New Study From RSR Research: The Internet Of Things Still Seems Like Hype to Many Retailers

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Most have yet to start seriously investing.

Retailers have struggled to integrate the store to an otherwise 24x7 anytime/anywhere selling environment

Retail Systems Research, LLC today released its findings from its 2016 Benchmark Report, The Internet Of Things In Retail: Getting Beyond The Hype. The report, based on a survey of 129 retailers, found that while retailers are overly optimistic for what IoT technologies may be able to one day achieve, most have yet to start seriously investing. The research is available for free download (registration required).

"Interest in IoT is fueled by a very real and pressing problem that retailers have today," reports Brian Kilcourse, managing partner at RSR Research and co-author of the report. "They have struggled to integrate the store to an otherwise 24x7 anytime/anywhere selling environment.” But this has yet to translate into significant investment by all but the most forward-thinking retailers.

Key Findings of the research:

  •     When asked to prioritize internal challenges causing them to look towards IoT, retailers highlighting three general areas of principal focus: inventory visibility and accuracy, interacting with digitally enabled consumers in the physical store, and making the physical store more effective for consumers.
  •     While retailers are unanimous in their desire for a closer level of engagement with consumers via their internet-connected mobile devices, what is far more interesting is the particular emphasis retailers place based on the products that they sell. Some vast differences emerge between what Fashion & Apparel retailers covet and what their FMCG and General Merchandise-based peers are looking to do.
  •     When pressed for why they haven’t done more, the answers is clear: retailers don’t believe their infrastructure can support bleeding-edge technologies, executive leadership doesn’t grasp the possibilities (and therefore isn’t pushing for such initiatives) – and even if they were – retailers’ IT teams don’t have the necessary bandwidth to tackle new challenges.

The Internet Of Things In Retail: Getting Beyond The Hype contains analysis of the business drivers, opportunities, and organizational constraints surrounding Internet of Things applications within retail. It also offers baseline recommendations for navigating this brave new world for retailers. The report is part of RSR Research's ongoing efforts to provide market intelligence on retail technology trends, is sponsored by Software AG, is supported by Impinj, and can be downloaded here:

About RSR Research: Retail Systems Research (“RSR”) is the only research company run by retailers for the retail industry. RSR provides insight into business and technology challenges facing the extended retail industry, and thought leadership and advice on navigating these challenges for specific companies and the industry at large. To learn more about RSR, visit

RSR Research, LLC
Linda Wolfe, 774-284-4679

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