Retail spend on IoT to increase fourfold by 2020

While there is a lot of spending on IOT technologies to help retailers build the stores of the future, the lack of a single, turn-key product prohibits any solution from scaling across a retail chain. That is why we still can not use our Smartphone to find products in a store despite the significant efforts by retailers to deliver this desired experience. We believe the platform that can deliver on that experience MUST be turn-key and have the flexibility to enable use-cases far in to the future.

New data from Juniper Research has revealed that retailers seeking to capitalise on IoT (Internet of Things) technologies will spend an estimated $2.5 billion in hardware and installation costs, nearly a fourfold increase over this year’s estimated $670 million spend.

The hardware spend includes Bluetooth Beacons and RFID (radio frequency ID) tags. In the first instance, Bluetooth beacons enable visibility over footfall as well as the ability to push relevant information to consumers’ smartphones. Meanwhile, RFID aids in real-time asset tracking, reduced labour costs and even dynamic pricing according to stock levels and online pricing.

The new research – The Internet of Things: Consumer, Industrial & Public Services 2015-2020 – found that leading retailers using the IoT to generate an ‘ecosystem’ are poised to gain market advantage and truly capitalise on the opportunity. Linking the hardware elements of RFID tags, beacons and connected consumer electronics, such as wearables, with software analytics promises in-depth business insight and an enhanced customer experience.

“Retailers such as Zara and Target are already taking advantage of the benefits offered by RFID asset tracking,” said author Steffen Sorrell. “Meanwhile the beacon industry is expanding rapidly; used as a method to provide consumers with contextually relevant information in conjunction with their smartphone or wearable will enormously enhance the in-store experience.”