The e-commerce sector has experienced massive growth worldwide thanks to the increase in Internet penetration. Two of the biggest e-commerce firms– Amazon and Alibaba– are prime examples. In 2017, the Chinese-firm earned an estimated 158 billion yuan while Amazon took in around $178. To say that e-commerce is the future of retail would be a gross understatement. And look for the Internet of Things (IoT) to take the sector to massive heights in the near future.
What is the Internet of Things?
The Internet of Things or IoT pertains to a network of physical devices likes smart phones, home appliances, vehicles and others that are equipped with electronics, sensors, and software that allow these devices to exchange data.
How is the Internet of Things influencing e-commerce?
The IoT is helping many e-commerce companies to grow fast in different ways. One is through inventory management. With IoT, sensors can improve real-time monitoring as well as tracking of inventory leading to lower human errors. Merchants can also store information such as manufacturer’s name, product type, and expiry date in the system sans human intervention.
Information from sensors will also be valuable in restocking and evaluating changes in consumer trends and preferences.
The IoT can also assist in making the supply chain more efficient. Using Global Positioning System (GPS) and Radio-Frequency ID (RFID), the IoT can facilitate the tracking of goods from the production to delivery. This can avoid loss as well as misplacement of goods.
The Internet of Things also enable retailers to provide deliver personalized shopping experience to their customers. Vendors can monitor trends and learn real-time info on goods through IoT. Retailers can also recognize shopping patterns, search for trends and online browsing that can help them in targeting potential customers likely to buy their products.
Moving forward, the Internet of Things will continue to have a big impact on the e-commerce sector.