- Core problems that edge computing addresses in retail
- Examples of innovation in edge computing within the retail industry
00:56 — The global retail industry, as forecasted by eMarketer, is estimated to hit $27 trillion in sales revenue in 2022. These five reasons demonstrate how edge computing and infrastructure are favored in the retail industry:
- Integration of online and offline shopping
- Store-level operational resiliency
- In-store analytics and intelligence
- In-store content delivery network (CDN)
- Real-time in-store capabilities
01:38 — Within retail, edge computing is favorable because of its ability to integrate online and offline shopping experiences, something that is a top priority for retailers who wish to offer interactive cross-channel experiences to their customers.
02:27 — Edge computing in retail allows for store-level operational resiliency. Edge computing and infrastructure have become important to the industry as security threats and outages of major cloud providers increase. The pandemic highlighted the industry’s need for resilience.
03:25 — Edge computing can assist with in-store analytics and intelligence. This is because it brings the data center computing power from the source to drive in-store analytics, which makes sense to do locally from an economic perspective. Edge infrastructure will cater to local data captured in-store that otherwise would not make it to the cloud.
04:02 — Several retail startups have found that their customers seek local storage of their data and content — not to mention it makes the most sense architecturally. The same thought can be applied to data storage for driving intelligent operations and analytics. Edge computing can deliver in-store CDN.
05:00 — Real-time on the retail front lines will eventually be in seconds or milliseconds, which is why it is crucial that edge computing can deliver real-time capabilities in-store. Edge infrastructure will make aspirational XR applications more feasible than they are today.
06:11 — Newer, cloud-native edge models and infrastructures give retailers the opportunity to revisit security and privacy as well as ultimately provide them with more options for doing so.
07:23 — There are many examples of innovation happening with edge computing in the retail industry. One notable solution edge has offered is the blending of online and offline shopping experiences. The Apple Store has been incorporating AI into its in-person shopping experiences for years. Amazon has also taken this same approach with its Whole Foods and Amazon Fresh grocery operations.
08:36 — Edge computing has enabled closed-loop personalization in the retail industry. Closed-loop personalization allows for passive content delivery that does not rely on customers’ personal data, but rather, the contextual information about the customer and their interactions with a store.
09:51 — The blending of online and offline shopping has created new experiences for retailers to engage in the seamless continuity of the customer journey. Edge computing retail applications help employees manage and respond to in-store events picked up by a local recommender system. Similarly, edge computing allows for the creation of an autonomous store.
Key Takeaways for C-Suite
12:09 — For the retail C-suite, it is necessary to understand edge computing as a way to extend the frontier of retail innovation — especially in terms of enabling many aspirational capabilities that vendors are speaking about. Many of these capabilities require infrastructures that retail establishments currently do not have. C-suite execs should “do their homework” to realize the benefits and competitive differentiation that the edge brings to retailers.
13:03 — Edge computing is a way to ensure privacy for retail customers. Disclosure of privacy-first practices can assure customers that retailers’ data-driven personalization will not be intrusive.