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Retail Spend on ‘Internet of Things’ to Reach $2.5bn by 2020

New data from Juniper Research has revealed that retailers seeking to capitalize on IoT (Internet of Things) technologies will spend an estimated $2.5 billion in hardware and installation costs, nearly a fourfold increase over this years estimated $670 million spend.

The hardware spend includes Bluetooth Beacons and RFID (radio frequency ID) tags. In the first instance, Bluetooth beacons enable visibility over footfall as well as the ability to push relevant information to consumers 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 leading retailers using the IoT 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.

“Retailers such as Zara and Target are already taking advantage of the benefits offered by RFID asset tracking,” saidauthor Steffen Sorrell. “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 IoT (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 todays security is principally focussed on access prevention, the IoT 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.

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. Seventypercent of IoT units are expected to be composed of non-consumer devices by 2020.

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