By Barton Goldenberg
Concerning the Internet of Things options for retailers: At present, there is no one company that can create a single comprehensive Internet of Things (IoT) solution for retailers. IoT equipment manufacturers can put the IoT sensors together, while the IoT integrators must integrate the IoT equipment into a huge IoT ecosystem. Organizations must choose either Option 1 or 2:
Option 1: Go with IoT one platform
Option 2: Select the best-in-class technologies that get integrated via the cloud
For organizations choosing Option 1, the advantage is that all IoT elements can be integrated automatically. The IoT system can be deployed globally and can easily gather data on a consistent basis. However, the disadvantage is that the IoT system will be limited to the capabilities provided by the IoT platform provider.
For organizations choosing Option 2, the advantages are that the organization can select the best-in-class technologies for each desired IoT element and all IoT technologies can be integrated via the cloud. However, the disadvantages relate to the IoT implementation. The IoT implementation will require an enormous understanding by the IoT system architects of how each IoT piece will fit together. This IoT implementation will require software engineers to write a common code and create common integration capability, leading to a potentially tremendous cost and effort by the organization for a successful implementation.
ISM concludes that IoT will drive high business value as it secures proprietary customer data to create personalized experiences within IoT – connected stores and delivers cost efficiency in inventory management. As IoT technologies ease some of the most pressing pain points in a shopper’s journey, IoT applications will revolutionize the in-store experience for both consumers and retailers, thus providing unparalleled insights based upon data collected.
How can any store desiring to be ‘Best in Class’ not be a part of this IoT evolution? How can any store survive the fierce competition in the marketplace if management does not adapt to the new ways of thinking with the advent of the new “IoT – aware” customer? For the skeptics, there were many luxury brands who also believed eCommerce was not going to impact their industry, yet according to McKinsey – eCommerce is now on track to become a $80 billion industry for the luxury market by 2025. The IoT revolution soon will be a ‘must do’ for every retail business in the near future.
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Barton Goldenberg, is the founder and president of ISM Inc., customer-centric strategists/implementers serving best-in-class organizations globally. As a CRM leader for 30 years, he was among the first three inductees in the CRM Hall of Fame. Recognized as a leading “customer-focused” author, his latest book, The Definitive Guide to Social CRM, is hailed as the roadmap for Social CRM success. Barton is a popular speaker on “maximizing customer relationships to gain market insights, customers and profits”. He is a long-term columnist for CRM Magazine and speaker for CRMevolution and frequently quoted in the media.