RFID Predicted As "Killer App"

According to a new Juniper Research report, IoT in Retail: Strategies for Customer Experience, Engagement & Optimization 2017-2021, retailers will connect 12.5 Billion business assets, such as products, digital signs and Bluetooth beacons, to IoT platforms by 2021, rising from 2.7 Billion in 2016, representing a 350% increase.

In addition, Juniper predicts that RFID (radio-frequency identification), will re-emerge as the industry’s ‘killer app,’ becoming the key factor in the IoT retail ecosystem, says the report. RFID tags, used to identify and locate retail assets in real-time, are now at a low enough price point for mass deployment, and integrate well with new IoT systems and analytics. New services, such as dynamic pricing or enabling promotional offers via in-store digital signs are also poised for growth, says the report.

The latest research suggests that ‘next-gen’ processes, such as personalized retail, could be achieved by integrating enterprise software and emerging technologies with data from connected IoT assets. Juniper forecast that software spend for enterprise resource planning systems to integrate this data would reach $11.3 Billion annually in 2021, from $1.5 Billion in 2017.

Research author Steffen Sorrell explained that “… innovative retailers… have combined RFID with smart mirrors… integrating these systems drove a 200% increase in sales… allowing real-time information to improve the store experience and bridge physical and virtual worlds… “

Concluding, the report advised that each retailers’ approach to the IoT should differ depending on their main channel focus, arguing that physical retail spaces still have many benefits, not least in terms of being able to avoid the sterility of online shopping. The report predicts that online retailers’ focus would be on technologies such as machine learning to provide digital assistance, or digital performance management. Measurements such as user experience, IT performance and business outcome are analyzed holistically to determine necessary improvements.

The release is available on the Juniper website here.





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