The retail industry is making a huge push into the emerging Internet of Things market, according to a new report from IDC Retail Insights.

The study, “Business Strategy: Developing IoT Use Cases for Retail,” evaluates the current and future state of IoT technology in retail. According to the report, some IoT technologies have matured and others are still being nurtured, but the use cases are well-defined.

Cloud services and mobile technologies improve ROI, reducing the barriers to implementation and speeding adoption of IoT, the study says. It notes that nearly 10 percent of all IoT investment in 2013 was made by retailers, and by 2017 annual investments will surpass $466 million.

"Consumer demand for convenience, product availability, and personalized and contextualized interactions will drive retailers to adopt multiple IoT technologies,” Leslie Hand, research director, Supply Chain, Merchandising and Demand Management Strategies at IDC Retail Insights and author of the report, said in a statement. “This beckons a fresh evaluation of IoT opportunities in retail, as the challenges diminish and the consumer demand for interactive, engaging, and convenient retail experience trump any hesitance to invest in IoT."

Retailers need to establish the foundation by which to meet immediate omni-channel demands while planning for continual innovation, the report says. The IoT is already playing a role in consumer location-based interactions and in retail supply chain and asset management applications.

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