While having a refrigerator connected to the Internet may have sounded silly once, networked appliances are becoming more of a common idea these days, contributing to the Internet of Things (IoT). These devices utilize tools to perform different tasks, from item management to creating new ways to conduct eCommerce, and they now appear to be picking up quite a bit at retail.

A new eMarketer report titled, The Internet of Retail Things: What Marketers Need to Know, explains how retail is benefitting from IoT using numbers provided by Retail Systems Research. The report shows that 54 percent of retailers with good-level sales growth feel that the Internet of Things could change the way that they’ll be doing business over the next few years.

According to a survey, 42 percent of respondents feel strongly that IoT devices will change the way companies do business, while 38 percent generally agree. Meanwhile, 80 percent (39 percent strongly, 41 percent generally) of companies believe IoT will have a dramatic effect on the market.


Investments in these devices are being made for a number of reasons, particularly with supply-chain monitoring, inventory management, payment processing and asset tracking, according to the report. Even though adoption hasn’t fully caught on yet, it’s definitely getting there.

Out of all the markets interested in the Internet of Things, retail seems to be the strongest at 56 percent, followed by manufacturing (53 percent), professional services (45 percent) and finance and transportation (43 percent apiece).

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Further information from Juniper Research also indicates that by 2020, retailers will be spending an incredible $2.5 billion on IoT-based hardware, including beacons, RFID tags and other technology. That’s a huge leap from the $670 million reported last year, by almost four times over. Another report from MarketsandMarkets points out that the global market size for IoT will grow from last year’s $14.28 billion to $35.64 billion by 2020.

Familiarity with these devices still has yet to catch on with some manufacturers, but there’s definitely an interest in the IoT market, and it’ll be just a few short years before it really takes off.

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