Benefits of the Internet of Things for Ecommerce

2nd Nov 2015

User experience is a major component of web design. At the moment, the majority of internet activity is based on the interaction between the user and the service, whether it’s email or blogging.

Yet in the next few years as connection speeds move to warp speed we’ll start to take the humans out of the equation more and more, with a boost in machine to machine communication. The internet will become more intuitive, linking objects or “things” via sensors. This will give rise to the “Internet of Things” and it will change the way we do business.

Think about it - there are already numerous connected devices, from Fitbits to smart home security systems, and billions more are on the way. This will have a major impact on ecommerce in particular, so it’s important for entrepreneurs to take note!

Better management of inventory

The Internet of Things will most likely benefit those in the ecommerce industry by streamlining operations. To begin with, it will be easier to track and manage inventory. Products can be tracked in real time with the use of radio frequency tags and other sensors. This data can then be processed to alert business owners when they’re running low on a certain product or if another isn’t selling at all.

Orders can be placed to replenish stock automatically according to sensor-sourced data, saving time on inventory management overall. Many large retailers already make use of this type of system, including big names like Walmart, but it will trickle down to smaller businesses as well as the technology becomes more affordable.

New Internet of Things marketing opportunities

The ability of the IoT to track real time users of the ecommerce site can help entrepreneurs with highly targeted promotions. You’ll know more about your target demographics’ daily routines, shopping histories, and preferences, and can track them based on location and habits.

Improved efficiency

Another benefit of the IoT is the ability to improve overall efficiency while boosting sales. Deliveries can be tracked accurately, adjusting speed and route as needed with the use of GPS and sensors. Customers can access this same data so they know exactly where their orders are along the way. If you sell products covered by warranty, this can also be tracked via the IoT so alerts can be sent if a product starts to malfunction. Predictive maintenance can be targeted using data obtained from product sensors, so that products can be improved and repaired before a total breakdown occurs.

More intuitive websites

Major telecom companies like Nokia Networks are leading the way with the Internet of Things, which means that it will impact the way that websites and mobile sites are designed.

User experience is a major component of ecommerce design, but in the future as the IoT becomes more widespread you’ll also need to think about how the business will process data from various sources. This will lead to more intuitive websites, which can customize a user’s experience with new and more accurate data.

The IoT is already here to some degree, but as this technology grows both consumers and retailers alike will be able to experience more convenient transactions.

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