Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Retailers look to M2M for inventory management: IDC

Iain Morris
August 13, 2014
 
Retailers are growing increasingly interested in the potential for M2M technology to improve inventory management, according to a new study from IDC.

According to the market-research company, nearly 10% of all IoT investments in 2013 were made by retailers looking to bolster efficiency in areas such as product tracking, customer engagement, asset management and fleet and yard management.

“Consumer demand for convenience, product availability, and personalized and contextualized interactions will drive retailers to adopt multiple IoT technologies,” said Leslie Hand, a research director of supply chain, merchandising and demand management strategies with IDC. “This beckons a fresh evaluation of IoT opportunities in retail, as the challenges diminish and the consumer demand for interactive, engaging, and convenient retail experience trump any hesitance to invest in IoT.”

IDC reckons the IoT is already playing a major role in consumer location-based interactions and in retail supply chain and asset management applications, but sees its influence growing in the years ahead.

The company says that enabling improved inventory management and asset management through the use of radiofrequency identification technologies increasingly makes sense because of the benefits for consumers.

“Retailers are discovering the value in leveraging sensors associated with products, assets and ID badges as a result,” says IDC in a statement.

The company advises retailers to consider how to build the architecture for IoT that is capable of adapting to consumer interaction patterns and needs.

It also notes that technology vendors and service providers now have an opportunity to help retail enterprises define and understand the potential of the IoT and the “path forward”.

“Systems integrators and professional services firms can play a pivotal role in shaping use cases and revealing the benefits from investing in an IoT solution,” adds the market-research player.
 
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