From smart shelves to smart coffee machines, the internet of things (IoT) has become a game changer across every industry. In fact, according to Statista, the number of connected devices worldwide will hit 30.73 billion by 2020. And with 88% of adopters saying that IoT is critical to the success of their companyio, IoT devices are expected to top 75 billion by 2025ii.
Whether connecting new or existing devices, retailers are finding plenty of reasons to embrace IoT. Microsoft recently commissioned the IoT Signals Report which provides insights into IoT adoption rates across retail and other industries. It turns out that 92% of retail decision makers view IoT as critical to business success—and 96% say they are satisfied with the value that IoT has added to their company.
So, how are retailers using IoT to drive business results? Below, we’ll count down to the top IoT usage scenario for retailers. If you’d like to learn more, be sure to register for the upcoming IoT in Action in New York in January.
Number 5: Reducing energy usage
Energy consumption can be a major expense for retailers and as businesses look to trim costs and shrink their carbon footprint, they’re turning to IoT. Forty percent of retailers cite energy optimization as a top reason for adopting IoT.iii
They’re turning to solutions such as ICONICS. This Azure-based, smart building solution centralizes disparate building management systems that control heating, cooling, lighting, and more. By applying advanced analytics, the solution helps deliver energy savings in multiple areas.
Number 4: Preventing product loss
In 2019, retailers reported an average inventory shrink of 1.38 percent.ii It’s not surprising that loss prevention comprises 44% of IoT use cases.io IoT can prevent product loss by detecting missed items at checkout and preventing unpurchased products from walking out the door.
Number 3: Keeping shoppers and staff safe
Keeping customers and staff safe is another priority for retailers. Surveillance and security accounts for 48% of IoT use cases in the retail industry.io IoT surveillance and security solutions monitor for suspicious behaviors, persons of interest, and potential safety hazards, sending alerts when issues are detected.
Number 2: Managing inventory
Tracking inventory levels and keeping products in stock can be difficult, expensive, and time-consuming. Which is why retailers are turning to IoT to optimize inventory, accounting for 59% of IoT use cases.io
IoT can identify products and their location in real time and monitor and send alerts for inventory building up in dressing rooms. IoT can also scan display shelves for gaps and product positions and even send alerts for misplaced or mislabeled products.
Number 1: Optimizing the supply chain
The ability to track products throughout the supply chain has been a huge differentiator in every industry, and accounts for 64% of all retail IoT use cases. Real-time transparency into shipping status, location, delays, conditions, and more helps retailers to keep products on the shelves and keep customers happy.
Bosch has a massive OEM ecosystem that produces approximately half a billion parts daily, which means an efficient supply chain is critical. To increase visibility into the supply chain, Bosch created Trac360. Benefits of this IoT solution include shipping transparency and traceability, real-time insights, and automated warehouse operations such as GPS tracking, notifications, and invoice processing. The solution has increased customer satisfaction and warehouse productivity while also reducing inventory costs.
Attend IoT in Action in New York on January 13, 2020
Of course, there are plenty of other reasons that retailers are embracing IoT from optimizing store layout to creating more personalized promotions to delivering more seamless shopping experiences.
ii Statista, “IoT connected devices installed base worldwide from 2015 to 2025 (in billions)”
iii National Retail Foundation, “2019 National Retail Security Study”