3 Trends from CES that will Shape Retail in 2014


The Internet of Things (IoT)

Internet of Things refers to the increasing interconnectivity between household items, a customer’s digital profiles and the Internet. While a smart pair of socks or an internet-connected toothbrush might not be on everybody’s wish list, the broad shift towards the Internet of Things has clear benefits for retailers.

First and foremost, consumers hooked up to the Internet of Things will provide unparalleled access to their shopping and lifestyle habits as well as their in-store movements. Apple’s indoor positioning system iBeacon is an example of these technologies. Interpretation of this data will allow retailers to automate offers to the individual and improve store layouts based on emerging shopping patterns.

It could also make for smarter stocking decisions, where tracking devices on clothes in store can reveal items across a network of stores that are attracting most interest or where certain sizes are in demand, but out of stock.

In a similar vein, item tracking will allow retailers to provide much clearer information to customers on delivery of their purchases, from texts when the item leaves the depot to offering real time delivery tracking.

If you need evidence that IoT is about to explode, look no further than Google’s $3 billion acquisition of Next, the maker of smart home appliances and an early pioneer of IoT products.