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Retailers gear up for explosion in network-connected devices

The number of network-connected devices available by 2015 will be double the world's population, totalling 15 billion, according to research from Cisco.

The total amount of global internet traffic is set to quadruple by 2015 and reach 966 exabytes per year, says Cisco. The company predicts that by 2015, one million minutes of video will be watched online every second.

The projected increase of internet traffic between 2014 and 2015 alone is 200 exabytes. This is greater than the total amount of Internet Protocol traffic generated globally in 2010.

Suraj Shetty, vice-president of worldwide service provider marketing at Cisco, said: "The explosive growth in internet data traffic, especially video, creates an opportunity in the years ahead for optimising and monetising visual, virtual and mobile internet experiences."

Businesses across sectors are having to take into account the mobile computing habits of their customers and employees when planning their IT strategies.

Retailers are gearing up to take advantage of the proliferation of mobile devices. Tesco is currently trialling an Android-only 'sat-nav' app in a store in Essex, which helps customers locate products. Online payment service Paypal launched an e-check in April to enable users to digitally transfer money into accounts.

Banks are also investing in services for smartphone users. Orange and Barclaycard have introduced the first near-field communication (NFC) mobile payment system in the UK. The "Quick Tap" payment system can be used via Orange's NFC-enabled Samsung Tocco Lite handset. This allows customers to pay for items under the value of £15.

But there is still work to be done, according to a YouGov survey. It found that retailers are failing to meet customers' demands for mobile technology as part of loyalty scheme programmes,

The poll, commissioned by Steria, shows most of the 1,950 people surveyed (65%) want more personalised loyalty schemes services from retailers, including real-time offers to be sent to mobile devices while shopping.


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