Many Retailers See IoT as an Inventory Tool

Fewer view it as a way to track in-store behaviors

Author: Rimma Kats

September 28, 2017

A study of retailers worldwide found that many look to internet of things technologies to help them better manage their inventory.

Many retailers say that new technologies, like the internet of things (IoT), help them address a variety of fulfillment challenges they may face, such as inventory accuracy.

In fact, over half of retailers worldwide surveyed by Retail Systems Research (RSR) in August said that inventory accuracy was one of the top three fulfillment challenges that IoT technologies can address.

And three in 10 respondents said IoT technologies can also help with inventory visibility.

A considerably smaller percentage saw the IoT as a way to better understand activity in the store—whether consumer or employee. Less than one in five saw IoT technology as a way to gain visibility into employee activities in-store, and only slightly more saw it as way to understand consumers’ physical shopping behaviors.

A separate study by RSR from last year investigated the various IoT technologies that US retailers had already implemented and were satisfied with. It found that roughly 20% were using sensors to track the status of equipment and were pleased with their performance. And nearly half of the overall survey sample said that particular technology had high value.

Meanwhile, 22% said they employed sensors for tracking the status of inventory they have on sale, and many also found such sensors be of high value.

Photo by Maarten van den Heuvel on Unsplash