Today, almost every device that you can imagine can be connected to the internet, and this presents some interesting opportunities for all kinds of business. From wearable tech to Wi-Fi-enabled fridges, the Internet of Things spans all industries and offers business owners the chance to learn about customer behaviour, predict customer demand and engage with consumers in a range of new and innovative ways.
##Easy Real-Time Analytics Perhaps one of the strongest benefits of the Internet of Things is that it feeds in real-time data that companies can use for their analytics. Consumer usage surveys tend to be of limited use because of the problem of the unreliable narrator. Consumers tend to often under-report or over-report their habits - not because they are deliberately being deceitful, but because they subconsciously inflate (or understate) their activity based on what they think is normal or desirable.
The Internet of Things allows companies to get true, detailed and accurate profiles of their customers’ habits. A fitness company could track not just how often their customers go to the gym but also get an idea of what they do there. A car company can see how far their customers drive. An electronics company can get data about the condition and usage load of their devices. Some Wi-Fi-enabled kitchen devices will even send alerts when their filters or other consumables need replacing. This means that the company can better meet long-term demand because they understand exactly what their customers need and how often, and also reach out to individual customers at the right time to capitalise on those needs.
##No Longer a High-Tech Option It is easy, if you are a small-business owner, to dismiss the Internet of Things as being a high-tech option that only the biggest companies can afford to take advantage of, but this is not the case. Even small software developers can have their software ‘call home’ with usage statistics, and loyalty cards, connected apps and other reporting tools are great options for almost any company. The options are endless.
The data collected from these connected devices can be merged with data from your website to put together an accurate picture of not just your current customer base but also your marketing and your support, showing you how breakdowns match up with support calls, how many repeat customers you have and much more.