IoT: Customers Looking for a Connection

May 16, 2019

How the internet of things is shaping a customer's journey with your organization

As technological advancements are made, especially at the rapid pace seen over the last several years, things that once seemed inconceivable are now commonplace. Information is readily available within the internet browser of our smartphones, devices can talk to each other via Bluetooth, cars are even driving themselves! One result of these exciting tech achievements is the concept of the Internet of Things (IoT), which is simply the interconnectedness of all devices that have an on/off switch to the Internet (or even to each other). All this technological development and improvement influences just about everything. The Internet of Things is a culmination of all that progress, and we are beginning to see how it impacts consumers.

The IoT is essentially a gigantic network of connected things, creating a relationship between person-person, person-thing, and thing-thing.It’s estimated that by 2020 there will be anywhere between 26 and 100 billion connected devices – that’s an astounding number, and it shows just how far-reaching the IoT is. But how does this connectedness impact the average customer?As of right now, the direct impact is limited (the IoT is being felt largely within a company’s back-end operations), but the potential for customer impact is great.There are few individuals that have all the latest and greatest tech; many customers drive older model cars, and some don’t have the latest technology in their homes. However, newer and more connected devices will become commonplace soon, as the older versions stop being mass produced, sold, and eventually cycled out of use.

Though the effect of the IoT is just starting to be felt by customers, let’s explore what that effect is – and even more so, what it could be. First, the IoT is an incredibly powerful data source – data can be gathered now from smart phones, cars, televisions, even refrigerators and home thermostats. All this data can be collected and holds value for companies that create a workflow for their customer’s journey. The customer journey is not something we all decide for ourselves – a brand carefully curates how it wants to interact with its customers.The creation or improvement of a brand’s customer journey can be informed greatly by the massive amount of data collected from all these interconnected devices we use. All that data can facilitate the creation, or refinement, of analytical models that could help optimize each click a customer makes on a website. Even insight into customers’ moods or reactions can be found by utilizing the IoT.

The effect of the IoT doesn’t stop with how a company can fine tune a customer’s experience with their brand.The IoT can be genuinely useful to individual consumers in regard to our own health, habits, security, and product fulfillment. Devices can monitor our health (e.g. blood sugar, heart rate, sleeping patterns, food intake, body temperature, the list goes on), alerting us of anything that may indicate a health risk, all while sending alerts through other connected devices. From a security perspective, our homes can be monitored via cameras that signal an intruder, thermostats that can sense a potential fire, chemical sensors for carbon monoxide, moisture that may indicate flooding, and so much more. Devices that can send signals of danger to the proper outlets can save lives and belongings.In terms of product fulfillment, products we use often can be auto-refilled or ordered, keeping us from running out of important items.

As customers, the Internet of Things can greatly affect our experience with a brand or product. From interacting with a website, ordering products, and the actual experience using those products, the IoT improves the life of a customer by fulfilling needs before the need has even been acknowledged.The time is near when having connected devices is no longer uncommon but has become the norm, creating an incredibly vast network of connected people and things.


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