Jun 29.2021

IoT Market Segments: What Are The Biggest Opportunities For Suppliers?

IoT Market Segments: What Are The Biggest Opportunities For Suppliers?

Increasingly, The Internet of Things (IoT) is changing our daily lives. The ability to connect to digital networks using more devices than just smartphones and computers creates a long list of possibilities for improving the way humans live, work, shop, travel, and interact with information. For businesses, IoT presents enticing opportunities to solve problems and unlock revenue streams.

IoT’s multi-faceted capabilities make it widely applicable for business and consumer use. Today, IoT products range from home security systems that work with cameras and alarms to large-scale industrial platforms that monitor several processes simultaneously and generate status reports in real-time.

So, if you are looking to dip a foot into the ever-growing IoT market, the time has never been better. However, you need to identify your target client base, develop products that address their needs, and present them as worthy investments. Do you know where to start?

This article highlights the thriving segments of IoT to give you a decent sense of direction.
  1. Manufacturing IoT
Considering the origins of the Internet of Things, it is not surprising that manufacturing is still center stage in IoT advancements. After all, the term “Internet of Things” was coined by Kevin Ashton as he experimented with RFID tags for supply chain optimization at Procter & Gamble.

Today’s increasingly competitive landscape and mounting pressure for sustainable practices are pushing manufacturing companies toward new technologies faster than other sectors. IoT promises a more automated industrial environment that is more efficient and productive and delivers higher-quality outputs.

For many IoT users in manufacturing, the Internet of Things is synonymous with machine-to-machine connectivity. However, recent advancements have been taking things a notch higher by building platforms that enable both M2M and intuitive machine-human-machine (M2H/H2M) interfaces.

Furthermore, the latest version of Industrial IoT, fancily called Industry 4.0, encompasses new technologies like 3D printing, artificial intelligence, and user-interactive augmented reality, creating holistic solutions for real-time monitoring, reporting, and analytics.

A report by IoT Analytics estimates that the annual spending on industrial IoT platforms by manufacturers will surpass $12.4 billion by 2024, translating to a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 40%. It goes without saying that the manufacturing sector is vastly promising for IoT suppliers.
  1. Consumer IoT
Mordor Intelligence reports that consumer IoT could register a CAGR of 17.5% within the next five years. Some of the most significant growth catalysts include the skyrocketing number of internet users, the proliferation of consumer-grade smart devices, increased awareness, and a general rise in disposable incomes, particularly in developing economies. Customers have also been demanding products that offer more convenience and a better lifestyle.

IoT has also increased the volume of consumer data collected by devices and applications. This mass of information is driving higher demand for IoT platforms with data management capabilities. Developers that can embed analytics within their IoT solutions stand to gain a competitive edge with more effective product placement and accurate forecasting.

The consumer IoT market is further segmented into Home Automation, Consumer Electronics, Healthcare, and Wearables. Home automation is the dominant sub-sector and is expected to hold its place at the top for the foreseeable future.
  1. Retail IoT
IoT has been steadily seeping into the retail sector over the last five years. Forward-looking retailers are already using IoT solutions to drive growth, reduce costs, and enhance customer experiences. IoT sensors are being placed along the value chain to monitor product and customer movement and provide real-time insights about quality control, supply chain performance, staff productivity, shopper satisfaction, and safety.

This unrivaled monitoring enables retailers to stay updated with shifts in demand and supply and adapt quickly. A better understanding of in-store consumer movements can help improve product placement, reduce wait times, and promote safety. Businesses can also create more personalized content for shoppers and help them find the right products faster.  

Target, for instance, uses IoT-based beacons to send hyper-personalized content to customers’ smartphones via low-energy Bluetooth connections when they walk into the coverage area. With the Target app, a shopper can get real-time shopping advice corresponding to the department they are visiting.

According to Global Market Insights, the Retail IoT market value will exceed $30 billion by 2024 and will bring even more daring innovations like smart shelves and shopper-interactive robots. IoT suppliers in the retail segment have a lot to gain down the road, but they must be ready to lead the disruption rather than chase it.
  1. Mobility IoT
The transport sector is benefiting from IoT in numerous ways. Currently, connected devices are gaining headway in traffic decongestion, parking, security, and telematics systems. As a result, mobility firms and administrators are getting accurate, real-time insights and improving service delivery. IoT is also providing solutions for minimizing the impact of transport on the environment. Real-time traffic monitoring has made it possible for city authorities to react quickly to traffic patterns, reducing the time drivers spend on the road.

However, by far the most exciting IoT application in transport is the connected car. Today, 91% of new vehicle sales in the U.S. are connected. ABI Research predicts that worldwide smart car sales will reach 115 million in 2025, more than four times as much as they were in 2020. These cars will likely make better use of in-vehicle networks, cameras, and radars to better interact with their external environment.

The transition from Level 2 and 3 self-driving vehicles to Level 4 and 5 autonomy will require even more support from IoT developers. Suppliers interested in smart car technology must provide reliable vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication platforms, complemented with emerging advancements like 5G augmented reality.

How Can You Best Orient Yourself to the IoT Market?

The Internet of Things is the inevitable next phase of the Internet’s evolution. It unites operational and information technologies to create transformations in manufacturing, retail, transport, and other global industries. Meanwhile, the wide array of connected devices in today’s markets make IoT a familiar topic to even the most oblivious tech consumer.

All market insights point to a glorious future for IoT platforms, much to the benefit of existing and new suppliers. By exploiting the ballooning demand in lucrative and fast-growing sectors, any focused upcoming developer can align themselves to the transformation, expand operations quickly, and establish themselves as a formidable industry player.

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