The retail edge: Where data powers game-changing customer experiences

The future of retail is omnichannel

The last three or four years have changed retail forever. The growth rate for online purchases spiked to 32% in 2020 and has continued to grow by double digits since then.1 But despite some of the benefits of online sales, this isn’t all good news for retailers. Online shopping can cut into impulse purchases — which are typically higher-margin sales — because 82% of impulsive purchase decisions are made in a brick-and-mortar store.2


Developing omnichannel omniscience requires edge data insights

Now, more than ever, the edge is valuable territory for retailers. Whether it’s sales and sentiment data flowing in from customer devices or inventory and sales figures coming from vendors and stores, transforming edge data into real-time, actionable insights can help you deliver excellent customer experiences that keep shoppers coming back. Retailers that successfully harness edge data to deliver seamless omnichannel customer experiences will benefit from the win/win combination of increasing sales and decreasing costs for a powerful boost to the bottom line.

Increase sales

A prime example is marketing personalization, which can increase sales by up to 20% and customer loyalty by up to 15%.3 The ability to perform real-time analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) on customer data at the point of creation enables hyper-personalized interactions at scale. Other forms of personalization, such as AI-driven recommendations, can more than quintuple conversion rates4 and dynamic pricing strategies can increase sales by 2–5%.5

Elevating customer experiences can also help you maintain stronger margins by competing on value instead of price. For example, retailers using augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) to create more engaging experiences can increase conversion rates by 83.1% and order value by 61% while reducing returns by 40%.6

Once you’ve inspired a purchase, accurate stock availability is critical for customer satisfaction. Advanced inventory management systems using real-time updates and predictive analytics derived from edge data allow you to forecast demand more accurately, optimize stock allocation, and minimize stock-outs across all channels.

Decrease costs

Edge computing can also impact customer experiences in a way that decreases costs. For example, 92% of customers say they will buy from a store again if the return process is easy.7 Automated return management systems running on edge data can reduce return friction along with the cost of returns.

AI-driven computer vision at the edge can reduce losses by identifying customer and employee theft. It can also enable cost-effective automated checkouts by combining speed and convenience with advanced theft prevention.

The technology behind the retail revolution

Placing compute systems at the edge helps you capture and process data where it’s created and act on it in real-time to add tremendous value. Edge systems with dense compute resources, including GPU acceleration, can make these edge use cases — and more — a reality. With decades of retail experience, Dell Technologies offers complete solutions for your edge and data center. Thanks to their scalability, straightforward setup, strong security, and flexible purchase options, Dell Technologies, and our Dell PowerEdge servers, accelerated with Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors, and Dell Ready Solutions give you a trustworthy IT foundation everywhere your data resides.

To learn more about retail edge computing use cases and Dell Technologies solutions, download our whitepaper, Driving Retail Success: The Dynamic Role of Technology in the Industry.

Explore Intel’s Retail Technology Solutions

[1] CBRE, What Is the Share of E-Commerce in Overall Retail Sales? May 2022.

[2] LS Retail, 5 smart ways to encourage impulse buys in your store, July 2023.

[3] Market Tailor, Personalized marketing for the retail industry, May 2023.

[4] Ecommerce Fastlane, What Is AI-Powered Recommendation And Best Practices For Shopify Merchants, accessed October 2023.

[5] Reprice, What is Dynamic Pricing and Why Is it Important? Strategy, Tactics and Benefits, June 2023.

[6] VNTANA, Augmented Reality Marketing: Increase Your eCommerce Conversions, accessed October 2023.

[7] Invesp, E-commerce Product Return Rate – Statistics and Trends [Infographic], accessed October 2023.

Edge Computing