According to Gartner, the Internet of Things has reached what it calls the “peak of inflated expectations”. The potential seems endless, but will connectivity deliver real value to retailers?
Read more about the Internet of Things (IoT) and connected security in the Technology Driving Innovation in Retail Report.
Customer and Operational Benefits
A recent study by Retail Systems Research highlighted that retailers' interest in IoT is driven by better inventory management (91%), digitalised in-store customer interaction (83%) and more effective customer flows (81%).
It is through customer and operational benefits like these that connected devices will be delivering value.
There are also significant operational advantages to be gained from predictive equipment maintenance.
A cash management system for example can be monitored and remotely serviced to eliminate issues before they occur.
This ensures that check-outs remain open, queues remain short and disruption to staff and shoppers is kept to a minimum.
Data Must Be Actionable
IoT is still a maturing technology and retailers must find the most effective ways to turn information from connected devices into usable data, such as in the predictive maintenance case.
“A key factor for success in this field is how retailers approach the mountain of data which connected devices generate," says Anita Radon, PhD, Assistant Professor and Academic Director at the Swedish Institute for Innovative Retailing (SIIR).
"The vast amount of information gathered by companies needs to be translated into actionable data and knowledge that can lead to better services, proper efficiencies and added consumer value."