Internet of Things in Retail: Technologies and Usage Cases – Gainining Competitive Advantage through Better Understanding Retailers’ Business and IT Priorities

Pages: 41 Published: October 31, 2016 Report Code: GD0038IO

"Internet of Things in Retail: Technologies and Usage Cases", report discusses the benefits and challenges of IoT technologies such as RFID, Wi-Fi, Beacons, virtual reality, digital signage, robotics, drones and smart lighting. Usage cases by major retailers and vendors’ holistic solutions are evaluated, and advice provided regarding IoT implementations and how to successfully target retailers.

IoT offer retailers opportunities to collect and analyze increasingly granular data in stores and warehouses for optimizing business processes. Consumers’ increasingly connected lifestyles have contributed to the rise of IoT in retail by demanding better interaction in stores by utilizing the latest technologies, and the desire to make shopping a more personal experience based on customers’ preferences. IoT ecosystems provide full connectivity within the store to meet the customers needs and improve the customer experience.


– IoT in retail stores and warehouses includes various connected devices/end points that either collect data for analytics purposes and for running applications (e.g. sensors, cameras, beacons, RFID, smart watches), or act on data generated by the application in order to display information or interact with customers and staff

– IoT extends to back-end analytics, networks, servers and data warehouses that are required to generate actionable insight

– Machinery including robotics and drones, and smart lighting form part of the latest IoT deployments since they provide “smart” interaction or data collection for analytics with linkages to other devices or a central database, which may also use artificial intelligence

Reasons to Buy

– Gain a deeper understanding of IoT technologies and their importance in retail, which is especially beneficial for IT vendors when pitching these solutions to retailers.

– Retailers' challenges and technology choices are discussed, and useful advice provided for IT vendors regarding offering digital signage, Wi-Fi, beacons, RFID and other IoT based solutions.

Key Players

Rite Aid
Acuity Brands
Rebecca Minkoff

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

1. Background: Retailers’ Business Challenges 3

2. IoT Technologies and Opportunities 8

2.1 Definition of IoT 9

2.2 Asset Tracking via RFID and NFC 10

2.3 Sensors and Cameras 12

2.4 In-Store Wi-Fi 13

2.5 Beacons 14

2.6 Digital Signage 15

2.7 Smart Shopping Carts 15

2.8 Smart Buttons 16

2.9 Networking for IoT 16

2.10 Analytics 17

2.11 Virtual and Augmented Reality 18

2.12 Drones 19

2.13 Robotics 20

2.14 IoT based Payment Systems 21

2.15 Smart Vending Machines 21

2.16 Smart Lighting 22

2.17 Other innovative technologies 23

3. Retailer Usage Cases 25

3.1 Interactive displays at Co-op Italy 25

3.2 Food quality sensors at Kroger 25

3.3 Ocado’s IoT warehouse 25

3.4 Levi’s 100% shelf visibility 26

3.5 Sainsbury’s LED lit store 26

3.6 Smart fitting rooms at Macy’s 26

3.7 Virtual reality headsets at Rebecca Minkoff 27

3.8 Rite Aid relies on proximity Beacons 27

3.9 French supermarket Casino uses NFC on shelves 27

4. IoT Challenges 28

5. Market Size and Vendor Landscapes 30

5.1 Cisco’s holistic IoT solution 31

5.2 Intel’s First IoT Platform for Retail 31

5.3 Retail specific IoT solutions vendors 31

5.4 Supply-chain focused IoT solutions vendors 33

6. Advice for ICT Vendors and Retailers 34

6.1 Advice for ICT Vendors 34

6.2 Advice for Retailers 35

7. Appendix 36

7.1 Definitions 36

8. Appendix 39

8.1 Further Reading 39

8.2 Contact the author 39

8.3 Contact Us 40

List of Tables

List of Tables

Table 1: Retail-specific IoT solutions vendors 32

Table 2: Supply-chain focused IoT solutions vendors 33

Table 3: Retail categories 36

Table 4: Retail channels 37

Table 5: IT Domains 38

List of Figures

List of Figures

Figure 1: Key benefits that retailers expect from IoT deployments 4

Figure 2: Retailers’ IT environments and stakeholders 6

Figure 3: Key business challenges facing retailers 7

Figure 4: IoT environments across retail organizations 10

Figure 5: Short-range (unlicensed) wireless technology usage in retail 14

Figure 6: Retailers’ investment in IoT technologies over the next two years 24

Figure 7: Retailers’ security approach: IoT-specific security controls 29

Figure 8: Key investment areas in IoT technologies in retail 30


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