Anticipating the winds of change, major retailers are expected to increase their investment in internet of things (IoT) technology fourfold to US$2.5bn by 2020.
In the commercial space, IoT in retail is one of the clearest examples where connected network technology could have a significant impact on customer interaction in stores.
In particular, retailers have already begun investing in IoT hardware, including Bluetooth beacons and radio frequency ID (RFID) tags that allow them to send information to them in-store and keep a tab on stock and price levels, respectively.
According to new research from Juniper Research, major outlets that have already gotten on board with the technology are on to a windfall in the coming years, with this year’s spending by retailers on IoT technology amounting to US$670m.
Other findings in the report reveal that retail IoT will be a part of the technology’s future, with 70pc of hardware expected to be composed of non-consumer devices.
Speaking of the findings, noted author Steffen Sorrell said: “Retailers such as Zara and Target are already taking advantage of the benefits offered by RFID asset tracking.
“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.”
As an adage, however, the report follows many in the industry’s thoughts on the need to buck up the technology’s security, with retailers largely to be the front line for onsite access to the company’s systems.
Clothing store image via Shutterstock