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IoT & eCommerce: How Connected Devices Are a Boon for Brands

In prior blog posts and podcasts, we’ve talked about the ways companies are adjusting to an ever-changing marketplace. We’ve talked about the Amazon effect. We’ve even talked about how drunk shopping contributes to increased online sales. Well, there’s new data out describing the changes to eCommerce that’s being brought about by the integration of IoT (Internet of Things) and eCommerce.

And it’s not just your Alexa or Google Home or Homepod- you’re hard-pressed in 2019 to find an electronic device that isn’t connected. Devices we have at home. Our cars. Devices we carry. Our refrigerators…

Ok, we know you don’t carry around a refrigerator, but we are seeing more and more connected fridges are entering the market. U.S. homes have an average of five internet-connected devices. It’s estimated that by 2025 there’ll be over 27 billion IoT devices.

Now how does this relate to eCommerce?

We’re all online all the time, whether it’s through these devices or through our phones or computers. At least 77% of Americans access the Internet at least once a day. Many of our devices share data with each other, and that data is used by companies to serve us ads based on our behaviors, preferences, downloads, purchase decisions, and location.

But what does this mean for real-world shopping?

We’re using devices like Siri, Alexa, and Google to research products, compare prices, and make purchases. As the companies collecting all of this data learn more about us, eCommerce transactions will become seamless. Faster. More convenient.

And as all of you eCommerce professionals reading this blog post know, brands are always looking to do things better. Faster. More efficiently. Making things easier for your customer.

A little too “Big Brother” for you? Get used to it. AI and associated technology advancements are only making it easier to put the power of big data into the hands of the average business owner. With eCommerce booming and steadily growing in popularity, we’re already seeing Amazon leaning into IoT with their Amazon Go physical stores.

In 2018, consumers spent just under three trillion dollars online. Now if you consider how IoT will specifically help eCommerce companies, you can almost immediately see benefits to the operations side of eCom. RFID will make inventory tracking more accurate. The technology will also allow more reliable, up-to-date package tracking. Real-time inventory management and package tracking. Think, of it. No lost shipments, because shippers will know where items are at all times.

But aren’t there privacy concerns here? Of course there are, but like any risk with any new technology, it will be dealt with. Customers expect a reliable, secure platform. But no company expects to track when a customer wears their winter coat.

Instead, there’s a real opportunity here for eCommerce brands to get insightful information about their businesses. Updating the customer about packages. Personalizing the shopping experience. Improved inventory tracking. Materials handling- the aggregation of incremental gains.

On a macro level, those gains add up, and will be translated into a better experience for the customer and a bigger bottom line for the brand.