Like every other industry, the Internet of Things has also changed the e-commerce segments.
Now, shopping and purchasing are becoming more easier than ever. But along with that changes, businesses need to be incredibly savvy about their marketing and business processes if they are to remain competitive. The rapid proliferation of the Internet of Things is showing no signs of slowing down, thus businesses need to be able to adapt quickly and to find innovative ways to leverage this technology.
The Internet of Things’ Way of Commerce
Smart devices such as refrigerators that can order groceries are what sampled as an Internet of Things devices. These smart devices will be connected to venues such as Google Express or Amazon Marketplace on a global scale or simply to a local vendor or service providers which will take and deliver their orders. This can be done immediately and without hassle with a streamlined purchasing method.
With this type of on-the-fly ordering would mean that customers are far more likely to engage and commit to a sale and they are also operating in a specific commerce channel without the need and ability to compare prices or look for other special deals. This would mean a bigger profit margin to the service provider.
Apart from that manual interaction, Internet of Things devices may also have the capability to refill themselves as when a certain stock limit is reached. A storefront must at first be set up to be used by these self-replenish devices in order for commerce to take place. While in the past, major concerns regarding the Internet of Things purchasing were directly related to security, now with the advent of cloud-based technology, encryption, and other security standard has put e-commerce just as secure as many other types of purchasing.
The principle concerns now, are instead related to customer acquisition and customer retention. These are the challenges facing marketers on the Internet of Things.
It is fairly difficult to bring customer who is already with another brand or company since Internet of Things is often designed to facilitate sales for a specific company or brands. An example of this is the smart refrigerator ordering as we have mentioned earlier. In order for the device to be able to perform purchase transaction online, it needs to have a specific contract with vendors. And this contract may be restricting that customer to purchase from other channels or brands.
A different type of sales process which is specifically designed to streamline the purchase is needed to fulfill the order from the Internet of Things devices. Devices companies not only need to be innovative in designing an Internet of Things devices but also the process that it must undergo to perform e-commerce transaction.
The Internet of Things may have made it easier for customers to purchase what they need as when they need it, but this, in turn, has also substantially reduced the amount of potential upselling a business can do. Keeping customers engaged will require creativity and out of the box marketing tactics.
It is now easier to retain a customer who is in the merchant’s e-commerce eco-system. However, due to the way Internet of Things perform sales online, it might be harder to bring customers from competitors and it also brings impact to the amount of upselling that can be done. So it is apparently important for companies that are looking to leverage on the Internet of Things to consider these factors before getting their feet wet.
Regardless of smart devices that are offered on sale on e-commerce, it is crucial for companies to think about how their customers would use the product and the interaction and engagement that is involved so that the market can thrive positively.