In our previous blog, we looked at Composable commerce as an upcoming trend in the digital commerce hype. Now we focus on Thing commerce. This concept has been around for a while and is becoming more popular. It basically means that every connected object can be a potential eCommerce opportunity. From smartphones to your home refrigerator, each connection collects data with the aim of repeat purchases based on certain parameters and preferences. When you’re running low on milk, your fridge could order more without the need for you to think about the transaction. On a bigger scale, businesses relying on equipment being fully stocked or 100% operable can stay ahead by having objects connected and making decisions before shortages or breakdowns occur.
A few areas where Thing commerce is hugely beneficial are:
Logistics – Full transparency of the complete supply chain process can be enabled by monitoring products from the moment an order is placed until the moment it is safely delivered in the hands of the customer.
Automate processes – Think of ink cartridges or washing detergent, these are products that run out eventually. These can be reordered when supplies reach a certain limit for homes as well as businesses, streamlining the whole process for everyone involved. Better stock management reduces cost and increases productivity.
Customer engagement – By producing smart ‘things’, businesses can stay top of mind with their customers for extended periods by communicating with them. Advising, offering assistance and general communication with people through products facilitates stronger brand recognition and trust.
The complaint or returns process – Imagine you have bought a broken headset and the device sends the information about the failure to the store. A customer service employee receives the information about the need for replacement of equipment and orders a courier in advance. The whole complaint process is fast, efficient and replaces the failed object before the customer has time to get frustrated.
Another driving factor in Thing commerce is data collection. Knowing customer preferences and needs give companies the ability to further personalise and perfect their buying experience. By appealing to customer needs and understanding their behaviour, companies can effectively tailor products and services to hit the mark every time.
How are the products enabled? In short, through sensors. Bluetooth sensors, in-built GPS sensors and others detect, gather and send all kinds of information to the internet to be used by all kinds of companies. The continuous communication of various devices with intelligent sensors and functions, data exchange with other devices, and the Internet is likely to develop further and to become an indispensable part of digital commerce strategies.
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