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Retailers are planning to spend  $2.5 billion on IoT-related technologies such as Bluetooth-equipped beacons and radio frequency ID tags (RFID)devices. This is about four times more than the $670 million expected to be spent this year.

This is according to a new Juniper Research study that suggests retailers may be on the cutting edge of the IoT’s impact on businesses. The study notes that by 2020, as much as 70 percent of purchased IoT hardware won’t be consumer-centric, with the segment driven by business IoT spending pushing the IoT opportunity worldwide to $300 billion. According to Juniper Research, the IoT ‘represents the combination of devices and software systems, connected via the Internet, that produce, receive and analyse data. These systems must have the goal of improving quality of life, efficiency, create value and reduce cost.

Retailers adopting beacons and RFID tags, will have the ability to leverage IoT technology pushing relevant information to customers through their smartphones and other mobile devices, along with real-time asset tracking and pricing adjustments while improving substantial competitive advantages. Retailers such as Zara and Target are already taking advantage of the benefits offered by RFID asset tracking.

The beacon industry is expanding rapidly, offering consumers with contextually relevant information in conjunction with their smartphone or wearable will enormously enhance the in-store experience. Top retailers building an IoT ecosystem that links hardware such as beacons, RFID tags, wearables and smart consumer electronics devices with software analytics can expect to gain market advantage and truly capitalize on the opportunity.

On the other hand there is an increased risk of data to be stolen or compromised when deploying emerging technologies such as IoT. Andrew Rose, Principal Analyst of Forrester Research, says “Companies should have a security policy in place to identify targets, evolve key security control, add newer delivery mechanisms and review their security scenario frequently,”

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