Nearly two-fifths (38%) of large-scale retailers using the Internet of Things (IoT) have done so in the area of in-store contextualised marketing. This is according to a Microsoft survey of 267 companies in the retail and wholesale industry who have adopted some form of IoT technology.

Marketing in-store has begun to shift to be more digitally-driven, along with appealing to consumers' senses. However, it is vital that the technology involved is used to solve a real consumer need.

Optimising supply chains and inventory proved the most common use among IoT adopters, with 64% and 59% reporting that use respectively.

In contrast, the Internet of Things was used for omnichannel operations among just one-quarter (25%) of retailers and wholesalers using the technology. This compares to only one-tenth (10%) for just-in-time promotions.

Across all industries, complexity and a lack of knowledge and budget are major challenges in adoption. Overall, the number of Internet of Things connections is forecast to triple between 2018 and 2025.

Recent success using the Internet of Things has shown the need to ultimately focus on consumer engagement, rather than the underlying technology. Greater integration of artificial intelligence in consumer products and experiences looks set to drive further innovation and success.