The Candid Voice in Retail Technology: Objective Insights, Pragmatic Advice

What’s The Latest On IoT?

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It’s been a few years since we’ve conducted a study on the Internet of Things, and much has changed in that time. The lingering effects of a global pandemic, widespread supply chain shortages and growing economic uncertainty have caused retailers to examine signaling technologies (RFID, beacons, anything Bluetooth-enabled etc.) – and the visibility they bring to various areas of the enterprise – with all new interest.

So we thought it was time for an update. The following are some of the highlights of what we found in our brand new research – the full report just published a few days ago:

  • Retailers have no shortage of external Business Challenges pressing in on them, with the pressure to cut costs and the need to differentiate chief among them. Customers are not even the slightest bit empathetic to supply chain interruptions, they simply want what they want and will buy from whomever can reliably deliver. As a result, RFID-based technologies are rapidly gaining retailers’ interest, as 95% say the ability to reliably know where their inventory is – and relate accurate information about it to shoppers – is becoming a key component to their digital transformation strategy.
  • Despite all the various Opportunities these new technologies can address, retailers’ imaginations for what IoT can and will help them achieve from an operational standpoint remain squarely transfixed on the supply chain. RFID – and the Internet of Things, as a whole – are a way to get a handle on inventory and fulfillment issues first and foremost. The ability to see into the ways shoppers shop is appealing (both in the physical AND digital worlds), but four of the top five options they choose relate directly to supply chain.
  • To get the full measure of the benefits that IoT technologies can offer, retail leaders must think beyond the transactional mindset that is so systemic to the operational model. That turns out to be the single greatest internal roadblock to IoT adoption: 43% of retailers across performance groups and verticals agree that that “Business leadership doesn’t understand the benefits of Internet of Things.
  • As it relates to the Technology Enablers at hand, over-performers are more interested in using predictive models to automate preventive actions than they are to recommend preventive actions. IoT adoption is a work-in-progress across the retail industry, but when we asked retailers how far they are on the adoption curve, Retail Winners clearly are being more aggressive (To wit: 62% of over-performers are already using events-based alerting and exception management, compared to only 24% of average and underperformers.) FMCG retailers are also looking to these tools to address waste issues, and a majority of ALL retailers have near term investment plans in IoT solutions to finally address recycling and sustainability measures in a meaningful way.

Based on our data, we also offer several in-depth and pragmatic suggestions on how retailers should proceed. These recommendations can be found in the Bootstrap Recommendations portion of the report.

We certainly hope you enjoy it, and the report is available to everyone free of charge here at this link

Newsletter Articles April 19, 2022
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