Monday, September 14, 2015

True Omni-Commerce with IoT

The changing face of e-commerce means that successfully buying a product is more than just a few clicks away. Today, with the widespread influx of communicative devices and advertisements, the customer is constantly bombarded with advertisements of interest right from the morning tea to the evening commute, everywhere advertisements try to sell different products. However, this might only affect the user decision, which might be in the favor of competitors of the advertiser. So the context of advertisement with respect to the end customer needs to be revised and the user needs to be engaged -  buy the product rather than just influence decision making. SAP Hybris is currently aiming towards creating the online storefront of the future and is tinkering with some of the things that I am discussing- but a lot needs to be done before things are

Internet Of Things

As defined in Wikipedia, "The Internet of Things (IoT) is the network of physical objects or "things" embedded with electronics, software, sensors, and connectivity to enable objects to collect and exchange data."
Smart devices/sensors are already increasing exponentially and are poised to make the next big change in everyday life since the rise of internet and by 2020, only the B2B based such devices would be around 5.4 Billion.

Applied IoT

We've all heard about Amazon drones but the ideas do not stop there; by making a user context aware, the e-commerce can jump out of browser to mobile notifications through NFC enabled portals in physical stores. On the other hand, the user based sensors could be used for kiosks and physical display stores, making them intelligent. Another scenario could be the use of RIFD enabled tags on consumables, which can enable gamification based points for repeating customers, leading to repeated orders. These ideas are dime a dozen, but it remains to be seen which technology and business goes all out to adapt them.

True Omni Commerce

Although this sounds good in theory, in real world things like scalability and security take precedence and instead of just improving the context, there is a need to provide actual sales through these additional channels, or in other words, creating a mashup involving existing channels to generate even more avenues. I am currently working as a Hybris developer and am hoping to see some positive influences due to rise of such a technology, which is currently in the playground stage.