Internet of things – How can businesses use this to their advantage?
Following on from my last blog, ‘Internet of Things (IoT) – what is it and how does it affect us in our everyday lives?’ I now want to talk about this latest phenomenon in relation to businesses and how they can use it to their advantage. There are already many products on the market currently that demonstrate just how powerful the internet can be when combined with products. One example is a fridge that can tell you when it is low on food and exactly which foods need to be replaced by automatically placing these items onto a shopping list on your phone! But how can businesses take advantage of this rapid development of technology? Well this blog will take you through the key advantages and how you can apply them to your business.
The revolution caused by the IoT is not one to take lightly, Gartner have predicted that by 2020 the Internet of things installed base will grow to a staggering 26 billion units. This large growth will subsequently have a positive impact on businesses that take advantage of the Internet of Things and the opportunity presented by simply combining everyday business things and processes with digital. Some of the benefits that can be expected are:
- Boosted productivity within the workforce
- Advantages over competitors that are not implementing the same techniques
- Improved customer journey
- Personalised services for customers
- Larger return on investment
However, the important element to note here is that, those businesses who are able to take advantage of this opportunity are the ones who will excel and surpass those who do not. It is becoming apparent that it is not, will the Internet of Things have an impact on business but how quickly will this impact be felt by those who do or do not take advantage.
So, now we have established that the Internet of Things will afford businesses several advantages for those who are willing to invest in it. But how do you decide which products to invest in and how do you know which ones will work for your business? The one crucial question which you should think about is, ‘How can you improve the customer experience and journey?’ ultimately, this should be your end goal – the customer. Many consumers are wary of a more digital world, so you must ensure that everything you do builds trust and you must work in an open and honest way. Also, looking at your industry and identifying what other businesses are currently doing can be a great way to find out what works and what doesn’t work. But remember, what works for one business may not work for you. It is therefore recommended that anything you want to run, you must trial first. This way you can accurately measure what works, what doesn’t work and which tweaks may need to be made to ensure that your business doesn’t suffer.
What kind of products could you invest in? Well, the major technology giants are already developing products to improve home life; however there are also many smaller technology companies who are developing products that could revolutionise the way businesses operate and collate data. Take for example, Scanalytics, a company who has created an innovative piece of technology that has the capability to revolutionise retail forever. Their floor sensor is so accurate that it has been claimed it can measure foot traffic down to the nearest step. This technology could then be used to measure traffic outside your shop, giving you an idea of how long people stand and look or when your most popular days are in terms of footfall so you can then devise your marketing campaigns around those days. Alternatively, you can see if someone has been standing outside for a long period of time, this data could then be sent to one of your shop assistants who could then make contact with the customer. This is just one small example of how businesses can take advantage of the Internet of Things. However, as I have mentioned before, in order to fully optimise your business’ use of this, you must be aware of your aims and objectives, what you want to achieve and what ultimately would improve the user journey.
The Internet of Things is something that is here to stay. There is no question about that. Therefore, it is up to you and your business to take advantage of it. Spend time researching products and services before analysing how to maintain trust with your customers. Look at your industry competitors to see what they are using and what is or isn’t working for them. The opportunity is there, you simply have to make it work for you and your business. Has this article raised some interesting points or some questions you hadn’t previously thought about or even any areas of concern? As always, I would love to hear from you so either leave a comment below or contact me!
About Jonny Ross Consultancy
Jonny Ross has over 15 years experience working with small businesses and specialises in digital marketing campaigns, social media campaigns and online engagement strategies for both B2B and B2C businesses. Jonny has a proven track record in the e-commerce field and everything SEO related, including social media and website design.