Remember when logging onto the internet meant powering up your clunky desktop and monopolizing your landline for a dial-up connection? My, how times have changed over the last few decades, and today there are even more devices connected to the internet. From the frivolous (like your coffee pot) to the serious (like jet engines), anything you can connect to the internet, and to other devices, falls under the category of the Internet of Things (IoT).
What does this mean for you, your business, and your customers? Here, we look at how the IoT works now and how it will work in the future.
Opportunities for a Seamless Customer Experience
One of the best ways to help your business stand out is to provide an excellent customer experience from start to finish. Harnessing IoT technology allows businesses to meet customers’ needs in unprecedented ways.
Let’s say you own a coffee company. You sell a smart coffee maker that comes with a bean grinding barrel attached. The user can turn the machine on from their phone, ensuring a freshly brewed cup of coffee is waiting for them when they return from a workout. The grinding barrel is filled with beans, and when it reaches a certain level, sensors trigger an automatic shipment of new beans to the customer’s door.
Not only does this approach make the customer feel well cared-for by your brand, but it also makes them more likely to continue ordering beans from your business, since you take the hassle of reordering off their plate.
Developing a Solid Approach to Logistics
Driverless cars on every road, new supplies arriving at your office’s doorstep without you needing to order them – this kind of stuff sounds like something out of a sci-fi series. But the IoT means that all of this is closer to reality.
We’re already seeing platforms like Google Maps presenting drivers with traffic-free routes. As more and more items integrate thanks to the IoT, companies delivering products will be able to optimize travel routes for their entire ground fleet, reducing fuel costs and travel time.
With smart technology at your production centers, you’ll be able to reorder raw materials automatically when needed. And with the IoT available to retailers, products will reorder themselves when sensors note that items are running low.
Added Security Concerns
Of course, with all of these benefits, there is a potential downside to IoT technology. In recent years, we’ve seen some huge brands (even those with lots of money and resources dedicated to security) fall victim to hackers. Will there be a risk in the future of someone hacking into the lightbulb in your bathroom and gaining access to information stored in all other interconnected items?
As businesses continue to integrate technology into more and more items, leaders will have to look for solutions that protect their systems and the valuable company and customer information stored within them.
The IoT is the future for business owners looking to streamline their operations and provide unparalleled service to their customers. As long as we’re diligent about implementing safety measures and protecting data, IoT can become a powerful tool for bettering the lives of consumers and brands alike.
And while this may not seem attainable or even possible for your business at this time, we're leveraging cutting-edge tools and technology to help businesses deliver seamless customer experiences, utilize our access to data, and achieve great results from our solutions. Contact us to learn more about the possibilities in store for your marketing and business with LOCALiQ.