How can organizations thrive in a world where everything is connected?  Internet of Things devices can track consumer behavior, customize searches, and make product recommendations. As the development of e-commerce platforms continues to progress, companies poised to take advantage of IoT technology will flourish.

Seventy years ago, the Dick Tracy comic strip debuted an iconic watch that allowed the detective to make and receive calls via its built-in radio. No longer restricted to the pages of comic books, smart watches today allow wearers to make phone calls, track fitness, and purchase groceries.

The internet of things pertains to devices, sensors, and objects that are imbedded with internet connectivity. This connection can increase the speed and accuracy of services and contribute to the creation of better products. For example, a home containing internet of things products could automate everyday tasks, such as turning lights on and off or adjusting the thermostat.

While the internet of things may increase the standards of everyday life, organizations must understand how the introduction of internet of things technology can affect consumer needs and desires. IoT is transforming the way consumers purchase goods and interact with businesses. As the consumer progresses, so must the sellers.

When building their digital commerce platform, businesses should focus on two areas:

Information: Immense quantities of data. Internet of things devices provide marketers with deep insights into individual consumers’ preferences, allowing for personalized advertising.

Convenience: Many commerce touchpoints. When nearly everything is connected, consumers will have the ability to search for and purchase things from almost anywhere. More and more often, consumers will be able to get recommendations and make purchases directly from products.

Digital commerce, which is the buying and selling of goods and services using mobile networks and the Internet, is growing every year. To take full advantage of IoT, businesses must understand that the digital marketplace is entering its third wave. The third wave of digital commerce combines the elements of technology and human connection. Companies must focus on having their customers’ digital experience include the best of the traditional experience.

A Data-mining Goldfield

The opportunity for companies to integrate human experience with digital products is in contained in the data. Because IoT devices provide information at every stage of the consumer buying cycle, the searches, purchases, and behaviors of consumers is available for businesses to process and use. Businesses can get to know their target demographics on a more specific level.

Using the information provided by IoT devices, manufacturers can learn how often a consumer uses the product. More importantly, data can be gained regarding how often other products related to that specific device may be needed by the consumer. For example, how often detergent is required for a washing machine.

IoT devices can be programmed to be intuitive, recommending different products or websites based on the behaviors of users. Companies can set up recommendations so that they lead the buyer to products that they would be most interested in purchasing.

The access given by IoT devices allows marketers to see the behaviors or preferences shown in the purchases and searches of each individual user. This allows businesses to better understand how to advertise and appeal to their consumer base, not only in mass, but individually.

Providing Value to Consumers

The possibility for organizations to improve their customers’ experience is one of the ways that IoT technology can truly transform business.  However, these tremendous opportunities for marketing should play a beneficial role in people’s lives. The services provided should be meaningful and personalized to each individual. By providing better integration and more efficient systems, companies can provide consumers with an IoT experience that makes their lives smoother and more efficient.

Information Overload and Security Issues

The information gained from IoT products, if used correctly, could be invaluable to organizations in furthering the success of digital commerce and new product development.

However, the connection provided by IoT devices can provide extreme quantities of data about consumers. Companies must intelligently invest in analytics lest the information overload become harmful. Data must be turned into useful information that can be incorporated into every day decision making.

The increasing deployment of IoT-enabled systems also provides hackers with many more devices that can be exploited. From a legal perspective, companies have a duty to provide customers with security for the IoT systems, applications, and services being implemented into homes.

Organizations must place an emphasis on security, as hackers can discover private information by using customers’ IoT enabled devices, such as security cameras or thermostats. Businesses should provide instructions and training to customers on how to password protect IoT products. Moreover, companies should regularly update their IoT devices’ software.

IoT Technology Transforms Business

Through improved customer satisfaction and better product information, the IoT has the potential to help organizations increase revenue, improve financial decision-making, and improve customer experience.

Oh, and that Dick Tracy radio watch? You can now purchase an official one with integrated microphone, speaker, and Bluetooth technology that pairs straight to your smartphone.