Retail stores use IOT technology to transform the customer experience
New research finds retailers adopting IOT are reporting a return of investment and 88% notice increased business efficiency.
IOT adoption by retailers, from monitoring and maintenance to location-based services, is already leading to improved customer experience and increased profitability - according to research conducted by Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company.
Thanks to IOT technology, bricks-and-mortar-stores can compete with online shopping, and offer unique, personalised and engaging in-store experiences for consumers. By 2019, 79% of retail organisations will have adopted IOT technology and 77% believe it will transform the industry.
The reality of IOT differs depending on the industry. Aruba's report, IOT Today and Tomorrow, finds some of the most popular connected devices in retail and distribution include: barcode readers, personal mobile devices and smart speakers/TV/sound systems.
The report also discovers:
* IOT is already being used in retail, from monitoring and maintenance (68% of people surveyed said they were using it for this) to location-based services (57%).
* The benefits of IOT include: improved customer experience (reported by 81% of those surveyed); improved visibility across organisations (78% agreed); and increased profitability (said 74%).
* Threats from IOT span malware (41%), spyware (31%) and phishing (25%).
The benefits speak for themselves, but adopting IOT technology is not without security risks. Of the organisations (surveyed by Aruba) that are incorporating IOT into their business, 84% have experienced an IOT-related breach. Over half report external attacks as a key barrier to the adoption of this technology.
However, IOT technology can be protected. Aruba ClearPass technology enables wired and wireless access control and its features include attack detection. Retailers can reduce the risk and vulnerabilities associated with IOT technology by using the ClearPass solution to secure their network. User data, captured from consumer interactions in store and online, can help retailers better understand their customers and inform business decisions.
Pieter Engelbrecht, business unit manager for HPE Aruba, commented: "The impact of IOT within the retail sector has huge potential. We are already seeing transformations in retail stores as the realisation of what IOT technology can achieve prompts the standard of the in-store experience - and consumer expectations - to increase. The benefits of IOT are widely reported, as are the potential security risks. But with the right security solutions, like ClearPass, network access can be controlled and the threat of infiltration eliminated."
A total of 3 100 IT and business decision-makers were interviewed in November and December 2016. The respondents were from organisations of at least 500 employees, and were from both public and private sectors, but with a focus on the industrial, government, retail, healthcare, education, construction, finance, and IT/technology/telecommunications sectors. Interviews were conducted both online and via telephone using a rigorous multi-level screening process to ensure that only suitable candidates were given the opportunity to participate. Respondents were interviewed in the UK, Italy, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Norway, Turkey, and UAE.