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Internet of Everything

Superheroes and their super strengths have long captured our imaginations. And since many of these abilities are normal human traits stretched to a magical extreme, you may well have pictured how your own life would change with super speed, agility, or senses.

Today, such daydreams are getting just a bit closer to reality.  And while such powers won’t necessarily save the world (yet), they will make some common activities, such as shopping, a bit more super.

Smartphones have already assumed a central role in the retail experience. Yet the current level of smartphone interactivity is just the beginning. Exciting new capabilities are transforming the ways in which we interact — connecting our physical world to digital dimensions in very simple and intelligent ways. We will see more intelligent connections emerging across the entire customer journey: consideration, purchase, and usage.

#MobilizeMag : Shaping The Mobile Shopping Experience from Cisco Business Insights

Here are a few examples of how some retailers are tapping into IoE superpower abilities by connecting people to people and people to things, and making their brands and product experiences distinct:

McBrearty NRF SuperheroThese “superpowers” become possible as location-based services grow more precise, and alerts can be sent without the customer even opening his or her app. Improved analytics “engines” are supported by shifts in data processing, enabling targeted, real-time content delivery through sensors that don’t require expensive hardware or specialized infrastructure.

The opportunity goes far beyond the powers that can be used in the store. Increasingly, there will be more smartphone-based interactions over the entire course of a product’s lifespan.

It’s not just about superpowers for people. Imagine if your power drill had a sixth sense and sent a signal when it needed a new battery and an alert was sent to your phone; or, if malfunctioning, it automatically connected to a remote expert for help, even from a job site. That is Stanley Black & Decker’s vision.

The value for retailers from such breakthroughs is clear. They insert themselves into crucial conversations with the customer by offering price matching, access to expanded inventories, suggestions, and shopping lists. All of these combine to keep shoppers engaged and moving along the journey. In a past blog, I covered some of the great benefits from this enhanced customer connection.

Cisco_social_NRF14McBreartyIn addition, when customers make use of these new capabilities, it brings online analytics to the brick-and-mortar store — capturing data on traffic flows, dwell time, mobile platform usage, web destinations, and which products have been researched. Access to these real-time metrics enables retailers to better understand their customers’ behaviors and needs — whether they are buying or not.

Looking beyond the store, built-in product apps and sensors will also provide companies such as Stanley Black & Decker with a trove of data that will yield precise insights concerning how and when their tools are used, their efficiency, reliability, and so forth. The results will be invaluable for the future efforts of Stanley Black & Decker’s research and development and marketing teams.

I believe mobile interactions that endow us with contextual superpowers — spanning the entire customer journey — will be driving the next wave of retail transformation. What do you think? What super powers would you like to have?

 

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3 Comments.


  1. Good article Rachael.
    But, I wonder if consumers pursue shopping online as their only mode for shopping, retail shops could end up vacating shopping malls, empty shopping malls could spell doom for builders/realtors etc. This seems skeptical. But the point I’m trying to make is that ‘Internet of Everything’ is like a curve ball that requires a paradigm shift. Take a look at the music industry, it looses a ton of money thanks to mp3 downloads from the internet.
    It is really amazing that people know that those who stay ahead of the curve have the best chance of taking
    marketshare and yet resist the inevitable.

       0 likes

  2. Rightly said, smart phones has already assumed a centrol role in retail experience and the retailers like paypal, Apple are doing good job!

       0 likes

  3. The music industry is a good example of how much they have to win by embracing online sales and drop the ridiculous dependency on the media. Piracy is always there, regardless of selling online or not. Selling online makes it easy for the normal person to acquire music without the hassle of handling silly CDs. Sadly in some parts of the world outside of the US it is still easier to make illegal downloads than it is to buy it online due to ridiculous permissions to sell outside of the US… That is a interesting way of wasting money.

       0 likes

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