Retailers to spend $2.5 bn to capitalize on IoT

Retail customer image by Motorola Solutions
Retailers will spend $2.5 billion in hardware and installation costs by 2020 to capitalize on IoT or Internet of Things against $670 million in 2015, said Juniper Research.

The hardware spend includes Bluetooth Beacons and RFID tags. Bluetooth beacons enable visibility over footfall as well as the ability to push information to consumers’ smartphones. RFID aids in real-time asset tracking, reduced labour costs and dynamic pricing according to stock levels and online pricing.

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” noted author Steffen Sorrell.

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.

With the number of connected units within the IoT forecast to reach 38.5 billion in 2020, attitudes and methods with regards to cyber security will have to undergo fundamental change. IoT security model will require robust means of identifying inevitable network breaches.

Juniper Research said 70 percent of IoT units are expected to be composed of non-consumer devices by 2020. The IoT opportunity will approach $300 billion annually in 2020.

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