IoT is a force that’s disrupted a lot of industries such as health, manufacturing, and entertainment. The next industry it’ll impact is ecommerce.
In particular, the Internet of Things (IoT) is going to transform every aspect of ecommerce, especially with all the new devices doubling down between 2014 and 2019 — from wearable technologies to voice-enabled devices to beacons to smart homes.
These AI innovations aren’t going anywhere. We can expect that they’ll disrupt ecommerce in more ways than one. That said, here are the 5 uncommon IoT trends that will disrupt ecommerce in years to come.
1. Machine Learning
Machine learning and AI delivers great opportunities in the ecommerce industry.
The ability for software tools to be able to predict what customers want to buy, when they’re most engaged, and why leave shopping cart without completing their purchase are only a few viable application examples of AI.
The ecommerce players will find new playing grounds to utilize the vast amounts of smart device-driven data that will come from “connected things.” This is definitely worth looking out for as the years go by.
2. Integrated ERP Solutions
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions are trends that will simplify the entire process of running and maintaining an online store, which has always been a major challenge to retailers.
The processes involved in CRM, inventory management, accounting, order management, and the like can be handled by ERP solutions — to provide a richer and accurate product data, promotions, and latest pricing in real-time.
By partnering with Visionet Systems, Mattress Firm adopted an ERP solution — to provide a centralized information resource for integrating data across all touchpoints in real-time.
According to Mattress Firm CIO Jonathan Sider, “ERP solution delivers a single version of the ‘truth,’ and prevents the proliferation of separate information silos.”
3. Automated Checkout
Automated checkout is an IoT trend that will disrupt ecommerce. Aside from that, it’s going to save retailer companies more money.
McKinsey Global Institute estimates that automated checkout will minimize cashier staff requirements by up to 75 percent. This could save the company between $150 billion to $380 billion by 2025.
Amazon is taking ecommerce innovations to new heights.
In the Q1 of 2018 when Amazon introduced the first-ever checkout-free grocery store experience, it allowed consumers the opportunity to pick items, without the need to check out.
There’s an in-store technology that tracks every item dropped in the cart and uses AI to compute and bill the customer on the credit card they submitted the moment they leave the store.
This is a good example of an automated checkout. And it’s becoming a favorite for consumers who want to quickly pick items from a physical retail store and not queue to pay.
4. Smart Shelves
Smart shelving technology is another major technology that physical retailers will start incorporating into their processes in the coming months.
Smart shelves are equipped with RFID tags that provide the capabilities of weight sensors and readers.
The moment items are picked out of the shelves and lowered into a shopping cart or basket, the sensor detects while the reader maps the item.
Although this technology is still new, it’s already providing cost-effective shopping experiences.
It’ll improve inventory techniques, help retailers understand their business better, and reduce in-store theft.
With AI becoming a predominant concept, smart shelves will soon evolve and will be able to simplify restocking and predict peak times.
5. Enhanced Market Research
The process of collecting, processing, and analyzing data in the ecommerce industry has always been complex.
But the good news is that IoT will help online marketers understand their data better and quicker.
According to the Global IoT Analytics Market 2018 through 2022, there’s a need to improve “business efficiency.” An enhanced market can be the market driver in the coming months.
You may have heard of IoT for B2B enterprises, which frankly, is already an industry norm.
Mobile devices that are IoT-empowered will support learning, how ecommerce marketers process large amounts of data across different advertising channels, and will be able to reach more people in entirely new ways.
In the next few months and years, physical retail store owners and online entrepreneurs will find it a lot easier to perform predictive analysis of their audience – and make decisions based on their evolving needs and wants.
This is primarily supported by IoT syncing with the cloud, making data readily available wherever the marketer is.
If you want to run a successful ecommerce business that thrives in today’s highly competitive environment, you need to pay close attention to these IoT trends that are bound to disrupt the industry.
These trends aren’t only driven by new technologies – consumers’ are not better informed than they used to be, so their preferences have changed.
Let these IoT trends guide your decisions, whether you’re going to stick to online stores or establish a physical retail store.