Published on February 18th, 2019 | by Emergent Enterprise0
IoT and Commerce: How New Technology is Shaping the Way We Shop
Emergent Insight: The CX is increasingly becoming more personal, mobile and digital. As Frank Landman shares in his piece at readwrite.com, e-commerce is having an incredible impact on the way people shop for anything. You might think this is the beginning of the end of brick and mortar but actually the IoT will enhance the physical CX when the customer wants to visit an actual store. The future is a combination of the actual and the virtual.
If we were able to fast-forward ten years into the future and look at the state of ecommerce and retail, we probably wouldn’t recognize what it’s become. The Internet of Things (IoT) is in the process of fundamentally revolutionizing how consumers shop and big changes are coming down the innovation pipeline.
The IoT-Ecommerce Collision Course
Before you can understand how IoT is impacting ecommerce, you have to grasp the true weight and magnitude of the IoT and what’s happening on a broad scale.
IoT technology is expanding at an astonishing rate. Industrial products are being impacted the most, with 45 percent of businesses in this sector using IoT products (and another 22 percent expected to adopt IoT within the year). But perhaps most exciting is the influence IoT is having on connected devices.
According to Cisco’s annual Visual Networking Index, machine-to-machine connections supporting IoT applications will account for more than half of the world’s 28.5 billion connected devices by 2022. This will cause reverberations in numerous industries and niches, including ecommerce.
Retail ecommerce has been enjoying a steep and healthy growth curve over the past decade. According to Statista, worldwide ecommerce sales were right around $1.34 trillion in 2014, $2.84 trillion in 2018, and are anticipated to scale to $3.45 trillion this year. By 2021, it’s projected that global ecommerce sales will inch up near the $5 trillion mark.
As both the IoT and ecommerce industries undergo significant growth, we’re beginning to see how these massive forces can work together for good. There’s so much potential, and it’s nearly impossible to understand how transformational the IoT will be for ecommerce, and vice versa.
8 Trends to Keep an Eye On
Whether you’re in the tech space or retail industry, it’s helpful to understand what’s happening at the convergence of the IoT and ecommerce. Here are a few powerful ways the former is impacting the latter:
1. More Educated Consumers
Gone are the days where customers had limited options to choose from and were cornered into buying a particular product from a particular brand without much wiggle room or leverage. We’re operating in an entirely new retail landscape with an overwhelming number of options. And as consumers become more educated, they also become increasingly aware of their options.
As more data is collected and more information is made available to consumers, the average shopper is becoming increasingly empowered to make smarter purchase decisions. For example, a website like Top10.com gives individual customers the ability to compare and choose the right options with more accuracy than ever before. They can see the numbers, study the metrics that matter, and end up making more informed choices.
Educated shoppers have also been known to demand more brand transparency from retailers. They want to know how products are sourced, where they’re made, and what’s going into the various production processes. As a result, brands are being forced to open up and be more honest about their practices. This is considered a net win for everyone.
2. Better Cyber Security
It’s easy to see that the rise of connected devices has led to an increase in cybercriminal activity. Each device represents an access point – and many are left unprotected and vulnerable to experienced hackers.