How can retail operations be optimized? Connect the dots!


by Tom Martell – Market Leader, Retail Vertical at N3N

Technology in today’s retail store goes far beyond the register used to make purchases or the security systems used to detect clothing security tags. In the landscape of the modern retail store, there is a much broader system of technology that has been built to support retail operations, especially around IoT.  

Traditionally, video has been used as the main tool to support Loss Prevention (LP) and Asset Protection efforts. As retailers and their data needs have evolved, these same video management tools have been leveraged to provide additional value with LP analytics to the traditional users as well as a tool to help Marketing and Operation functions study basic consumer behaviors to help enhance the retail shopping experience.

Video, along with additional in-store sensors like customer Wifi, bluetooth, door sensors, temperature sensors, RFID, provides an opportunity for retailers to understand how to enhance the consumer experience as well as drive operational efficiencies. In order to do so, the data from these devices must be connected.

Why should I connect my operational view?

Connecting the retailer’s operational view allows LP professionals to quantify specific issues associated with inventory loss. These issues range from employee theft to shrink increases to organized retail crime (ORC).  For example if a retailer wants to quantify employee theft to gain better insights and create actionable plans to prevent and minimize loss, they would need to connect active RFID tags moving through employee entrances/exits to CCTV cameras. Connecting these two IoT devices would generate data that alerts store level LP professionals when theft is occurring – in real time!  

What is the value add?

Investment in a unified operational view can not only benefit retailers but also the consumers. Retailers gaining control over shrink will increase their bottom line. And as a result, the consumer can benefit by overall lowered pricing.  

Unifying the sensor landscape also creates a safer environment for both employees and customers, making the experience more enjoyable for both.

Retailers who invest in unifying their IoT environments will lead the retail digital transformation initiative leaving them better prepared to compete in their respective niche market while continuing to attract and capture the next generation of consumer and their ever-evolving needs/desires.

N3N for Retail Operations

Technologies like N3N are uniquely positioned to help retailers connect their IoT environments to help address daily issues like loss prevention and customer experience. N3N enables retailers to unify their operation by offering a platform to connect the store environment.  This connected view offers benefits to most functions within the retailer including LP, Marketing, Operations, Facilities Management, and Finance. What was once held in separate silos can be visualized on a single pane to help drive efficiencies and enhance the consumer shopping experience.


About the Author

Tom Martell’s background includes years of retail experience (owning and operating a specialty retailer), coupled with those as the head of advanced analytics at one of the leading providers of in-store analytics. He offers a unique understanding of the industry as both a retailer and technology provider to the global retail market.

About N3N

Organizations and smart cities across the globe trust N3N to deliver innovative digital transformation and IoT solutions to achieve powerful business and operational outcomes. Our dynamic operations visualization platform seamlessly converges data from sensors, connected devices, video feeds and more in a single view for real-time actionable insights that drive real-world decisions. Founded in 2012, N3N is a Cisco venture-backed company headquartered in Foster City, California with global offices in South Korea, Japan, and Vietnam