Vodafone Romania has begun offering IoT products aimed at retail businesses in a variety of sectors. The portfolio of IoT smart products includes a wide range of dedicated products, including Vodafone Smart Counting, Vodafone Digital Media Signage & Smart Analytics, Vodafone Heat Map, Vodafone Stock Alert and Vodafone Queue Management.
According to the operator: Smart Counting provides merchants with information about customer traffic in their stores and also enables them to organize their work more efficiently. Digital Media Signage & Smart Analytics allows business owners to deploy digital promotions based on specific market-segmentation criteria. The Heat Map monitors the most frequented routes in a store using smart sensors, furnishing data which merchants can use to better understand customers’ needs and reduce wait times.
The Stock Alert platform offers merchants an improved inventory management system that increases customer satisfaction by making sure that goods remain stocked on shelves. When a shelf reaches a pre-set minimum amount of products, store staff receive an alert and can quickly prepare new products to complement the stock.
Staying ahead of the IoT curve is an excellent strategy for operators, we believe, and this initiative from Vodafone Romania seems to fit the bill admirably. While connectivity for IoT worldwide is going to be an increasingly large source of revenue, only by creating original products can operators expect to realize the full potential of the IoT space. Full participation goes beyond a mere update to the traditional “dumb pipe” role and into real product innovation.
International Vodafone’s IoT Barometer study found that 34 percent of businesses in the world use IoT, up from 29 percent in 2017, and 70 percent of businesses adopting IoT report that they have gone beyond the pilot phase. While there are many consumer applications of IoT (especially for home use) and a vast number of uses in heavy industry, the retail sector is a particularly lively sector—a meeting point for consumer and enterprise needs—and therefore a fertile field for operators. And as because mobile information technology is already intimately involved in tracking movements and monitoring data consumption, the types of IoT uses that retail businesses can benefit from are particularly appropriate areas for mobile operators to develop technology for.
If Vodafone Romania has correctly understood the specific needs of retail enterprises in that country, it should be able to generate significant revenue from selling its suite of products, not to mention the ensuing revenue from running the service.