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Top 4 Ways the Internet of Things is Influencing Commerce

Though the “internet of things” (IoT) concept is in its early stage but it is advancing at an exponential rate. Today businesses, consumers as well as governments have started recognizing the advantages of connecting inert devices to the internet. According to BI Intelligence report, the Internet of Things will be the largest device market in the world by 2019.

Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO), the networking giant, estimates that the total number of connected devices globally will increase from 15 billion to 50 billion by 2020. Intel is even more optimistic, estimating the figure to touch the 200 billion mark. Also the research firm IDC believes that global spending on IoT devices as well as services will increase from $656 billion to $1.7 trillion in 2020.

As more and more things become connected, the possibilities for trading will also be countless. Opportunities await those commerce players that are ready to welcome the Internet of Things era.

Here are the top 4 most promising commerce opportunities brought forth by the Internet of Things era:

Enhanced Logistics Resulting in Better Order Fulfilment

Internet of things delivers greater visibility across the fulfilment process. It enables retailers to better meet the increasing demands of the consumer of today’s digital world who is purchasing more online. This technology help companies to track orders right from the moment an order is placed till it reaches the customer’s doorstep. Each and every piece of inventory can be tracked through a management system. Hence goods can be automatically located very easily.

Auto-Replenishment of Goods

Most of us have experienced the frustration of running out of something that is badly needed. IOT allows people to automatically reorder products based on consumption.

Typically used for household products like detergents, fabric softeners, cosmetics, dishwasher tablets, the Amazon Dash button is designed to be stuck near to frequently reordered products to make the ordering of products as simple as possible. Pressing the dash button sends a Wi-Fi signal to the Amazon Shopping app, and orders new stock of whatever product the button is configured to order. The click sends a message to the user’s mobile phone as well, providing the user a half-hour time to cancel.

Access to More Data Helps Businesses Better Influence Consumers’ Decision Making

With the increase in number of IoT devices in society, today businesses can gain a greater insight into their consumers’ behaviour than ever before. Information like daily routines of target demographics, their product preferences, their shopping histories as well as buying habits can be easily tracked and then these information provides marketers more ways on how to appeal their customers. This is the reason why consumers today get to see an increased amount of ‘personalised’ advertising.

IOT Enables Manufacturers to Build a Long-Term Relationship with Consumer

Today, maximum products come with a long life cycle. Manufacturers now produce refrigerators or washing machine with long lifecycles spanning 15 or maybe 20 years. This in turn limits the ongoing interaction of manufacturers with its consumer base. Building a relationship through a connected appliance could be a good way to stay in consumers’ minds for longer period. For example, printer manufacturers could offer cartridge replenishment from the printer itself.

Apart from this, the Internet of Things could also create new business models with fresh revenue streams. For example, manufacturers could adopt service-orientated business models by providing remote monitoring services, predictive maintenance as well as performance analytics as an ongoing service.

The marriage between the Internet of Things as well as commerce has just started. As it develops, it will completely change the shape of commerce. The way in which goods and services are ordered, delivered as well as consumed will not be the same anymore. It will change dramatically.

“Connected objects will provide a breadth of innovative use cases. These connected devices coupled with the integration of payments will allow to expand beyond their original purpose and become true commerce enablers.” Principal at Edgar, Dunn & Company (EDC)

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