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Retailers Moving Into The Internet Of

12 Billion Connected Things

by Chuck Martin, Staff Writer at Media Post

"Retail is starting to lean on the Internet of Things to better deal with totally connected customer behaviors.

Retailers will connect to IoT platforms more than 12 billion things, including digital signs, products and, most notably, Bluetooth beacons, by 2021, according to a new forecast. This would be up from 3 billion last year, an increase of 350%, according to Juniper Research.

Juniper segmented the IoT opportunities for retailers into three segments:

  • Customer behavior. The role of the Internet of Things here is to understand the consumer on an individual level, where previously assumptions have been made on a macro level. The idea is that this will create much-improved customer relationships and sales conversions.
  • Customer experience. The aim of this segment is to insure that the consumer’s experience is satisfactory to the point that the shopper will return to the store based on prior shopping experiences. This will be driven by emerging and immature technologies playing a key role.
  • Supply chain. The least relevant to marketers, but greater insights into the supply chain and more real-time information will be required to fuel the first two.

In the key segment of customer behavior, Bluetooth beacons are seen as one of the most significant developments, especially because of the relatively new Google Eddystone beacon format.

That standard allows for beacon communication with Physical Web supported Web browsers, eliminating the need to have a specific app on a phone to receive beacon-triggered messaging.

The standard already is gaining some traction in the marketplace.

Studies consistently show that consumers make most purchases in physical stores.

Thanks to the Internet of Things, much more interaction with those in-store shoppers is just around the corner."

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