The IoT (Internet of Things) is quickly doing more than just changing the way people communicate; it is also changing the way they buy.
A new research study from Zebra Technologies, www.zebra.com, looked at the rate at which smart solutions are being adopted within the retail industry. With 1,700 retailers across the world, researchers found that 70% of companies are preparing to adopt the IoT, while a slightly lower percentage have readied plans to invest heavily in automation in the next four years.
Many of these changes are attributed to the drastic shift toward online shopping, as customers may even be willing to spend more if they can make purchases from the comfort of their own home. To keep up with the demands the study showed 65% of retailers are doing homework on how to improve and invigorate delivery service tactics. This might include bringing shipments to workplaces, the home, and even parked cars.
But while it may eventually prove to be more efficient and economical to focus on online shopping for the future, companies are pursuing how to reinvent the customer experience at the storefront. To do this, retailers are turning to consumer data through micro-locating to get a better idea of what changes they will likely see and subsequently implement them. In additions, customers can expect to see a steady rise in kiosks, mobile devices, and tablets to ease the hassle and time of waiting in long lines during busy shopping seasons.
Reliability is also a major focal point through the use of data analytics, which will help ensure competitive pricing on items and sensors. This will keep supply chains moving and well stocked. In order for stores to maintain a safe environment for customers and employees, stores are set to feature advanced predictive solutions and cameras to closely monitor loss prevention.
Yet, perhaps one of the biggest trends that is set to impact online and in-store retail is the growing use of automated solutions, with more than half of respondents highlighting it as a major force that will shape the industry. Through automation, retailers have the power to pack and ship orders from online customers, track warehouse and in-store inventory, and assist customers in person, keeping one foot in the old and one in the new.
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