Retailers Set To Spend $US2.5 Billion On “The Internet Of Things” By 2020

Retailers Set To Spend $US2.5 Billion On “The Internet Of Things” By 2020

Spending by retailers on internet of things technology (that’s all your internet-abled devices) will increase by nearly 400 per cent to $US2.5 billion by the end of the decade according to new research by Juniper.

The hardware spend includes Bluetooth Beacons and RFID (radio frequency ID) tags. In the first instance, Bluetooth beacons enable visibility over the number of customers as well as the ability to push relevant information to their 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 early adopter retailers using the internet of things 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.

The study says that for retail, the internet of things brings with it the concept of near real-time information (and the ability to leverage that), whereby strategy and connections to the supply chain have previously been built upon historical data.

Aplication of internet of things devices and systems will enable:

  • Improved customer experience, resulting in higher loyalty
  • Greater insight into and control over products in the supply chain

“Combined, the resultant benefits will equate to less waste, and therefore lower costs,” says the study.

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Author Steffen Sorrel says “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.”

Additionally, Juniper Research found, with the number of connected units within the internet of things forecast to reach 38.5 billion in 2020, attitudes and methods with regards to cybersecurity will have to undergo fundamental change. Where today’s security is principally focussed on access prevention, the internet of things security model will require robust means of identifying inevitable network breaches. Should suspicious activity be detected, parts of the network can then be ‘shut off’ in similar fashion to marine vessel bulkheads to prevent attack spread.

Additional Findings

  • 70 per cent of internet of things units are expected to be composed of non-consumer devices by 2020.
  • With diverse business models and aims of IoT projects such as service revenue, spend and cost-savings taken into account, Juniper forecasts the IoT opportunity to approach $300 billion annually in 2020.

The whitepaper, IoT ~ Internet of Transformation, is available to download from the Juniper Research website together with further details of the new research and interactive dataset.

This article originally appeared on B&T’s sister tech business site

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