You’re probably thinking that Bluetooth and smart devices have no place in retail businesses or restaurants. However, people were probably having similar thoughts about having computers at home. Technology is an ever changing phenomena and if someone does not adapt to it, they will be left behind. Technology is not created only for corporate benefit, it is created for improving a person’s everyday life. The addition of Bluetooth in restaurants and retail is changing the way we live life and simplifying our experience while making it more enjoyable at the same time.
Take for example the case of Coupa Cafe in Palo Alto, California. This restaurant has iBeacons on tables so customers can order or pay for their order from their table. This is an excellent idea and should be adopted or at least considered for every restaurant. There are so many times people have to wait for waiter due to overcrowding. With this technology, a customer’s experience is significantly improved during busy times and the restaurant staffs job is made easier.
Now some people may argue that this technology will take away jobs as less waiters are needed. This may be true to some extent, but online ordering and paying does not give the same human element that a real life food server does. The food server can still give recommendations about what to order and a waiter is still necessary to deliver food to tables.
Even McDonald’s is taking advantage of technology to improve their sales and consumer experience. McDonald’s has recently experimented with beacon technology in some restaurants in Georgia, Alabama, and South Carolina. Certain McDonald’s locations use the beacons to send customers messages and coupons.
The customer has to have a specific app installed and then when the user is in range, they will get a message. The beacons used in these restaurants were created by Piper, a San Diego technology company. Using the ebacons and a separate app for consumers, the sales of these restaurants were increased by 7.5-8%. By the end of the year, McDonald’s is planning on adding 260 more beacons to its restaurants.
Some restaurants may also send promotions to loyal customers. This can improve a restaurant’s customer base while giving benefiting consumers. It is a win-win situation.
Now in terms of retail, some things that can be controlled using IoT or Bluetooth technology are temperature and lights, tracking of products and employees, and tracking of shopping carts.
Temperature and Lighting
A restaurant or stores temperature and lighting can now be controlled from anywhere in the world using IoT. In addition, if sensors are used, temperature and lighting can be modified for if there are people present. If someone is in a specific aisle, the lights and temperature will be different than if nobody is in the area.
Product and Employee Tracking
Bluetooth tracking devices, managers will now be able to track what their employees are doing. This will add a layer of visibility and cause people to slack off less on the job.
Shopping Cart Tracking
Using Bluetooth tracking devices and sensors, store managers can see which parts of their store is the most popular. Knowing this information can help improve store efficiency.