You have probably heard the phrase “the Internet of Things”, but you may be unsure of what it means. Put simply, the Internet of Things refers to physical objects that are linked to the internet. These are often referred to as smart devices.
Smartphones and Fitbits have been around for years, but the Internet of Things has started to encompass much more. From mirrors and bathroom scales to toasters and thermometers, smart devices are everywhere:
- 127 new objects are connected to the internet every second and this number is growing exponentially.
- By 2025, experts predict that there will be 75 billion devices connected to the Internet of Things- more than nine for each person on the planet.
The IoT is the future of business
By allowing devices to store data and communicate with one another, IoT gives consumers a better experience. Devices can track user preferences and adapt to their behaviour. However, it is businesses that can really benefit from this new interconnectivity.
Embracing IoT has huge potential in terms of cutting costs and increasing revenue. IoT is expected to generate between $4 trillion and $11 trillion dollars by 2025. A large part of this will come from increased automation in the manufacturing industry, but retail isn’t far behind:
- 79% of retailers used IoT in 2019, up from just 49% in 2017.
- 8.3% of the world’s IOT devices are used in retail. These include barcode readers, personal mobile devices and smart shelving to track inventory.
- 77% of retailers believe that IoT is changing the customer experience.
- 89% of retailers who use IoT believe that they have gained a greater insight into customer preferences.
IoT and omnichannel go hand in hand
Most importantly of all, IoT allows customers to access your services through multiple devices. Modern consumers have come to expect a seamless omnichannel experience. That is to say, they expect the same level of service whether they are shopping in-store, on their computer or on their phone.
Customers are increasingly blurring the lines between physical and online shopping. 61% prefer to return online purchases to a store and 80% have turned to a brand’s social media for customer support. The pandemic has accelerated this trend, with 80% of retailers now offering Click & Collect. Our recent survey into post-pandemic shopping habits found that this preference for omnichannel shopping is likely to continue:
- 52% of consumers plan to use a mixture of online and in-store shopping to purchase fashion items.
- 49% plan to take an omnichannel approach to purchasing electronics.
- 46% will combine online and in-store shopping when purchasing health and beauty products.
IOT is A-OK
Embracing the Internet of Things is beneficial for customers and colleagues alike. Customers can enjoy the omnichannel experience that they have come to expect, while colleagues can integrate in-store devices for maximum efficiency. Luckily, this is where VoCoVo comes into its own:
- VoCoVo offers unlimited integrations with in-store devices, including smart-shelving, CCTV, security doors and smart fridges.
- These devices can automatically send notifications to colleague headsets when action is needed. For example, smart shelving can alert colleagues when an item is running low.
- Self-checkout integration lets you authorise purchases remotely with a voice command, speeding up the checkout process for you and your customers.
- Telephony integration allows you to answer customer phone calls directly via your headset or handset while you work.
- Call Points streamline the Click & Collect process. A customer can announce their arrival at an internal or external click and collect point and have the goods brought directly to them.
These are just some of the ways in which VoCoVo can help you to harness the power of IoT.