Accelerating the
Industrial Internet of Things

Retail Zombies

Published on 03/28/2017 | Market Sizing

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Erik Walenza

Accelerating the Adoption of Industrial Internet of Things.


Retailers embrace "enthusiastic hesitation"

Retail System Research (RSR) - supported by Software AG - published their second annual "The Internet of Things in Retail: Getting beyond the Hype" report. The good news? Retailers are increasingly aware of the potential of IoT solutions. The bad news? Retailers doubt their ability to use IoT technologies.

Oliver Guy, Global Industry Director of Retail for Software AG, concluded that "2017 is a critical year for IoT in retail. Early adopters are seeing good ROI from pilot programs [...] Many brands, however, are failing behind by not making the leap to deployment."

If 2017 is a make-or-break year, my money is on 'break'. The root implementation challenges facing retailers will take time to address. Building IT infrastructure and team capabilities takes investment and foresight. Meanwhile, the lack of leadership awareness will resolve itself only when early movers gain a demonstrable advantage in the market ("good ROI on pilots" is not compelling). Nothing motivates like a competitor's success. 

Retail zombies are starving for innovation

The list of retail zombies grows by the year - Sears, TOMS Shoes, Payless, Nine West, J. Crew and a dozen other household names are on the brink of bankruptcy. Technology has not been kind to retailers. The last two decades have seen e-commerce take marketshare from traditional retailers in category after category. 

IoT technologies may now allow retailers to claw back relevance. From increased inventory visibility to beacon-based marketing, IoT technologies are allowing retails to reduce costs and improve service.

As Oliver Guy pointed out, customers are "starving for fresh offerings that enhance their shopping experience". E-retailers are innovating relentlessly to improve customer experience. The continued relevance of traditional retailers hinges upon their ability to compete by bringing innovative solutions into their stores and supply chains. 

IoT ONE tracks 49 vendors with retail solutions and 17 retail case studies. Feel free to contact us to feature your retail IoT solutions or to learn more about the companies featured below.

IoT-enabled customer experience in SE Asia

Genesys, a leader in omnichannel customer experience, has released The 2016 Internet-of-Things Customer Experience Report for Asia-Pacific.

Surveying 479 customer experience (CX) leaders, they concluded that:

1. Emerging economies were more optimistic about IoT's impact on customer experience than developed economies.

2. Logistics, transportation and automotive sectors are driving IoT-enabled CX adoption 

3. Influencing customer decisions and developing disruptive business models stood our as the highest impact benefits. 

Notably, only 50% of respondents expected increased revenue or profitability due to IoT implementations. Clearly IoT providers need to focus on quantifying the real business impact of their solutions. 

The customer is king... but who is the customer?

Customers today are spoiled by customer experiences offered by companies who have gotten their priorities right years before, allowing them to increasingly dictate what he wants.

Following this trend, Kevin Lindsay of Adobe believes 2017 is going to be defined by 3 foundational pillars: AI, IoT and personalisation. Here's how:

1. Artificial Intelligence: Chatbots focus on the "recognition of the user as an individual".

2. IoT: Beacons allow marketers to move from "what's on sale" to "what's important to me".

3. Personalisation: "Getting less personal to get more personal" through the use of self-service and intelligent escalation.

The customer experience is a journey, not an event. Emerging technologies allow retailers to track and customize that journey at level of the individual, rather than the generic customer segment. 

Industrial IoT Thought Leadership

Simulation-based learning for machines

- Jose-Maria Lopez, General Manager, Simware Solutions

MIT Technology Review has included Reinforcement Learning as a top 10 breakthrough technologies for 2017 - letting machines learn by experimenting.


How IoT logistics will revolutionize supply chain management

- Alejandro Ramirez, Regional Director, Damco

Third-party logistics can be a single service or an entire system that maintains the whole supply chain. But the IoT is going to change how this process operates.


In IIoT, Physical Systems Intelligence is the key to delivering ROI

- Toby McClean, Chief Solutions Architect, PrismTech

The sensor ecosystem is far from a homogenous market-space, which explains the significant confusion from authoritative sources. There are horizontal and vertical plays being mixed together and IoT adds another layer of confusion.

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