Retailers see some tantalizing possibilities for using IoT technology in their businesses, and 2019 seems likely to be a year for pilot programs and small-scale testing.

Bridging the gap between online and in-person shopping, increased automation, and new ways to engage with customers (mostly by showing them ads) are all concepts with major upside for retailers, but the technology has only recently started to take hold.

[ Related: What is the IoT? How the internet of things works. ]

Some of IoT’s presence in the retail world isn’t retail-specific. Companies use asset-management systems, integrated HVAC and other smart-building tech just like many other industries, according to analysts, but physical retailers have been having a tough time across the board lately, and investments in new technology can quickly fall down priority lists.

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