By 2020, retailers will spend some $2.5 billion on Internet of Things (IoT)-related technologies such as Bluetooth-equipped beacons and radio frequency ID tags (RFID), about four times more than the $670 million expected to be spent this year. 

According to a new Juniper Research study, retailers may be on the cutting edge of the IoT’s impact on businesses. By 2020, as much as 70 percent of purchased IoT hardware won’t be consumer-centric, with the segment driven by business IoT spending pushing the IoT opportunity worldwide to $300 billion, the researcher said.

The U.K.-based researcher’s data also suggested that the expected explosion to 38.5 billion IoT-related connected devices in use worldwide by 2020 will prompt “fundamental changes” in cybersecurity to focus on quickly identifying the inevitable network breaches rather than concentrating on prevention.

For retailers adopting beacons and RFID tags, the ability to leverage IoT technology to push relevant information to customers through their smartphones and other mobile devices, along with real-time asset tracking and pricing adjustments will provide substantial competitive advantages, Juniper said.

“Retailers such as Zara and Target are already taking advantage of the benefits offered by RFID asset tracking,” said Steffen Sorrell, a Juniper research analyst.

“Meanwhile, the beacon industry is expanding rapidly, used as a method to provide consumers with contextually relevant information in conjunction with their smartphone or wearable will enormously enhance the in-store experience,” he said.

Juniper has packaged its IoT research into a new report entitled The Internet of Things: Consumer, Industrial & Public Services 2015-2020. The report concluded that top retailers building an IoT ecosystem that links hardware such as beacons, RFID tags, wearables and smart consumer electronics devices with software analytics will position themselves to “gain market advantage and truly capitalize on the opportunity.”