IoT Adoption By Retailers Set To Soar
The global market of the Internet of Things in retail is expected to grow from $14.28 billion (US) in 2015 to $35.64 billion by 2020, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 20.07%. Big names driving and supporting that growth include IBM, Intel Corp., Zebra Technologies, SAP, Google, Microsoft, Freescale, PTC, ARM and Cisco. All those major leaguers are connecting devices to make shopping more personal.
It’s not just retail, of course. Transportation, smart buildings and industrial uses of IoT are growing. But connected technology in retailing is something most of us see and even experience every day. It is becoming embedded in every process of retailing such as advertising and marketing, smart kiosks, vending machines, inventory management, and customer payments. IoT is rapidly connecting with these retailing processes largely because of increasing internet ubiquity, and emergence of cloud platforms.
In addition, the declining cost of sensors and RFID have also significantly increased IoT adoption by retailers. Along with these drivers, the market is facing certain restraints such as lack of common standards, skill gap, and security and privacy concerns. Those are challenges that must be faced for IoT to reach its full potential.
What is that potential? There are a number of ways retail can use IoT technologies, including: product tracking; interactive consumer engagement; dynamic, hyper-local marketing; shopper intelligence; mobile payments; inventory management and asset management.
Retailers can benefit from huge efficiencies gained when devices and data can collect, present and use real-time information in meaningful, actionable ways. Retailers grow more nimble because the information and insights they need are readily available. Stores can program smart screens in an “aware” retail environment that deliver more comprehensive information to shoppers about what they’re looking at, influencing buying decisions, and potentially leading to up-sells. Consumers benefit because connected devices — including POS, cameras and beacons —can help provide improved, more efficient shopping experiences.