the camera from anywhere using your mobile phone. This security device gives you live alerts and updates for any sound or motion detected, helping you to keep better watch over what’s happening in your store when it’s closed. Plus the night vision on this camera is top-notch, just in case you have the unfortunate need to documents thefts at night.

Even better you can communicate directly through the Nest. See an employee slacking off or ignoring customers? Talk (and listen) to staff directly through the camera – no phone calls or extra technology required. For extra capabilities, subscribe to Nest Aware to get added bonuses such as 24/7 continuous recording and advanced cloud algorithms to get extremely personalized alerts.


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Want other options for having a second pair of eyes on your retail store at all times? Explore these options below:




Say Goodbye to handing employees keys with smart locks


Enjoy full 24/7 control over who has access to your store with a Smart Lock

People lose keys; it’s simply a fact. But when an employee loses a key to your brick and mortar location, the stakes are even higher. Also, having the ability to give employee-specific codes to everyone allows you to monitor exactly who is coming in and out, and when. Plus, generic turnkey locks aren’t always the safest bet. They can easily be picked open, and burglars know to look for them. You can protect your merchandise, along with sparing yourself the inconvenience of replacing locks, by investing in a smart lock.

While worries of robbery and theft are always on the minds of most retail business owners, with the Ultraloq UL3 Fignerprint and Touchscreen Smart Lock, these concerns don’t have to be completely out of your control. Retail owners get advanced protection for their stores with being able to use your fingertip, code, or key to unlock doors.

No more hassle and fuss with handing keys back and forth, and no more worries about getting locked out if keys get locked. This model features advanced fingerprint detection and identification, anti-beep touch keypad technology, and a hidden backup key. On it’s own, this Smart Lock will last up to one year on a single Lithium ion battery (included) thanks to sense-on settings, while still allowing you to use the intuitive LCD screen as often as needed.


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Looking for a lock with some different features? Check out these alternatives below:



Upgrade to Beacons to Allow Your Customers to Shop Smart


Enable True ‘Smart’ Shopping With the Use of iBeacons


How many shoppers use their phones while they are in your store at one point? Probably most of them. We live in a phone-glued-to-hand world and while you may not think this impacts your sales, it does. Shoppers often get distracted with social media and other apps, instead of looking at your products. Some even go online with their mobile device to compare prices on the products you offer. Instead of allowing the mass use of phones to be a hassle, you can turn today’s mobile addiction into a benefit for you and your business using beacons.

Beacons can transform a regular shopping experience into an interactive, entertaining, even gamified event, so it’s surprising more retail locations don’t use these handy devices. iBeacons are small tracking devices that send information to other smart devices, such as computers, smartphones, and tablets. Within the retail world, this allows store owners to send customers shopping incentives such as limited-time, in-store only coupons, rewards for checking in, refer-a-friend discounts, and so much more.

These Social Retail iBeacons are fully customization allowing you to even create your own app or game with little programming knowledge required. But don’t worry, as you’re not just limited to what Social Retail provides. These iBeacons are compatible with all Social Retail® apps, the Social Retail Digital Convergence Platform, and any beacon management platform compatible with iBeacon technology. With a silicon cover, these beacons are water-resistant, ideal for both indoor and outdoor use, and can transmit data up to 295 feet away, meaning you can use them as a marketing tool to incentivize shoppers to come in your store.


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Looking for another option? Explore this other one too:



Virtually engage with your customers


Always be Selling – To Shoppers That Is, Even When You Can’t Talk to Them In Person


Even if you have the best sales people in the world, sometimes shoppers need something more visual to best understand a product and how it can benefit their lives. This is where smart screens come in. These devices allow shoppers to get more detailed information about products and see visual use examples of how any product may be used. They’re not only a great asset to inform shoppers, these screens can also act as a marketing tool, showcasing current deals and promos that could just be the extra nudge any customer needs to complete a purchase.

Set the displays to show examples of how a product looks in the home, or use it to showcase multiple uses for a product that customers may not have initially thought of. Show product specs, such as weight and size, and use the displays to up-sell customers by showing how accessories or other complimentary products will work well with the current product they are looking at. Digital displays are also ideal for retail owners who sell products that are too large to showcase the complete line in store, or those who sell products in many variations but again may not be able to keep every single option in stock at all times.


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Need some other digital display options? Explore these products below:



Accept payments anytime, anywhere


Allow shoppers to pay anytime, anywhere, leading to more purchases


No matter how ‘vintage’, ‘specialized’, or ‘low-key’ your store is, a cash only sign can be an instant turn off for customers. Think about where restaurants display the payment types the accept: usually in the window or on the door, prompting potential customers to come in. No one wants to be caught off guard and unable to complete a purchase because they don’t have cash in hand. (And having an ATM machine in your store doesn’t make up for it.) You want to be able to accept the most amount of payment methods possible to retain the highest number of customers.

Regular Point-of-Sale (POS) machines meet this need and allow you to accept most cards, but there’s an even better way to accept payments by use of chip readers. These devices allow you to accept payments anytime, anywhere, meaning a customer doesn’t even have to wait in line to make a purchase. Allowing customers to ‘check out’ at any point in their shopping experience greatly increases the likelihood they actually make their purchase.

POS systems have advanced so much in the last 5 years, it’s almost rare to see traditional cash registers at most modern retail stores. You’ve probably heard of the Square credit card reader and how it works seamlessly with iPads. The company behind this retail revolution has evolved with the times, and with modern payment systems, releasing their most recent model which is a POS system that is capable of reading the ever-popular credit card chips.

This contactless credit card reader connects wirelessly to iOS and Android devices via Bluetooth or with a USB cord if you sell with the Square Stand. Of course, the leading mobile POS system by Square is a free app to download and use, and allows you to handle payments, tipping, inventory, reports, and much more. This new credit card processing device comes complete with the older Square stripe reader, so you can accept credit cards ‘the old fashioned way’ as well.


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Want a few modern point of sale system alternatives? Consider these options below:



Now that you’ve got many options for advancing your retail store into this decade, how much success will you see from making these improvements? We’ve listed plenty of options to upgrade, from security devices to marketing tools, and now it’s up to you to decide which smart devices you want in your retail store. Are you most concerned about keeping your inventory safe, or are you looking for new ways to engage with your customers while in store? Whatever your greatest need, upgrading your retail store devices, even if you do so one by one, is likely a way to ensure the continued success of your store.

Which product would be most useful to you? If security is top of mind for you, we recommend you start your smart upgrade with smart security cameras!


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