It looks like retailers around the world will be stepping up their investment in The Internet of Things over the next few years.
The deployment of sensing technology, like beacons, those small radio-transmitting devices we’ve been writing about here since they were introduced, is on a big rise, according to a new study looking at the coming money being spent around retail.
The global connected retail market is expected to reach $54 billion within six years, according to the worldwide study from Grand View Research.
As context, the connected retail market size in 2014 was about $11 billion.
An increase in the adoption of IoT technology across retail is seen as the driver, primarily in the areas of customer experience, supply chain and new channels and revenue streams.
The study notes that several retailers have successfully embraced IoT to help them connect with next-generation consumers, using sophisticated technology and leveraging connected devices.
Internet-connected technology is generating solutions to enhance communication between retailers and customers as well as providing advance inventory management, theft and fraud prevention capabilities, according the report.
Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), which is used in smartphones to receive beacon-triggered signals in stores, is projected to grow 25% a year (Wi-Fi dominated the retail market in 2014, accounting for 32% of the revenue).
Another growth area is in Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), as more merchants use the technology to monitor customer behavior and track inventory.
The explosive growth in the number of smartphones in the hands of shoppers along with e-commerce engines is expected to help grow the online-offline retailing experience.
Until more devices get connected to various kinds of hubs, smartphones will continue to act as a central control point for consumers.
The good news is that some retailers at least get the sense that The Internet of Things will impact their business and are planning to spend accordingly.