Study Shows Retailers Hesitating at The IoT Starting Line

The Internet of Things (IoT) is well beyond its initial start line. When it comes to the question of whether or not businesses should incorporate IoT aspects to help both streamline operations and better serve the customer via gathered personalized data, there is a general consensus that it’s a great strategic avenue.

However, in RSR Research‘s recent “The Internet of Things in Retail: Getting Beyond the Hype” study, there were some interesting findings that point towards a bit of hesitation by retailers re: moving forward with IoT initiatives. While 70 percent of retailers understand how IoT will likely change the way businesses operate in the future, there are 74 percent who have put it into practice with one or less IoT projects in the past year. The study shows retailer’s pause on the IoT technology is due to operational challenges and poor supporting infrastructure. As with most technologies, IoT is relatively new and still in its infancy stages in terms of developing best practices.

Software AG’s global industry director of retail, Oliver Guy, commented to Chain Store Age on IoT and the possible reasons why retailers haven’t moved the IoT operations ball forward. He said “The IoT has the potential to create business value that goes far beyond operational cost savings, indeed it can become the foundation for crafting new ‘smart’ services that can significantly enhance a customer’s journey. However, the IoT ecosystem comprises many hundreds of new players offering one or two parts of the IoT puzzle, which can muddy the waters for retailers. What is apparent is that no single vendor in the IoT ecosystem can do it all.”

It all comes back to adding value to the customer experience.
With consumers steadily becoming more connected everyday, retailers understand the need for IoT-related technologies like machine learning and artificial intelligence. As 68 percent of retailers looking to IoT to help boost customer engagement via data monetization, it’s likely we’ll see increasing amounts of IoT in some form moving forward into the future of retail.


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