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November 4, 2016updated 08 Nov 2016 3:01pm

IoT hits the runway as it connects fashion and retail

Future of IoT innovation takes a leap in Fashion and Retail industry.

By Hannah Williams

Despite reports that the rise of Internet of Things may disrupt high street fashion store sales, a solution may have been found with an idea to bring IoT onto the shop floor.

At the Future of IoT in Fashion and Retail conference  CEO of Detego, Uwe Henning highlighted the ways the company is using IoT to add to the progress of Fashion and Retail.

The progress of digital transformation continues to soar as the world of IoT is explored across different platforms, significantly noticeable across the healthcare industry as ognitive computing devices are being used to identify diseases.

It is through IoT innovation that the key benefits of collaboration are very much identified at a larger scale.

Retail IT specialist, Detego created a number of collaborations with retailers to assist with pioneering IoT initiatives to improve areas such as stock management and customer service.

Uwe Henning

Uwe Henning, CEO, Detego

Henning said: “Fashion retail, whether fast fashion or luxury, has between 60-80 percent of retail still happening in the physical store. People love to go shopping, try things on and consumers are really demanding more service as opposed to online orders and being unable to return the item in store (happens a lot in ecommerce).

“In the internet everything is possible. In the physical store, majority is in that store. This is where IoT comes in as it will work together with technology and applications.”

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Henning says the idea is that the connected reality is measured in three stages which help to implement IoT whilst delivering customer service in efficient ways.

The first stage is ‘Hyperawareness’, was explained by Henning as a process which “allows retailers to understand what shoppers really like, what do they see as a value and then make a decision as best as possible. It’s around if you want to use old data to make a decision, or if it’s better to use new-time data because in our digital world we’re using new-time data and the rest is fast execution.”

The following two stages, which follow on from hyperawareness, include informed decision making and fast execution.

detegoThe demonstration of retail digitisation was explored through a partnership the SAP. The project began in 2015.

The use of SAP highlighted the importance of integration.

Oliver Grob, who works at Industry Business Unit at SAP said: “We have an end-to-end process from the manufacturer and customers, with four connection points to the business- that’s the classic retail business of today.

“With IoT we have the opportunity to connect many points, which means adding sensors to it, creating a more precise picture.”

The tagging of products in store is made faster and more effective through RFID (Radio-frequency identification), which automates the supply chain, creates better visibility and awareness for customers to know where goods are located.

Grob added: “If we can digitise the store by doing heat mapping we can understand what happens much more, knowing where spaces are within the store to give more insight, all with the use of IoT technologies.”


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Inventory management can be made more accurate with the smart shelf, shelves which can detect if someone  takes an item identifying if that piece is being removed but also what exactly the item is.

With a mixture of either RFID technology or weight sensors, it can be used to enable retailers to get a clear instant view what’s happening at the shelf level.

Grob said: “Online this can be identified but we want to make this possible in-store as well. It is very important for retailers to get closer to the business and closer to the interaction.”

A smart fitting room will allow retailers to get closer to customers, not quite literally but via interaction. It identifies what customers take into the fitting room, what was sold and which items are taken back to the store

“Wearables is not just a smart watch, it can also be smart products, so getting more information about what the customers are doing with the products.

“All these technologies together show that the retail process can be developed a lot through IoT technologies.” Grob says.

A partnership with Intel means capture consumer experience capture can be explored through a mixture of insight and analytics.

A combinations of RFID tags with a smart platform and other concepts were demonstrated at one of Intel’s 10 IoT ignition labs at the Future of IoT in fashion and retail conference.

Despite online search, over 90 percent of customer value is still being transacted in store.

Henning, said: “We want to create the same insights provided online to in-store. Retailers are tired of seeing more reports so we want to make it simpler for them with IoT innovation.”


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