Retail Solutions Driving the Rebirth of Brick and Mortar Stores

June 17

The “death of retail” myth has fooled a lot of doomsayers. What’s actually happening is retail is transforming and it’s no longer in-store vs. online. Here are the facts you need to know about this steady growth and what type of retail solutions are fueling this shift.

Evidence Retail Keeps Growing

With more than a million retail stores in America, the retail industry has grown about 4 percent each year since 2010. The misconception that brick and mortar stores are getting overrun by the internet simply isn’t true. Most of the top 50 online retailers, for example, also operate physical stores. Furthermore, only 10 percent of all retail sales take place online while 2,000 new stores emerged in 2018.

Even the number of retail jobs has grown this decade despite economic uncertainties for the middle class. As far as sales, the National Retail Federation has forecasted retail sales will grow 3.8 to 4.4 percent for 2019, rising to $3.8 trillion.

Digital Transformation Trends

Retail’s digital transformation is improving customer service through the Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology. Some of the key retail solutions that are reshaping the shopping experience are:

  • Cognitive Computing
  • Smart Beacons
  • Cashless/Cardless Checkouts

Cognitive computing, which utilizes AI-chatbots that provide customer service, is growing quickly in 2019. It’s expected to be a game-changer for companies brave enough to embrace robots designed to answer consumer questions.

Beacon technology, which facilitates in-store marketing based on a consumer’s location, is becoming more popular in retail. Beacons are small transmitters that send signals over a short distance to target prospects within a proximity of a matter of feet. Retailers can use beacons to communicate directly with store visitors and let them know about your deals.

Cashless/cardless checkouts are a futuristic way to pay for something without a physical wallet or card. Payment is made from your smartphone using a digital wallet. Due to the environmental concerns of plastic causing too much waste in landfills and oceans, this solution is gaining favor with people who care about becoming greener. The process will likely become even more seamless the more it integrates with IoT technology.

Where Retail Is Heading

Digital technology is the driving force behind the current retail transformation that’s providing greater convenience for consumers. It will certainly lead to more personalization, which increases brand loyalty. But this sea change still needs help from retailers themselves to be fully realized. The labor market for retail is getting more competitive, so store owners will need to invest more in staff pay and training.

Retailers also will need to stay on top of big data, machine learning and virtual assistants to gain a competitive edge. Smaller versions of department stores will become more common while big box stores may have to transform into something else to be profitable. Ultimately, retailers must take a more creative approach to enhance the customer experience.


The future of retail solutions is rapidly moving in a digital direction. Planning for it with modern technology that connects with smartphone users will be a big factor in retail survival.

Johannes Beekman

About the author

After 25 years in engineering, Johannes Beekman founded IoT Marketing with the goal of helping companies bring wide-scale awareness to their inventions. He received a Master of Science in Physics degree from the Eindhoven University of Technology, and a Master in Business Administration degree from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and started his career in the semiconductor field. Johannes pioneered two successful wafer fab startups for Philips Electronics; one in Europe and the second one in Asia. And served as Senior Program Manager for Sematech, where he provided solutions for semiconductor industry-wide product improvement and cost reduction challenges. Johannes has also published articles on several trade-focused websites.


Agriculture IoT, Healthcare IoT, home IoT, industrial IoT, internet of things, IoT, IoT blog, IoT Business, IoT companies, IoT consulting, IoT cybersecurity, IoT Devices, IoT home, IoT marketing, IoT Security, IoT sensors, IoT Technology, Manufacturing IoT, Medical IoT, Retail IoT

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