If we could go back to probably 2009 or earlier, we may be able to identify the major disruptions the eCommerce and retail industry has undergone. The amalgamation of eCommerce and IoT has been fundamentally revolutionizing how consumers shop.
IoT has been expanding its base at a terrific pace. The industrial sector has been a major arena to bear this impact. With over 45% of the businesses in the industry using IoT products, the technology has proven itself an undisputed king of revolution.
According to Cisco’s annual Visual networking index, machine-to-machine interactions supporting IoT applications are estimated to account for half of the world’s connected devices by 2022. The trend is evident to cause major repercussions in more industries and niches, not to forget eCommerce here.
Retail has been enjoying a steel and healthy growth curve over the past ten years. Statista foresees that global eCommerce sales will reach a mark of $5 trillion in the year 2021.
As the massive forces combine, the big change is knocking at the door. Let’s explore some of the ways the change has been impacting our lives.
Table of Contents
#1. Personalized customer/ shopping experience
Ever realized that as soon as you shoot up a search for finding the best dresses online, your social media feed is filled up with lots and lots of ads for the same?
Let’s take up another example to understand the same. Shoot up to find a great pair of pants for yourself, and by the time you land on the checkout page, you’ll already have things to go with them. You may have suggestions for shirts to go along or a pair of shoes to match it.
This is the Internet of Things and eCommerce blend for you. Shopping is no more limited to buying products or services. In most cases, it has been associated with repetitious experimental elements involved. Shoppers love the process and feel satisfied when they can equate the same with positive experiences.
IoT has been an amazing factor driving the force. eCommerce stores leverage the technology to garner data from various locations and then analyze the robust data sets to offer ease of personalization. Users can now access features like localized offers, custom product recommendations, personalized checkout experience, and more that reduce friction while promoting efficiency.
But that’s not where it is limited to. It also enables the users to relish amazing discounts and offers tailored to what they have been looking to buy online. Businesses are constantly working to gather data and reward their customers while building a strong loyalist base for themselves. This also enables them with opportunities in terms of repeated purchases.
#2. Voice search
Voice search is not limited to SEO. They extend far beyond that. Rather, voice shopping is expected to increase to $40 billion annually by 2022- a 20-fold increase. To support this, we also have trends that showcase,
- 41% of adults now use voice search daily.
- Affluent, well-educated consumers highly value voice search.
- And last but not least, half of the voice-controlled device owners have shopped at least once in the last year.
Voice search has proven itself as the next big thing in the eCommerce industry. And the increasing usage of mobile devices has only supported the trend. Retailers are now investing in AI Solutions Development and striving to offer a high-end customer experience on mobile powered by voice search. Users can now shop for the required products while enjoying an experience that is quick, rewarding, convenient, and of course, fun.
#3. Better Cybersecurity
IoT has multiple benefits, but the threat to security has often been a difficult aspect of the technology. With more number of connected devices comes the huge challenge called cybersecurity. And given a huge amount of critical information on the eCommerce servers, the aspect becomes all the more important. Without proper protocols, online retailers also put themselves and customers at risk of fraud payment. This considers hacking and acceptance of fraudulent payments at the cost of having to refund the charges. Outside the financial issues, data breaches affect the brand’s reputation and cause even the most loyal customers to leave.
This requires the brands to invest in the right tools to minimize fraud and instill trust within the customer base. After all, playing with data security like login credentials and, most importantly, the bank and location details can land you up into big legal issues. And who would want that?
But with advanced security options strongly backed up by IoT security standards, eCommerce retailers can offer the users a sigh of relief. eCommerce websites do not come loaded with multi-layer security options that enable that to minimize cybersecurity issues. Moreover, the transactions are monitored at various levels to ensure those suspicious activities are flagged well in time.
The implementation ensures shoppers relish a great experience without worrying about data security.
#4. Smart Shelves
Ever since Amazon came up with Amazon Go, every business has been trying to upgrade its services to match the standards. Smart Shelves are an intuitive way for companies to introduce automation in their businesses. Smart shelves work with RFID tags that act as weight sensors and readers. Anytime the product is removed from the shelf to the shopping cart, they add the same to the invoice. Customers can leave the store without standing in long queues, and the amount will be deducted from their bank accounts digitally. This also helps retailers reduce the chances of theft and ensure their inventory is stocked to meet customer demands.
Beacons are Bluetooth devices that help shoppers in retail stores. Customers can install the applications on their phones. Anytime the shopper is within the vicinity of the retail, they can send out personalized notifications based on their online product search history. Businesses can also boost their up-sell and cross-sell strategies by alerting the customers about the products that will go best with what they have already purchased or had in the bag.
#6. Demand-aware Warehousing
A future-ready business is a dream of every owner. IoT helps you achieve the same. It enables companies to track customer behavior and spot patterns. This way, they can clearly understand what’s selling in the market and what’s not. Details like these help them make a data-driven decision about the restocking of the warehouse. They can invest only in the products that are more likely to bring profits and hold the ones that are not selling.
Regardless of what you are trying to achieve or what business challenges you’re trying to solve, IoT in retail and eCommerce gives you the solution. While helping brands change the course of their operations to offering cutting-edge after-sales services, IoT use cases in eCommerce are befitting business owners in multiple ways. IoT development services are driving a lot of attention and investments from eCommerce giants. Are you one of those? If not, the right time to get started is now!