With new technology being developed every day, it’s safe to say we’re becoming more connected than ever before. Social media and smartphones have revolutionised the way we interact online, and it’s only going to improve. All of the new devices fall into the Internet of Things, which has been forecasted to create an economic impact of $2.7 trillion by 2025. Furthermore, it’s been estimated that over 50 billion devices will be connected by 2020.
This suggests the Internet of Things will have a major effect on businesses. But what is the Internet of Things and how can it benefit your brand?
What is the Internet of Things?
The Internet of Things isn’t a new trend by any means. People have been discussing it for years and it refers to the network of physical devices that are connected over the internet. Each device is able to send and receive data that can help brands learn more about their customers.
Which brands are using the Internet of Things?
McDonald’s have used the Internet of Things by partnering with a Bluetooth low-energy beacon solution provider called Piper. The app allowed customers to receive personalised greeting messages, coupons, surveys and employment information. McDonald’s was able to get a lot of data through customers entering feedback. Within four weeks of the app launch, 18,000 offers were received and McNuggets sales increased by 7.5%.
Another brand that’s experimented with the Internet of Things is drink company Absolut. They teamed up with Tesco to launch a smart bottle that helped deliver content to customer smartphones. The bottles were fitted with NFC tags, allowing customers to read them with their smartphones and unlock content like competitions and bar locations.
How can your brand benefit from the Internet of Things?
By using the Internet of Things your brand will benefit from gathering a lot of data. Smart devices can track customer behaviour and make product recommendations based on what has been recorded. You’ll be able to learn more about your target demographic and come up with effective marketing strategies.
There’s also the opportunity for continuous customer engagement by users being able to control products via network connection. For example, if there is a system failure, a message can be transmitted to a customer and the manufacturer.
The smart technology afforded by the Internet of Things can also increase productivity in the workplace. Staff will be able to carry out large-scale tasks quickly and with greater accuracy. This has the added benefit of being able to reassign staff to new areas, as menial tasks like data management will be handled.
It’ll be easier to work remotely as well because of the amount of portable devices like tablets and smartphones. If everything is connected under one network then one person could theoretically run an online store from a smart device.
What’s the next step?
The Internet of Things is changing the way we interact with the world, but there is still a lot of work to be done before we can reap the full benefits. 2017 may be the year where it truly takes off, and the next step for brands is to experiment and see what happens.