IoT Is All About Providing Services
Retailers are buzzing about the “Internet of Things,” but most think of the technology as a consumer home run. Take Amazon’s Dash, for example. Dash is a small device that helps consumers keep on top of frequently used supplies. If Mother Hubbard had only had Dash, her poor dog would have been well provided for. From Amazon:
Every member of the family can use Dash to easily add items to your AmazonFresh shopping list. Keep it on your kitchen counter or hang it on the refrigerator. Did your kids just eat the last of the cereal? Conveniently refill and restock your home’s everyday essentials, and have fun doing it.
I’m not sure how much fun, exactly, this will be, but the convenience and efficiency has me eagerly awaiting the time when my address will be in the delivery zone. Until then, retailers could use similar technology to keep inventory stocked and tracked. Easily.
In fact, recent IoT research from Deloitte predicts that this year, one billion wireless Internet of Things devices will be shipped. That’s an increase of 60 percent from 2014, which will lead to an installed base of 2.8 billion devices. IoT-specific hardware comes in different flavors, from expensive cellular modems to much less costly Wi-Fi chips. That market is expected to be worth $10 billion, but the big news is the segment dedicated to the associated services enabled by the devices. That’ll be worth roughly $70 billion. Such services include all of the data plans that may be required for network connectivity of devices, as well as professional services — such as consulting, implementation, or analyzing data. Currently, according to Deloitte, IoT hardware and connectivity sales are increasing at approximately 10 to 20 percent annually, while the apps, analytics and services are growing at an even more rapid rate of 40 to 50 percent.
The irony is that as consumers are demanding interactive, engaging and convenient retail experiences, retailers are often hesitant to invest in the technology. But by implementing IoT devices, retailers could find themselves more accurately handling the back end processes, thus trimming expenses, while simultaneously providing improved customer service And that’s a win by any measure.
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