The IoT connects devices, vehicles, buildings and items by allowing for the collection and exchange of data.The retail industry as a whole has undergone a number of revolutionary changes over the past few decades, and we are at the precipice of another disruptive moment. That moment will come courtesy of the Internet of Things, which essentially refers the inter-networking of nearly everything. As Forbes shares, retailers across the globe are in the midst of adopting strategies to harness the capabilities, and those that haven’t started yet will likely find themselves scrambling to keep up.
The IoT connects devices, vehicles, buildings and a whole host of other items by allowing for the collection and exchange of data. On the retail front, the ‘Zebra 2017 Retail Vision Study’ outlines a whole host of fascinating insights into the trend. Nearly 1,700 retail decision makers across the globe were interviewed as part of the report’s methodology. The two key takeaways are that 70 percent of retail decision makers are prepared to harness the IoT to improve customer experiences, and 73 percent of those surveyed view the management of big data as either business-critical or important to their operations.
On the investment front, retailers operations could look quite different by the year 2021. In addition to the IoT, other areas of investment will include in the areas of machine learning/cognitive computing and automation.
“Orchestrating these diverse technologies to provide a more responsive, real-time customer experience is the goal retailers want to achieve in the next five years,” writes Louis Columbus.
Specifically, these technologies can be harnessed into supply chain operations and inventory management, all with the goal of improving the overall experience for consumers.
As for the management of all of this new data, retail decision makers are trying to be as proactive as possible. That translates into investments in predictive and software analytics and cameras and video analytics, all with the goal of making headway into loss prevention and price optimization, as well as into overall operations and customer experiences.
“Market-basket analysis, customer segmentation and centralized customer data and intelligence are the top tech initiatives retailers are prioritizing,” Columbus continues.
Other fascinating takeaways include the customization of store visits for consumers, as well as a keen interest by retailers into innovative delivery options.
“Retailers are scrambling to keep up with the technology preferences of Millennials who have now eclipsed Baby Boomers as the world’s largest shopping group and who will be 75% of the global workforce by 2025. Zebra believes that this group born between 1980 and 1995 mark the first generation of digital natives who use technology as second nature and have high expectations for responsiveness through all online channels,” Columbus writes.