Guest Column | January 6, 2017

What The Internet Of Things Really Means For Retail

Luis Artiz

By Luis Artiz, Group Product Manager for Epson America’s point-of-sale (POS) solutions division.  

At the NRF BIG Show this January, we guarantee you won’t be able to swing your show bag in a circle without hitting a vendor touting its IoT (Internet of Things)-enabled widget. The IoT has quickly moved from a futuristic concept to a worn-out buzzword in the retail industry—so quickly, in fact, that mane merchants haven’t had the time to fully grasp what the IoT is, much less why its important to the future of retail.

The IoT is, at its core, a simple concept; it embodies the automated interconnectivity of internet-enabled objects, such as mobile devices and computers, microprocessors, sensors, networks, artificial intelligence, and analytics applications. It’s important to retail because when devices and applications can share and use data without human intervention, merchants gain two very valuable commodities: actionable data and operational efficiency. Let’s look at a few examples that illustrate the IoT concept and its value to retailers...