A recent report finds that retailers are gearing up to handle and make use of the high-speed data arising from the Internet of Things (IoT).
The IoT, with its millions upon millions of sensored devices, is a real-time challenge for companies; it is Big Data analysis in a pressure cooker. Sensor data offers the ability to know what is happening right now—but this is only useful if you can interpret and make it actionable at lightning speed.
Therefore, organizations will have to start building out robust, advanced solutions on specialized digital business platforms or they will drown in the inevitable data onslaught.
In the report, The Internet of Things in Retail: Great Expectations, one of the most startling results was that respondents professed interest in both connecting with consumers via their personal internet-enabled devices like smartphones, watches, or appliances (#2 on the opportunities list), as well as offering new services to consumers based on consumer-driven data from those IoT-based devices (#4 on the list).
Retail Systems Research said: “To enable these kinds of services, retailers need a whole new data structure for their business – one that must deal with even larger amounts of data than retailers already struggle with, along with all of the issues associated with getting insight from this data.”
Survey respondents said they are looking for the kind of real-time responsiveness that would enable them to react to consumer data, as well as to improve their internal processes.
Retailers expressed interest in having real-time alerts that would inform them of changing conditions; with 47% believing this is of high value and 49% saying it was of some value. Process improvement over time, as root causes of issues are identified and resolved was of high value to 46% of respondents, and of some value to 48%. Predicting events and automating a preventive response was said to be of high value to 43% of respondents, respectively.
In terms of speed of response to IoT data, the retail winners were emphatic: 62% said that there is need for real-time alerts to changing conditions, whereas only 36% of laggards were interested. Also, 60% of winners believe in the ability to predict events before they happen and recommending preventative actions with 52% wanting to automate these actions.
Regarding investing in data-handling speed, retailers said that the top three departments that would benefit were customer service and support, inventory management and support for customer engagement in their own homes. Maintenance and repair were at the bottom of the list.
Speed was a common theme in the RSR report, particularly among retail winners, who were more challenged by the demand for speed and agility in their operations than their peers. They also expressed more concern over management impatience with growing levels of inventory, and the increasing gap between their corporate IT capabilities, and that of their customers. Once again, retail winners prove to be ahead in the IoT game.
To read the full report from Retail Systems Research, please go to: https://www.rsrresearch.com/2015/08/20/the-internet-of-things-in-retail-great-expectations/