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

Powered by

All the vital news, analysis, and commentary curated by our industry experts.


"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.

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

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

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

Frequently asked questions

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

Can be used by individual purchaser only


Can be shared globally by unlimited users within the purchasing corporation e.g. all employees of a single company

Undecided about purchasing this report?

Enquire Before Buying

Get in touch to find out about multi-purchase discounts
Tel +44 20 7947 2745

Every customer’s requirement is unique. With over 220,000 construction projects tracked, we can create a tailored dataset for you based on the types of projects you are looking for. Please get in touch with your specific requirements and we can send you a quote.

See what our customers are saying

“The GlobalData platform is our go-to tool for intelligence services. GlobalData provides an easy way to access comprehensive intelligence data around multiple sectors, which essentially makes it a one-for-all intelligence platform, for tendering and approaching customers.

GlobalData is very customer orientated, with a high degree of personalised services, which benefits everyday use. The highly detailed project intelligence and forecast reports can be utilised across multiple departments and workflow scopes, from operational to strategic level, and often support strategic decisions. GlobalData Analytics and visualisation solutions has contributed positively when preparing management presentations and strategic papers.”

Business Intelligence & Marketing Manager, SAL Heavy Lift

“COVID-19 has caused significant interference to our business and the COVID-19 intelligence from GlobalData has helped us reach better decisions around strategy. These two highlights have helped enormously to understand the projections into the future concerning our business units, we also utilise the project database to source new projects for Liebherr-Werk to use as an additional source to pitch for new business.”

Market Analyst & Management, Liebherr-Werk

Your daily news has saved me a lot of time and keeps me up-to-date with what is happening in the market, I like that you almost always have a link to the source origin. We also use your market data in our Strategic Business Process to support our business decisions. By having everything in one place on the Intelligence Center it has saved me a lot of time versus looking on different sources, the alert function also helps with this.

Head of Key Accounts, Saab AB

Having used several other market research companies, I find that GlobalData manages to provide that ‘difficult-to-get’ market data that others can’t, as well as very diverse and complete consumer surveys.

Marketing Intelligence Manager, Portugal Foods

Our experience with GlobalData has been very good, from the platform itself to the people. I find that the analysts and the account team have a high level of customer focus and responsiveness and therefore I can always rely on. The platform is more holistic than other providers. It is convenient and almost like a one stop shop. The pricing suite is highly competitive and value for our organisation.

I like reports that inform new segments such as the analysis on generation Z, millennials, the impact of COVID 19 to our banking customers and their new channel habits. Secondly the specialist insight on affluent sector significantly increases our understanding about this group of customers. The combination of those give us depth and breadth of the evolving market.

I’m in the business of answering and helping people make decisions so with the intelligence center I can do that, effectively and efficiently. I can share quickly key insights that answer and satisfy our country stakeholders by giving them many quality studies and primary research about competitive landscape beyond the outlook of our bank. It helps me be seen as an advisory partner and that makes a big difference. A big benefit of our subscription is that no one holds the whole data and because it allows so many people, so many different parts of our organisation have access, it enables all teams to have the same level of knowledge and decision support.

Head of Customer Insight and Research, Standard Chartered

“I know that I can always rely on Globaldata’s work when I’m searching for the right consumer and market insights. I use Globaldata insights to understand the changing market & consumer landscape and help create better taste & wellbeing solutions for our customers in food, beverage and healthcare industries.

Globaldata has the right data and the reports are of very high quality compared to your competitors. Globaldata not only has overall market sizes & consumer insights on food & beverages but also provides insights at the ingredient & flavour level. That is key for B2B companies like Givaudan. This way we understand our customers’ business and also gain insight to our unique industry”

Head of Consumer Sensory Insights, Givaudan

GlobalData provides a great range of information and reports on various sectors that is highly relevant, timely, easy to access and utilise.  The reports and data dashboards help engagement with clients; they provide valuable industry and market insights that can enrich client conversations and can help in the shaping of value propositions. Moreover, using GlobalData products has helped increase my knowledge of the finance sector, the players within it, and the general threats and opportunities.

I find the consumer surveys that are carried out to be extremely beneficial and not something I have seen anywhere else. They provided an insightful view of why and which consumers take (or don’t) particular financial products. This can help shape conversations with clients to ensure they make the right strategic decisions for their business.

One of the challenges I have found is that data in the payments space is often piecemeal. With GD all of the data I need is in one place, but it also comes with additional market reports that provide useful extra context and information. Having the ability to set-up alerts on relevant movements in the industry, be it competitors or customers, and have them emailed directly to me, ensures I get early sight of industry activity and don’t have to search for news.

Senior Account Manager, TSYS
Go even deeper with GlobalData Intelligence Center

Every Company Report we produce is powered by the GlobalData Intelligence Center.

Subscribing to our intelligence platform means you can monitor developments at Internet of Things in Retail: Technologies and Usage Cases – Gainining Competitive Advantage through Better Understanding Retailers’ Business and IT Priorities in real time.

  • Access a live Internet of Things in Retail: Technologies and Usage Cases – Gainining Competitive Advantage through Better Understanding Retailers’ Business and IT Priorities dashboard for 12 months, with up-to-the-minute insights.
  • Fuel your decision making with real-time deal coverage and media activity.
  • Turn insights on financials, deals, products and pipelines into powerful agents of commercial advantage.