The Internet of Things (IoT) is the proposed connection of everything to the internet in an attempt to create a world that is hyper-connected. Imagine – If your phone alerts you when the washing machine is done or if you’ve left the light on in your living room or maybe when one of your other devices is charged completely.
This technology has created a lot of buzz to say the least, thought still in its infancy in many important areas such as security and connections. However, the future looks promising as many large technology organizations are taking great interest in making the world IoT ready. Organizations like Apple are likely developing IoT enabled devices for use in stores – whispers of ‘iBeacon’ are already exciting analysts and bloggers since a passing mention in the iOS7 release presentation.
What devices could you use in your store?
IoT devices are being classified under four types depending on the range they work within (given within brackets), they are – GPS (Worldwide), Wi-Fi (Up to 100m or 109yd), Bluetooth (Up to 50m or 55yd) and Near Field Communication (NFC) (Up to 1mm).
GPS devices will be used to help customers locate your stores across the country, and Wi-Fi devices will be used to help them locate it when they are in close proximity – maybe a few stores away.
The focus of this blog will be on the use of Bluetooth and NFC devices as they are more directly involved with the products in the store.
How can Bluetooth and NFC devices aid your B2B organization?
IoT devices that work within your store, namely Bluetooth and NFC devices are focused on collecting product information and providing the customer with information when they enter the store or are in physical proximity to the product.
Here are some ways IoT devices at your physical locations could interact with your customers and your online store:
- B2C and B2B utility:
- Customer oriented
- Help customers locate products within the store
- Provide customers with complete product details
- Notify customers of new products
- Inform customers of seasonal sales and offers on products
- Track customer movements within the store
- Allow for mobile payments through the devices
- Collect customer product interest information
- Sync data among your stores, warehouses and online store allowing customers to place an order online for products available anywhere in your supply network
- Operation enhancement
- Track physical store sales
- Update inventory records and tell customers when the last few pieces of a tools or boxes of supplies remain
- Additional B2B utility:
- Provide customers with offers and discounts based on their organization size and their previous order sizes
- Givespecial offers and discounts for partner organizations andpreferred clients
- Automatic billing and e-mailing of receipt to the client’s purchase department
With the integration of IoT and eCommerce software inevitable the future, organizations need to be prepared to have a host of new capabilities and data at their disposal. The use of IoT devices is already gaining popularity in the B2C retail industry and B2B organizations with physical outlets must make sure they start taking advantage of the technology as well. Moreover, with the increasing presence and development of wearable devices in the forms of glasses, pedometers and watches, B2B organizations will be able to reach their clients’ purchase authorities at nearly any time they chose to. Customers are following the smart revolution, and enterprises need to keep up.
- Customer oriented