TECHNOLOGY

Edge Computing: How it Enhances Customer Experience in Retail

Edge Computing

As the world has transcended digitization, the customer’s preference regarding shopping has also changed. Today’s customers seek personalized experiences but also need better shopping experiences. Even though digitization has enabled businesses to move beyond brick-and-mortar stores and expand their businesses online, retailers still find a need for an efficient system to enhance the customer experience. And edge computing holds the power to do that.   

 

Challenges Posed by the Business Before Edge Computing Regarding User Experience:
 

Even though digitization was widespread, many businesses struggled to offer the best possible user experience, and here are the reasons for the same.  

 

Lack of Resources and Staff: With limited resources and staff, businesses are unable to cater to the personalized needs of the customers, resulting in poor customer experience.
 

Being Unaware of Customer Behavior: With inappropriate technology-based tools, it is difficult to identify how customers interact with retailers’ products. Therefore, it is not easy to determine the customer’s needs and what he seeks from a particular retailer.  

 

Retailer’s Incapability to Respond in Real-time: To assure customer satisfaction, retailers are required to respond in real-time. Unable to do so can lead to customer dissatisfaction, and retailers may lose market value.  

Inexperience to Integrate Online and In-store: A lack of integration between these two operations can lead to inconsistency in inventory and sales, creating responses to the customers and thus leading to dissatisfaction.  

 

Difficulty in Locating the Desired Product: Many times, store shopping is tedious for many customers because of difficulty in finding the desired items.  

 

How to Edge Remove Any Potential Barriers and Enhance Customer Experience:  

 

Personalized In-store Experience:  

Edge computing can provide customers with an ease to navigate the stores based on data-driven offers and access to digitized catalogs and instill brand value among the customers. Retailers can install Bluetooth-enabled devices in smart carts to navigate the items within the stores. One can also interconnect multiple devices with edge computing. Moreover, there is a provision for integrating voice inputs like Alexa and Google Assistant into smart carts to enhance the user experience. 

 

Use of Smart Carts: 

Edge devices such as sensor modules can be equipped with smart carts. These are processors used for image processing and machine learning and contain cameras, smart screens, barcode scanners, charging ports, and speakers. All these collect, and process data related to customers and offer personalized recommendations. Also, the data is quickly processed at the source and responded to instantly. All this increases customer satisfaction.  

 

Integration of Virtual and Augmented Reality:  

Today, various devices are equipped with edge devices to provide customers with an immersive and interactive shopping experience. Some of its examples are smartphones, smart glasses, headsets, etc. Moreover, customers can explore and experience a wide range of products virtually facilitated by edge devices having low latency and high responsiveness.  

 

Easy Customer Identification:  

One example of this is the camera installed at the entrance of the store. It can store the data related to the customers and help identify their recurrence. Also, as the data is being processed at the edge, it can offer tailored product recommendations to returning customers and special offers while they are in the store.  

 

Integrating social media with Edge: 

Retailers with a social media presence wherein they regularly interact with their customers can showcase their offerings, study customer behaviors and develop business plans through social media. Leveraging social media with edge computing can help enhance its effectiveness and related data processing and analysis, thus leading to better customer engagement and satisfaction.  

 

Facilitation of Self-Checkouts:  

Integrating edge devices at the checkout in the form of self-checkout kiosks can make purchasing easy and fast for customers while saving them a lot of time standing in long queues. At the same time, these devices can provide personalized recommendations based on the purchased items to help customers gain some savings. However, bombarding customers with excessive information can be frustrating. Hence, maintaining the balance here is the key to enhancing their experience.  

 

Tapping into Customer Feedback: 

Retailers can deploy edge devices in stores to collect customer feedback on how they feel about a particular purchased product or overall service. And, in case of any issues or complaints, the edge devices can immediately address them as the data is processed locally with the lowest latency. It helps offer customers a pleasant shopping experience.  

 

Conclusion:  

Edge computing boasts excellent capabilities like low latency and efficient processing of reasonably large amounts of data, which makes them an attractive option for the retail industry and beyond. Using this technology in stores (both online and physical) can help businesses create an impressive shopping model and thus enhance customer satisfaction.  

 

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Back to top button