Guest Column | January 21, 2015

4 Ways IoT Will Transform E-Commerce

By Gil Allouche, Vice President of Marketing, Qubole

There’s a moment of panic when we can’t find our phones. There is somehow a sense of security that comes from feeling that electronic rectangle in our pockets. The rise of mobile technology has made our smartphones and tablets the head of our personal nerve centers. They take pictures, notes, connect us to social media and even now allow us to lock our doors and turn off our thermostats remotely. We live in an era of smart technology where everything connects to everything, and we’re constantly on the grid.

This constant connectivity of objects has been labelled the Internet of Things (IoT). IoT refers to the community of everyday objects that are connected to the Internet. These objects can identify themselves and exchange data to and from each other on a network. It sounds a lot like the Jetsons, but it’s nothing new, having been around for the past couple of years. And while these devices certainly have tremendous benefits for consumers, businesses are keen to be a part of the process as well. IoT enabled devices and tools combined with Big Data analytics will introduce a significant number of benefits for many industries and companies, including online retailers and e-commerce.

1. Inventory Management

With the introduction and affordability of RFID tags and sensors, IoT will allow companies to better manage inventories in real-time. This technology will mean easy tracking of incoming and outgoing items, without the need for constant human oversight and intervention. This holds tremendous benefits for ecommerce stores, because it can significantly reduce time to market. This process would also help improve the end user experience. When an item is sold out, consumers may turn elsewhere. However, systems could be built to inform customers when new items should arrive, decreasing the chances of losing potential customers to competitors.

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