The majority of retailers say they are ready to make changes to adopt the Internet of Things within the next five years.
Interest in using IoT devices, sensors and analytics to track customers in stores and inventory throughout the supply chain is expected to grow in that period, according to a recent study.
The study, conducted by Research Now and Qualtrics for Zebra Technologies, comprised a global survey of 1,700 executives across multiple retail segments.
While more than half (67%) of retail executives said they have already implemented IoT capabilities in some form, almost all (96%) said they are ready to make changes needed to adopt the Internet of Things. More than a quarter (26%) said they plan to roll out an IoT initiative within the year.
This interest in the Internet of Things from retailers in turn means opportunity for marketers and advertisers, according to Tom Moore, retail and hospitality industry lead at Zebra Technologies.
“The main impact to marketers and advertisers is being gained through insight to shopper traffic patterns and dwell times enabling merchandisers with business intelligence to maximize the use of the store floor for selling,” Moore told the IoT Daily.
“Executing a digital strategy in stores provides powerful insights similar to what retailers receive from their e-commerce sites,” he said.
More than three quarters (78%) of retail executives said integrating e-commerce and in-store experiences is important or critical to business. Almost as many (76%) said the same about connecting the online activities of a customer with their in-store actions, according to the study.
When it comes to in-store tracking, around a third (35%) said they currently have the ability to know when specific customers are in their stores. Three quarters (75%) said they plan to have that capability by 2021.
However, tracking customers doesn’t end at the physical walls of stores.
Although fewer than a quarter (22%) of retail executives said they currently can be alerted when a customer is in the parking lot to pick up an online order, almost three quarters (71%) said they plan to have this capability in five years.
Here are the tracking and personalization capabilities retailers expect to have by 2021:
“Retailers adopting IoT will definitely impact consumers through better in-store service, more informed store associates and the ability to transform the shopping experience with a ‘frictionless’ online and in-store experience and product availability and visibility that meets customer expectations,” Moore told the Daily.
That same study also found that 70% of retailers plan to be utilizing beacons for location-based marketing in stores by 2021, as the IoT Daily recently reported (70% Of Retailers Investing In Beacons For Location-Based Marketing).