7 Innovative Use Cases of IoT in eCommerce

With new trends coming into picture every now and then, the eCommerce industry is evolving at a rapid pace. Now, it’s time you also evolve and look for innovative ways to hook and engage customers with your online store. It can be through your website, mobile app, social media channels, or devices that are connected to the internet, also called Internet of Things (IoT).

You heard it right. The IoT in eCommerce landscape has expanded significantly. It is no longer confined to an app, website, or social media. Instead, it has reached your home with Amazon’s Alexa knowing your personal shopping preferences or smart refrigerators that automatically place an order for grocery delivery when you run low on milk or vegetables.

So, it’s high time for you to prepare for the next frontier in eCommerce, i.e., the use of IoT in eCommerce. This blog discusses its 7 use cases if you’re looking for some inspiration.

7 Innovative Applications of IoT in eCommerce

Use Case 1: Managing Inventory Without Much Human Involvement

Earlier it took a lot of human labor to manage the inventory. You had to manually keep a record of all the orders, count all the items to see if each item was in stock, and even place orders manually. It was also time-consuming and resulted in a lot of communication issues.

IoT sensors and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags have completely reformed inventory management. You no longer need to keep a manual record of all the products and orders. Just scan the product and you’ll get the essential information like the product type, expiry date, and availability. Also, there are smart shelves that can constantly check the number of items and place new orders automatically if the product is running out of stock.

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Use Case 2: Ensuring Uninterrupted Delivery of Products

Delivering a product at the wrong destination is one of the biggest nightmares among IoT in eCommerce businesses. Not only do you have to spend double the amount to rectify and send it to the right location, but you also lose the customer’s trust.

IoT devices ensure this doesn’t happen by letting customers track the location and status of their product. Using RFID tags and IOT sensors, they can know where their order has reached and how much time it would take to arrive at their doorstep. This prevents wrong deliveries, reduces the wait time for customers, and ensures high satisfaction.

Use Case 3: Delivering Personalized Shopping Experiences to Your Customers

Personalization is the bare minimum that customers expect from eCommerce businesses these days. Without it, there’s not even a slight chance they would buy from you.

The internet of things (IoT) technology lets you personalize shopping experiences by collecting data on the preferences and purchasing habits of your customers.

For example, you can combine the beacon technology with smart shelves to find out which products a particular customer buys a lot. So, whenever that customer would pass by the beacon, they would receive personalized recommendations and discounts based on their recent purchases. You can even use the gathered data to launch personalized email and social media campaigns.

To create personalized shopping experiences using IoT, retailers can partner with eCommerce development companies. They usually have the experience and expertise on leveraging IoT in eCommerce to build smooth and engaging shopping experiences on eCommerce websites.

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Use Case 4: Preventing Counterfeiting of Products through Smart Packaging

Counterfeit products are a matter of concern for eCommerce businesses these days. Many malicious actors copy popular products and send them at much less prices. It puts consumers at risk as these products don’t generally follow safety guidelines and brings a bad name to the business who’s selling them. Moreover, it leads to lost sales.

To prevent this, the IoT technology allows eCommerce businesses to include authentication features like RFID tags, Near Field Communication (NFC) chips, QR codes, and tamper detection on the packaging of their products. As a result, users can know if they’ve received a genuine product or not. Also, the eCommerce business can find out if someone tries to counterfeit their products, ensuring no one copies it illegally.

Use Case 5: Offering Better Insight into Order Fulfillment through Improved Tracking & Logistics

To ensure utmost customer satisfaction, eCommerce businesses need complete insight into the process of order fulfillment. Only when they’re aware of the order status and location all the time, can they ensure a timely delivery.

IoT helps eCommerce businesses gain better insight into their online orders to ensure they can deliver them on time. Using IoT sensors and RFID tags, they can keep track of the customer orders from start to finish. They can see where the order has reached and how much time it would take to reach the customer’s address.

IoT elements like GPS trackers can even detect traffic and suggest alternative routes to avoid traffic, thus ensuring orders reach customers in the least possible time.

Use Case 6: Bringing in New Revenue Streams

Earlier, there were limited interactions between consumers and eCommerce brands. They ordered products from the website and checked out only when they had to buy new products. It also meant limited options for bringing in revenue from them.

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However, similar is not the case these days. With IoT, it has become possible to find new ways to connect with customers. For example, an eCommerce business selling laptops and other electronic gadgets, you can also offer remote monitoring, performance analytics, and predictive maintenance. This way, customers feel more connected with that brand and it brings more revenue streams.

Another way IoT helps eCommerce businesses bring more revenue is by encouraging customers who abandoned carts to complete their purchases. Amazon does this brilliantly by sending gentle reminders on Alexa smart speakers to people who couldn’t complete a purchase, encouraging them to come back and complete it.

7. Troubleshooting Issues to Increase eCommerce Website Conversion Rates

Abandoned carts, missing shipments, low engagement, and high return rate have been a headache for all eCommerce business owners for a long time. They lose millions in revenue because of these reasons. The most frustrating thing for them is that despite their best efforts, they fail to fix these issues.

IoT in eCommerce is solving this problem by collecting and analyzing the data gathered from customers on the eCommerce website, such as their purchase histories, saved items, and buying patterns. The gathered insights help them optimize their pricing, operations, and product recommendations. As a result, the customer experience improves and these businesses see more sales.

In Conclusion

IoT plays a significant role in eCommerce by helping businesses streamline their operations, offer better shopping experience to consumers, and optimize their strategies through data-driven insights. As a result, they’ve seen increased sales, less product counterfeiting and missed shippings, and more satisfied customers.

Overall, IoT is a must-have if you want to sustain in the eCommerce landscape for a long run by offering immersive shopping experiences.