Retailers Internet of Things (IoT) Plan: Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (WMT), Best Buy Co Inc (BBY), and Target Corporation (TGT)

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Internet of Things (IoT) is a concept retailers are pushing to take advantage. Companies like Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT), Best Buy Co Inc (NYSE:BBY), Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) and others have already disclosed their big ambitious plans. The focus of IoT is to trick out with network connectivity enabling the retailers to gather, as well as, exchange data apart from the sensor. The retailers appeared to have already witnessed a significant potential to disrupt their sectors, especially the shoppers indicating a healthy appetite for the new age tech practice.

Health Tracker On Demand

Retailers like Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) recorded a strong demand for health tracking device such as Fitbit Inc (NYSE:FIT)’s bracelets, which assess a person’s level of activity. It was one of the top ten products in the online retailer’s catalogue during the just concluded holiday season. The fitness tracking device continued to remain in the top position for a longer period while Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s Apple Watch fell into a different category. The appetite for IoT device is very strong and that resulted in expecting $287 billion retail revenue in the current year in the United States, according to the Consumer Technology Association (CTA).

IoT brought in more number of retailers in the past week with over 900 suppliers converging at the CES in Las Vegas to try out the recent IoT such as a fitness tracking sports bra, OMBra, and others. The retail companies were also focusing on IoT to give a boost to their stores with upgrades such as the connected displays. There was also a strong desire among the retailers to redefine the shopping experience and wanted to take advantage of the technology so as to prevent their sales from dropping. They also want to focus on retaining the traffic as e-commerce firms were weaning away customers visiting the stores.

Industry To Gain Growth

One of the sectors to gain from IoT was video and audio as it shifted the core consumer tech categories. In the current year, the CTA estimates smart TVs to witness a sale of 27 million units indicating a 13% YOY growth. At the same time, streaming media players are predicted to witness 15.8 million units sale representing 5% YOY increase. It is an indication that streaming service growth might slow down. In fact, an analyst has reportedly viewed that Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) will struggle for subscribers growth in the current year. As far as Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), it offers more as a freebie with its Prime Now subscription.

As far as the audio is concerned, connected speakers, as well as, the wireless headphones were the standout. CTA expects the sale of Airplay-capable and Bluetooth speakers to record 17.4 million unit representing a 40% growth and $1.5 billion in revenue. Similarly, wireless headphone sales were expected to be 3.9 million units indicating 30% growth and $623 million in revenue. Another area of IoT to assume significance was the Smart Home. The CTA predicts smart home technology category to record 21% increase in sales of devices such as smart home systems, smart locks, IP/Wi-Fi cameras, outlets, and dimmers to 8.9 million units. That will represent $1.2 billion in revenue.

Focus On Wearable

If the wearable gained popularity due to IoT, it was mainly because of the fitness activity trackers like Fitbit Inc (NYSE:FIT), as well as, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s Apple Watch. The CTA predicts fitness activity tracker to record 12% increase in volume to 17.4 million units in the current year while revenue will reach $1.3 billion. However, smart watches would grow at a much rapid pace of 28% to reach 13.6 million units while revenue will increase 22% to $3.7 billion. The higher growth in respect of smart watch might be due Apple Watch that was launched only towards the end of the first quarter in 2015.

Viraj Shah

Viraj Shah has completed M.Com (Finance) and is currently pursuing his CFP. He tracks US markets along with other global markets like India very closely. He is very passionate about stocks, real estate, and technology. He also believes that money can always be made in the market.

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