Internet of things (IoT) is a network of connected devices that share data in order to increase efficiency and effectiveness.It has changed retail in many ways. It has completely changed the process of customers’ shopping experience, also it is transforming the way brick and mortar stores are doing business, from how they are serving their consumers to how they’re doing their overall businesses.
IoT adoption brings so many advantages to the table. Some of them include:
- Better customer engagement
- Omnichannel Activation
- Minimize scrap & shrink
- Enhance productivity and assets
Ever since the services like Apple Siri and Amazon Alexa have been introduced, the opportunities have started to come in a lot faster. Well known retailers are seizing the opportunity to optimize for voice enabled shopping. Retailers have been adding in-store features such as sensors that can help trigger the value adding options for the consumers, like customized discounts and sale notifications being sent to their devices based on the shoppers visits in the store.
Following are nearly all of the opportunities with which e-commerce can benefit from IoT:
Improved Keeping Track & Logistics
IoT is making it easier for the retailers to gain more clarity for the order fulfillment process in order to meet the increasing expectations and demands of the online shoppers. This technology also makes the order tracking process so easy from the time customers place an order to the time orders reach their doorsteps. Retailers now use management systems to track inventory and it helps them in locating the products no matter the place they are.
To make logistic management more effective, retailers use data like traffic status, weather, location, and personal identities with the help of some of the cloud-based technologies like GPS and RFID (Radio Frequency Identification). In order to minimize problems like missing shipments, while optimizing the vehicle routes, it automates the shipping process and delivery.
Automated Inventory Management
To get an idea about the inventory stock in their stores, e-commerce retailers appreciate it if they have complete control over the goods that are being shipped from their warehouses. Businesses can operate seamlessly if they start using IoT sensors as well as Radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags in their daily operations and inventory management systems. This way, retailers can get real-time information about their inventory and do not feel the need to ask their store managers to physically monitor the inventory.
In order to reduce the probability of human error in taking stocks and ordering & reordering goods, IoT benefits e-commerce in a way that it collects and sends data to the ERP systems about the available products.
Also, for tracking inventories and to check the temperatures of their products that are decomposable and get alerts in time of need, there are smart shelves and sensors that can monitor the temperature.
Increased relationship between end-consumers and manufacturers
Through IoT, a quality relation is built between the manufacturers and end-consumers through the connected instruments like durable items. In this way, producers and consumers stay in an ever lasting association. For instance, manufacturers of refrigerators and freezers can offer stabilizers from themselves in order to build relationships with their customers.
Additionally, the Internet of things can create new business opportunities and models for the retailers to generate fresh profit margins. It also allows businesses to offer ongoing services to their customers like maintenance and remote monitoring of products along with analyzing their performance .
Customized data and measures
In order to deliver more personalized experiences, IoT helps in bringing together the personal data of brands. Retailers can easily personalize their customers’ experiences on an individual level by leveraging the power of personalization through IoT technology.
For instance, when there is a connected car, the owner or the driver of that specific car will be receiving offers customized specifically for them. On top of this, if there is more than one person, they will have experiences adjusted to their taste.
When the marketers get access to the data and insights to customers behavior, they are more likely to be using that to attract more consumers and influence their buying behaviors on their purchasing experiences.
IoT situated e-commerce sites
Nowadays the trend of online shopping has increased which puts pressure on the retailers to make the shopping experience smooth and easier. Retailers, with IoT, first have to think how the data will be used which is coming from various origins and gadgets. They need to be extremely vigilant and responsive to all the connected devices around them, not just their smartphones or tablets.
Accordingly, nowadays retailers can also make online websites that will enable them to benefit from the IoT world more efficiently based on web-based client experience.
Automated shopping experience
Thanks to the Internet of things, Amazon Go, which is a computerized checkout system, is becoming a thing, so that the customers will walk in, make purchases, and walk-out of the store, so the cost will not be billed to the cellphones of consumers.
Also, in the near future, there will be systems that will be able to predict when the consumers want to go to shop and it will pack their goods based up on the shopping lists of customers and they can just pick them up. The customers will only have to send the details of their desired products to the vending machines and then all that needs to be done is to pick them from the drive-through and no secondary thing after that.
Interesting points prior to applying IoT to your Businesses
Before applying IoT to your businesses there are certain strategies that are needed to be employed in order to make sure that the satisfaction and consumers’ buying experiences are improved. Theses strategies include:
- Select platform that will best suit you business’s specific needs
- Partner with other organizations to improve strategic marketing and get the ideal client information to do so.
- Provide the customers with legitimate safety errors so that the legal troubles can be avoided.
- Clearly communicate with consumers about their data privacy and the way you will be using that.
To conclude, the revolutionary advantages of IoT can vastly improve retail operations from the point of purchasing to the customers’ doors. Selecting an IoT platform that delivers these features and enables reliable security measures will ensure successful deployment and will support rapid scale.
Now, as much as there is development in internet business from the rise of IoT advancements, there are also unquestionably a portion of the difficulties that accompany it. But the above-mentioned opportunities will be worthwhile.
E-commerce players will have to remember that the IoT is mainly about web-based things. Subsequently, e-commerce empowered by the internet of things is a greater amount of advancements. Eventually, the potential of IoT technology is significantly enhancing e-commerce because now devices are getting connected and getting smart features.
If you want to learn more about retail IoT technology, check out IoT solutions provided by System Plus.