The secret’s out about the Internet of Things (IoT). It’s going to change our world.
One of the spaces that will be impacted is the brick-and-mortar retail sector. Retail stores can use wireless sensor networks to enhance onsite security, improve operations, and serve customers better.
Using wireless sensors, retail managers are able to connect everyday objects and enable many IoT applications. Let’s dive in and explore how retailers can take advantage of wireless sensor networks today.
Bolstering onsite security
Retail managers can significantly boost onsite security with IoT sensors built from emerging long-range wireless protocols. Interconnected devices can easily track activity in certain areas or monitor specific access points.
Wireless motion sensors can be deployed to detect human presence or movement in rooms after hours. For example, retail security may want to deploy motion sensors in areas where the most valuable inventory is stored. Wireless outdoor motion sensors with indoor alerts can be placed outside of buildings to help security teams monitor suspicious activity.
Retailers can use wireless door/window sensors to monitor secure rooms closely. For example, wireless door sensors can detect entrance to rooms only accessible to high-security individuals. Window sensors can be placed at every opening through which burglars may try and enter the building. These sensors can even be placed on cabinets and lockboxes to track opening and closing events where smaller valuables may be stored.
Wireless acceleration-based movement sensors can be attached to valuable assets to ensure they remain where they are supposed to be at all times. For example, an electronics store, one might put acceleration-based movement sensors on every large appliance or piece of consumer electronics so that security can quickly identify when merchandise is moving when it should not be.
Preserving internal conditions
Many retail locations must carefully monitor internal temperatures and air quality.
Wireless temperature sensors can be used in a grocery store to monitor refrigeration units and ensure safety of the food products as well as any related cold chain compliance.
Retailers that maintain warehouses can measure the heat index on loading docks using wireless temp and humidity sensors to make sure that conditions are safe for employees. These sensors can also detect cooling system failures during warm summer months or heat failures in the winter at remote locations. In both cases, wireless temperature sensors can help retailers proactively avoid environmental issues that may damage merchandise.
Maintaining essential operations
Wireless sensors are perfectly suited to help retailers maintain essential operations at all times.
Flooding or spilling can wreak havoc at any retail location, which is why wireless water sensors are so important. Water rope sensors can be used to detect the presence of any liquid and help maintenance teams quickly address floods, pump failures, leaking toilets, and plumbing issues. Rope sensors can be deployed in server rooms to protect critical computers and keep essential systems online.
Using wireless vibration sensors, building maintenance personnel can monitor when equipment is running and detect signs of early failure. Wireless tilt sensors can come in handy at retail locations where significant inventory enters and exits through large bay doors. Tilt sensors can monitor garage door opening and closing events and report on the orientations of certain surfaces.
Customers are the lifeblood of brick-and-mortar businesses. Wireless sensor networks can enhance the customer experience and personnel on the floor in various ways.
Retail locations can install wireless push buttons that will send alerts when pressed. These can be deployed in bathrooms so that customers can indicate when cleanings are needed. Retailers or malls with high foot traffic could learn quickly when to send janitorial staff to specific areas in order to avoid frustrating more customers.
Wireless push buttons could also be placed at counters that aren’t actively monitored by employees. They can even be used as silent alarms at counters or other areas where burglars may try to steal from registers or cabinets containing valuables.
Wireless sensors transforming retail forever
Thanks to the IoT and wireless sensor networks, retailers will be able to automate many activities and improve numerous operational areas. From security applications to customer service support, wireless sensors can be used in a variety of ways to transform retail management.
Fortunately, Radio Bridge, a MultiTech brand, designs and manufactures long-range wireless sensors that can be deployed on any of the major emerging wireless standards. With our device management console, you can easily configure, deploy, and manage sensor products for any brick-and-mortar retail facility. To learn more about how we can equip your team with wireless network capabilities, give us a call today – (763) 785-3500.