The Internet of Things (IoT) has long made its way into our daily lives. It’s no longer a novel concept, but it remains an exciting one, as its use is continuously evolving. With every new IoT application, we get to see another elegant solution, another new possibility, or simply a way to make life that much easier.
And it’s no different when it comes to using IoT in business. Applying the Internet of Things to create new solutions is helping businesses of all sizes improve their operations, boost their sales, and make room for growth.
Ecommerce, in particular, is one industry where integrating IoT has resulted in truly fantastic leaps. Check out some of the ways online stores are revolutionizing the retail industry as well as the shopping experience with the Internet of Things.
How the IoT Can Boost Your Ecommerce Conversion Rates
1. Improved Logistics and Tracking
Did you know that order tracking notifications have an open rate of between 50% to 80%? This shows that customers want to be in the loop when it comes to the ecommerce order fulfillment process. They need to know when their product was picked up so that they can know when it will be delivered. With IoT technology, retailers can provide greater visibility over the supply chain for themselves and their customers and meet their demands for real-time tracking.
Ecommerce companies use cloud-based IoT technologies like GPS and RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) that offer data such as traffic status, location, weather conditions, and personal identities. The tracking data is shared with the brand’s platform for personalization and segmentation. It is showcased to the customers in an engaging and compelling way to increase their satisfaction with the brand.
Using this data, retailers and customers can track each piece of inventory with IoT management, as they can automatically locate the goods regardless of the time and place. It also helps with optimizing vehicle routes and saving money for companies.
2. Automated Inventory Management
Manual inventory management is time-consuming and complex. Keeping track of stock units and managing demand manually leaves a lot of room for errors. A mismanagement of inventory can lead to a shortage of goods and harm the shopping experience. If the customer cannot order the item they need, they’ll immediately switch to a competitor.
Luckily, the introduction of IoT sensors and RFID tags has significantly helped streamline the inventory management process. The sensors contain information related to the type of product, its availability, expiration date, and other product details. It enables the suppliers to monitor the inventory quality and quantity of each item.
Using automated sensors, warehouse managers can also track items that are coming in and exiting the warehouse. This way, they’re constantly monitoring the movement of inventory and ensuring that there’s always enough inventory when customers place their orders.
3. Automated Shipping Process
Research suggests that 41% of customers are willing to pay more if they get same-day delivery. It shows that ecommerce companies need to gear up to provide fast shipping and streamline their logistics and supply chain accordingly.
To reach the efficiency of providing same-day delivery, ecommerce companies have to leverage automation in the shipping process. IoT assists in this area, paving the way for ecommerce companies to adopt intelligent transportation. It helps companies with remote monitoring.
They can track how the conditions are observed and changes in the quality of goods in containers. The sensors provide data about the temperature and packaging conditions of products inside the containers. IoT also provides supply chain companies with GPS systems that optimize routes and determine the course of vehicles so that a product gets delivered to the consumer’s doorstep at the earliest. The AI also corrects routes, ensures fuel consumption, and prevents other disruptions in the delivery process.
4. Improved Communication between Customers and Manufacturers
IoT improves visibility across the supply chain for suppliers, online stores, and the end-consumer. It enhances the communication between manufacturers and consumers using connected appliances. The ecommerce industry is also working toward facilitating easy product returns and efficient after-sales service.
IoT helps with this as built-in sensors seamlessly identify service needs and information about how often and how long someone uses a durable good.
It notifies the customer and can even send the order to the point of sale. This way, the brand builds a lasting impression in the minds of the consumers even after the sale. In the same way, IoT also provides retailer revenue streams by offering new service models like offering ongoing services, predictive maintenance, etc.
5. Internet of Things-Focused Ecommerce Sites
Many online stores are using IoT-oriented ecommerce websites to ensure a great user experience. Retailers use data from various IoT devices and trends to design responsive ecommerce websites. IoT sensors gauge shopping trends and browsing trends that give businesses a sneak peek into visitor behavior and product preferences.
This helps businesses implement ecommerce content optimization better and create an engaging experience for site visitors. They can boost the visibility of those particular product pages to boost conversion rates.
IoT doesn’t just help with optimizing on-site content and experience. It helps businesses provide a highly interactive and personalized experience overall. We no longer live in the era where one ad worked for all. No customer wants to be bombarded with advertisements of products they don’t even have a remote interest in buying. The lack of personalization will certainly hamper their buying journey and brand experience.
IoT is being used by companies to gather insights into the numerous goods that are popular amongst target audiences on social media and other channels. IoT devices can consolidate all this data under a single platform and make it convenient for online stores to leverage data for a more personalized shopping experience for their customers. They can create targeted ad campaigns and do data integration for households and individual members.
For providing a greater degree of personalization, the data gathered through home devices or smartphones can be very helpful.
For example, if the devices gather that the person’s home appliance is taking up too much energy, an online electronic business can share ads of eco-friendly alternatives while also sharing the benefits of saving energy. Another example is online insurance companies employing smart devices such as GPS to gauge vigilant drivers and provide discounts for insurance rates.
7. Assistance with Warranty and Maintenance
IoT technologies are very effective for assessing products from anywhere. This assessment predicts the maintenance and analyzes their performance. It helps companies check for any anticipation and prevention of breakdowns. They can collect maintenance data and plan for repairs and updates, as well as alert customers in advance so that they can avoid difficulties in the future.
IoT takes care of the little, subtle actions that enhance the ecommerce shopping experience, ultimately helping boost conversion rates. With IoT, the ecommerce industry can witness growth in revenue as well as enhance its logistics and ability to tackle supply chain challenges.
Increasing conversion rates isn’t just about more website traffic and better advertising. It’s about enhancing the entire shopping experience. A stellar customer experience encourages customers’ trust in your business, brand loyalty, and even advocacy. Integrating IoT in retail and ecommerce offers benefits to customers and companies alike, uplifting the connections between the two and paving the way for a more personalized shopping experience.
Tim Robinson is Digital Marketing Manager at PACK & SEND, a 25+ years old and respected brand in ecommerce, logistics, and freight delivery solutions. Tim has 20 years of combined experience in sales and marketing. Logistics, D2C, franchising, business planning, and operations management are his core expertise. Connect with Tim on LinkedIn.