Top 5 Ways IoT Technology is Impacting the eCommerce Industry

First, let’s understand what the Internet of Things is. This technology implies a huge number of “things” such as applications, devices, industrial machines, and so on that are connected to the Internet and communicate with each other. In this article we are going to discuss top 5 ways IoT technology is impacting the eCommerce industry.

The sensors built into the things collect data and allow devices to make decisions for themselves, improving the lives and work of people. From a smart home that automatically adjusts heating and lighting to a smart factory that monitors industrial machines to find problems, the Internet of Things is significant for the future of the online trade industry as well.

In 2020, the global IoT market reached $761.4 billion, which will grow up to $1,386.06 billion by 2026, according to the forecasts of Mordor Intelligence. The CAGR is expected to be 10.53% throughout 2021-2026.

5 Ways IoT Technology is Impacting the eCommerce Industry

This article will highlight five ways how IoT helps to improve the efficiency and profitability of eCommerce businesses and ensures satisfaction for all participants.

1. Headless Commerce

Today’s buyers don’t want to be limited to online shopping from their phones and computers only. They are looking for new sensations and accessibility to press a button and get the desired thing as soon as possible. Now the Internet of Things can become not just a tool for searching for goods, but also an opportunity to buy goods on the go.

For customers’ comfort, retailers are changing their web development solutions to accommodate different marketplaces such as smart refrigerators, TVs, voice assistants like Alexa, and so on.

In a traditional setting, monolithic eCommerce websites don’t decouple the frontend from the backend. As an alternative, a plethora of eCommerce business owners are already taking steps to shift their stores to headless commerce architecture, splitting the frontend from the backend and creating APIs. This omnichannel solution will come in handy for online stores to easily cope with IoT devices and varied sales channels.

2. Blurring the Line

Due to modern technologies, the line between online shopping and brick-and-mortar stores is blurring. With a couple of clicks on the website or mobile applications, customers can buy an item online and then pick it up from the point of sale.

With the disruption of the new technologies, the importance of the Internet is undeniable, the same can be said about the ability of loading pages when the connection is slow. For example, the caching feature ensures a smooth and stable customer experience and it is generally provided by progressive web applications like the one that can be found in this Magento 2 PWA tutorial.

For online stores, the integration of modern inventory management systems, CMS and a website plays an important role. Process automation can help in displaying whether a product is in stock or not. There is no need to pay for shipping (unlike a regular online purchase) and the technology is a convenient timesaver that allows not to spend hours sailing between the shelves.

3. Equipment Maintenance Made Predictive

Predictive equipment maintenance is essential to manage energy consumption, prevent equipment breakdowns, and identify other problems.

Refrigerators in grocery stores could be one of the examples of sophisticated equipment. The sensors built in these refrigerators show the temperature on the shelves and in the compartments, which directly affects the preservation of food. They analyze data and send the results to web applications of the technical staff.

A Swedish tooling manufacturer and service provider, Sandvik Coromant, is a good case in point of how companies enhance their warehouse maintenance. Through close collaboration with Microsoft, they have created sensorised cutting equipment. By combining data, resources, scheduling, and Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Field Service capabilities, they have increased their bottom line.

The management tool collects data and sends it to the cloud computing service Azure for real-time analysis using machine learning algorithms. This is needed to automatically tune equipment, notify technicians when maintenance is required, and alert plant managers to potential failure.

4. Smart Retail Outlets

Amazon has upended a shopping experience taking it to the next level by opening the first smart retail outlets in the United States. All purchases are made through a mobile application which means that the company completely got rid of checkouts and queues.

Equipped with sensors and cameras, the shelves in the store indicate how many items there are on them. When customers remove an item from the shelf, it appears in their virtual shopping cart in the app. If the product returns to the shelf, it then removes from the cart.

As soon as customers leave the store, the money for purchases is automatically debited from their accounts. The new technology significantly reduces the number of personnel required to provide service at a point of sale. In 2019, three Amazon Go stores opened in Seattle and one in Chicago. Experts predict that all smart stores will follow this path in the near future.

5. Intelligent Logistics

When speaking of logistics, IoT has left its mark in smart transportation applications too. IoT facilitates processes for vehicle maintenance, cargo tracking, and route optimization. Many retailers use GPS systems to track trucks and get directions.

Sensors read data on conditions inside the container, fuel level, and time elapsed since the previous tire change. The Internet of Things, together with AI, can automatically adjust routes based on the weather, enable reasonable fuel consumption, and prevent other potential disruptions. The system composes reports and sends them to the company, providing remote monitoring.

Delivery has never been so smart and safe due to IoT. And the brightest example that comes to mind is drone delivery.

While people are rethinking their shopping habits and switching to online shopping, drones serve as the main couriers in a social distancing norm. Companies such as UPS and DHL broaden the horizons of drone delivery service and ensure a new level of convenience.

To Wrap Up (IoT technology in eCommerce)

Nowadays the main advantage of the IoT is that it provides the ability of remote control. With IoT applications, companies can more accurately determine how much of a particular item is required at each point of sale.

More and more retailers organize their warehouses adjusting the wireless technologies. The high-potential solutions include RFID tags in warehouses as well as temperature sensors in refrigerators that transmit information about the temperature in the container to the head office.

The Internet of Things not only lowers costs but allows people to reduce interaction with each other, which is important in a pandemic. Considering today’s realities, the IoT expansion will accelerate online selling and the delivery of goods from online stores.

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