Commentary

Big Beacons: Retailers to Invest $2.5 Billion in IoT

While not all retailers have bought into the idea of implementing Internet of Things technologies, it appears that some of those who have plan to invest pretty heavily.

Retailers this year will spend $670 million in hardware and installation costs related to the IoT, according to a new study.

Within five years, that number will grow to $2.5 billion that retailers will invest in IoT, according to Juniper Research.

Much of that investment will be for beacons and RFID (Radio Frequency ID) tags.

Beacons are primarily for customer interactions in one way or another while RFID tags typically are used to track products and affect pricing based on inventory and online pricing.

Leading retailers using the IoT are poised to gain a market advantage as they generate an ecosystem for IoT connections and interactions, according to Juniper.

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Combining IoT revenue and cost savings, Juniper estimates the IoT opportunity to reach $300 billion by 2020.

The overall number of IoT devices installed is projected to increase from 13 billion devices this year to 39 billion within five years.

Another study last week reported that almost half (46%) of retailers either have or plan to have beacons in their stores, as I wrote about here at the time (46% of Retailers Move to Beacons; 71% Learning Buying Patterns).

That study, by Retail TouchPoints, found that one of the biggest benefits of beacons was to be able to target customers down to the aisle level.

There already are more than a million beacons in the marketplace with that number projected to blow past 400 million within five years, according to ABI Research.

Beacons will be pretty much everywhere, such as restaurants, airports, hospitals and convention centers. Many already are.

Beacons are part of the category where Juniper sees the largest IoT hardware growth over the next five years.

And based on this study as well as others, beacons can be expected to be in plenty of retail stores.

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