What Does the Future Hold for IoT in Retail?

The Internet of Things (IoT) is rapidly transitioning from a promising upcoming technology to a clear and present force. It can already be seen across a broad range of industries, from smart meters used by utility companies to crop monitoring applications by farmers and predictive maintenance in manufacturing.

It is in retail, however, that the IoT stands to make one of the biggest impacts. After all, its applications are seemingly endless in this realm. It can be used by a retailer to keep tabs on buying habits and customer behavior, and it can also be used for inventory management and performance tracking.

The IoT could ultimately transform the way in which people buy products – not only where they buy them but also when and how they do so. An example of this can be seen with the Amazon Dash smart button. Autonomous cars should also present an interesting opportunity for brands and customers to connect.

Only the beginning

Right now, American Apparel is using data analytics tools in conjunction with RFID tags to monitor the goods on their store shelves as well as those inside their inventory stockrooms. Meanwhile, stores like Waitrose and Tesco are looking into robotics solutions as a way to boost customer service and facilitate back-end inventory changes.

Avery Denison recently completed what it believes to be the biggest IoT deployment in the world, with 10 billion items of connected clothing being tracked with EVRYTHING. The Dandy Lab, a London pop-up store, is using IoT devices along with digital signage to bring customers a highly interactive experience that could well signal the future direction of brick-and-mortar stores.

All of this is only the beginning. Experts believe that we are only scratching the surface of the potential of IoT in retail.

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