Nearly 50% of retailers worldwide have adopted Internet of Things technology to some extent, according to a new report from Aruba Networks, a unit of Hewlett Packard Enterprise, "IoT Today and Tomorrow."
About 79% of retail organizations are expected to adopt IoT technology, and about 77% of retailers said they believe IoT will transform their sector, according to an IT Web post on the report.
The study stated that about 56% of retailers that have deployed IoT technology are letting customers access their IoT networks using their mobile devices in order to create engaging experiences.
It appears from this study — which covered IoT’s effect on several industries, retail being just one — that the next year or so could represent a major tipping in the deployment of this technology.
Over 80% of companies that have adopted IoT already report efficiency improvements, while 72% of executives already using IoT say it delivers increased profitability. Both of those proof points should help the technology spread quickly.
In retail, companies like Target have jumped out fairly early — more than two years ago — to work with IoT technology. IoT’s progress also will be aided by industry efforts, such as the Retail Industry Leaders Association’s partnership with Zebra Technologies, which could help the sector figure out the best way to capture and use the abundant amounts of data generated by IoT networks to boost traffic in stores and online.
What is perhaps more surprising about these research results is how far retailers with IoT frameworks have come in letting customers tap into them. The notion that more than half of retailers with IoT in stores are letting customers access their network suggests retailers are comfortable with how they are managing and securing these networks, and that they see the revenue-generating opportunities in IoT beyond their own operations-focused in-store applications.
In fact, the study found that just 18% of retailers with IoT deployed are using the technology for remote control of in-store systems such as heating and lighting. Meanwhile, 30% are using these networks to support location-based services that deliver personalized offers and product information to shoppers while they are in stores.
Retailers that already have bought into IoT believe the investment will pay off for them, and more seem poised to make this move, but the industry also must consider how ready customers are to embrace IoT-based services and offers. Another recent study, suggested some shoppers are concerned about what kind of personal information is passing between connected things. As retailers build out their IoT coverage, learning how to properly market the IoT to customers and protect their privacy will become the next challenge.