Join us as we dive deeper into Cisco and Cisco partner technology deployed at the Cisco Store! We asked Angela Huang (Product Manager, Meraki MT Sensors) to discuss how the sensors are used in the Cisco Store and the larger retail industry.


How do Meraki sensors improve a retailer and shopper’s in-store and/or virtual shopping experience? What problem are they solving?

Our Meraki MT sensors are designed to support healthy, safe spaces. They do everything from monitoring air quality, temperature, power usage and even access. And when it comes to the shopping experience — particularly in-store — providing a safe and healthy space is even more important. We see our sensors help in three primary ways:

  1. Enhancing shopper comfort: The more comfortable a shopper is in-store, the more motivated they are to engage deeply with its products (and people!) and ultimately purchase. Comfort can mean everything, from temperature to humidity to air quality, and that’s exactly what our sensors can easily detect and alert retailers to.
    One MT sensors customer, SAMSØE SAMSØE, is a Danish retail company with 60+ stores across Europe. They’ve set up MT14 indoor air quality sensors, using MV cameras as a gateway, to ensure that the temperature of their stories is precisely at 22°C, as they found that customer engagement is the highest at this temperature. Stores that are too cold discourage customers from trying on apparel, and on the flip side, stores that are too hot or humid cause shoppers to leave before they’ve had a chance to see the full store inventory. By using this solution that incorporates MT sensors, SAMSØE SAMSØE was able to make data-driven decisions and improve customer engagement.
    Because our sensors are cloud-managed from our Meraki dashboard, retailers can not only act quickly and remotely, but they can view historical data to understand trends and adapt their stores accordingly.

    Meraki MT14
    Meraki MT14
  2. Protecting sensitive inventory: Some organizations require precise in-store environments for their assets to remain usable and compliant, like grocery stores or food and beverage retailers. Our sensor can automate monitoring and alerting to temperature fluctuations, so retailers know when something is wrong and can have a historical log. There’s no longer a need to manually check each fridge to ensure they are compliant with regulations.
  3. Supporting sustainability: Operating physical stores requires a lot of energy — keeping lights on, running internet, connecting all the smart devices, and more. Our sensors can help monitor and control power consumption, particularly during off-hours. Retailers can automatically power off devices such as display screens when stores are closed so they can reduce energy waste and, ultimately, operational cost. Even in our San Francisco Meraki office, we found that we could save thousands of dollars a year by powering off just a few Webex screens during off-hours!

What would you like people to know about Meraki sensors when they see them in action at the Cisco Store Tech Lab?

At first glance, they should almost be invisible — they were designed to blend seamlessly into any environment. But, if you do spot them, here’s what you need to know:

  1. Yes, they are as easy to deploy as they seem. And they connect seamlessly to our entire Cisco Meraki portfolio. You don’t need to be a tech expert to set these up.
  2. They’re efficient and don’t need to be changed out frequently. Our battery life can last up to 10 years!
  3. Part of the magic of our sensors is our alerting capabilities, and we offer flexible options across SMS, email, push, and webhook.

How do you envision Meraki sensors being used in retail environments in the future?

In the future, stores will be able to search for and digest their sensor data more easily. Given that many stores tend to have multiple retail locations, which can sometimes be spread across different cities or states, it is important for store owners to be able to quickly look across their locations and identify where there are issues. We plan to release additional, more advanced reporting features that will summarize information in the most helpful way, including surfacing information such as alerting MTs, length of time of alerts, etc. This will help direct a store owner’s time and attention to stores that need it the most.

What do you think will be a priority for shoppers in the next 5 years?

  1. Speed and convenience: Shoppers have more options than ever with regards to channels to purchase from. They want to be able to access, experience, and purchase products quickly.
  2. Customization: With so many purchasing channels now available for customers, they will expect that the products they see will be customized to their preferences. Sharing products with shoppers that are aligned as well as possible to precisely what they are looking for will help them feel that it is a good shopping experience and will encourage them to return to that store in the future.
  3. Ethics: Consumer awareness and desire to put their dollars towards products that reduce harm is growing. A study found that 82% of shoppers want brands to embrace sustainable and people-first practices, and three quarters of Gen Z shoppers cite that sustainability is more important than the brand name when making purchasing decisions. Stores can respond by assessing their value chain and ensuring that they are supporting ethical practices at each step, as well as sharing externally what they are doing to support sustainability.

Likewise, what do you think will be a priority for retailers in the next 5 years?

There will likely be close monitoring of physical environments to make the in-store experience as personalized as possible for shoppers. Secondly, retailers will begin to prioritize solutions that save store managers’ and associates’ time, so they can focus their attention on providing the best possible customer experience. And lastly, there may be a focus on differentiating the store from others to grab shopper mindshare.

Learn more about Meraki MT sensors

and request a free Meraki dashboard demo.



Anjana Iyer

Product Marketing and Analytics Specialist

Cisco Store