Internet of Things and e-Commerce
The popularity of hardware startups is beneficial for the popularization of the Internet of Things trend.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is the network of physical objects or “things” embedded with electronics, software, sensors and connectivity to enable it to achieve greater value and service by exchanging data with the manufacturer, operator and/or other connected devices. Each thing is uniquely identifiable through its embedded computing system but is able to interoperate within the existing Internet infrastructure.
Recently, Amazon quietly took over 2lemetry — a platform for exchanging data in the IoT. 2lemetry has developed an enterprise-focused platform to track and manage IP-enabled machines and other connected devices.
Amazon has already entered the market with Kinesis system — a cloud-based service for real-time processing of large, distributed data streams. Therefore, it seems continue its strategy in the area of IoT. IoT is growing imperceptibly as a background technology and can soon completely change the picture of e-Commerce. How may IoT affect the market?
Each store is a warehouse
Customers expect increasingly faster and more flexible delivery methods. Today, the same day delivery may be impressive, but in order to continue to make an impression, in a few years you will need one hour delivery. To carry it out, you will need warehouses in city centers. With NFC tags in each product, you will be able to continuously monitor inventory levels in stores and treat them as micro-warehouses in the city center.
Walmart has been testing these technologies since 2010.
Very precise logistics
By embedding GPS sensors in each parcel it will be possible to follow shipments closely and estimate the time of delivery. It will also allow optimization of logistics on the fly. I can imagine a situation when a parcel on its way to a customer is taken over in the process because another customer has just paid extra to get the delivery faster. The route of the parcel is then changed, and the customer who can wait a bit longer is being sent the shipment again from the central warehouse. In a word, all the products on their way can be regarded as a potential micro-warehouse. If we combine it with demand forecasting, one can imagine situations when pre-stored buses circulate in logistic loops around cities and deliver the most popular merchandise in minutes.
New quality of service
Devices will be able to communicate its condition to the central system on an ongoing basis. I can imagine a case when one fine day a courier delivers me a pair of new tennis shoes because my current shoes have informed the manufacturer about a reduction in the sole flexibility, which would result in the sole breaking at the next workout. Thus, the shop replaces the shoes and executes warranty repair before the goods gets damaged. Early information allows planning the exchange of goods in advance and thereby optimizing logistics.
We can imagine the rest of the story in the previously described case. My new shoes know when they are used and how hard I train. As a result, the store may offer me dietary supplements corresponding with the reports from all the sports shoes that I have. Such ultra-personal recommendations can also be based on the data about my location, weather, as well as data from other sensors on the tennis court I go to. I can imagine the situation when during a break in training I get a text “Tired? For the last 5 minutes you have been running slower than usual at this time. The cause may be magnesium deficiency. Click to order. ”
Intelligent self-service shops
Automatic supermarket checkouts, advanced vending machines — more and more often the buying process is automated. With the development of IoT this trend will continue.
Predictive systems will be able to detect that I’m about to go shopping and prepare my products to be packed into a car. Earlier, my refrigerator will send information about the missing products.
Volvo has proposed a system that allows couriers to leave a parcel to a recipient by using a one-time code to open the trunk of the recipient’s car. Imagine that you go to the mall and when you look for new shoes, the service packs your trunk with the shopping requested by your refrigerator.
If you are considering using IoT in your business — let us know.
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