How has the Internet of Things (IoT) shaped the eCommerce Industry?
The global adoption of technological innovations and ceaseless advancements in mobile technology has facilitated a steady growth in the eCommerce sector. In the last 5 years, there has been a sudden spike and people have gradually accepted eCommerce as an extension of the traditional retail environment.
With global retail sales estimated to reach up to 4.48 trillion US dollars by 2021, the entire online retail industry is going through a major technological disruption. The lifestyle and shopping habits of consumers are rapidly changing and are becoming more adaptable and comfortable with online shopping.
Therefore online retailers are constantly seeking to push the boundaries of technology in order to meet with the ever increasing consumer demands.
IoT has been around for quite a while and it has opened a new universe of possibilities for retail businesses. eCommerce is one industry that is leveraging the benefits of IoT and utilizing this new technology to increase company visibility.
Below are 4 key areas in which IoT has benefited the eCommerce sector.
1. eCommerce Inventory Management
With the help of IoT sensors and RFID tags, eCommerce inventory management has reached the realms of real-time inventory management. This has taken inventory management one step forward and online retailers can now monitor and track their inventory items.
Key product information such as product type, manufacturer’s name, the expiration date of the items and their batch IDs can be easily updated into the system automatically without any human intervention.
Additionally, IoT has incorporated Smart Shelves that help manage inventory even better. By closely managing the stock rate of each product it has removed a potential barrier for sales. eCommerce cataloguing services have benefited from this immensely and customers are able to know that the item they want to purchase is actually in stock.
2. Warehouse Management
Along with optimizing inventory management, IoT has also helped online retailers enhance their warehouse management capacity.
A lot of big players have incorporated temperature-monitoring sensors in their warehouse that help monitor the optimum temperature for sensitive products. In case of temperature fluctuations, alerts will be set to the concerned person and the proper maintenance can be done before any spoilage occurs.
Additionally, there are sensors used in the warehouse that also help examine the forklifts in the warehouse facilitating predictive maintenance which helps reduce the loss of productivity. Amazon makes use of warehouse robots that enhance productivity and effectiveness of the standard picking and packing process.
With the brimming potential of IoT, the future for warehouse management holds great deal of excitement.
3. Supply chain management
A super-efficient and well planned supply chain lies at the heart of all eCommerce operations. An uninterrupted and efficient supply chain management is crucial to carry on operations of e-commerce businesses successfully.
With the integration of IoT technology, online retailers are now able to give their consumers complete tracking services of their product. Right from the warehouse to delivery stage, the tracking system allows transparency as well as takes supply chain management one step forward.
eCommerce development service providers are now turning towards RFID and GPS technology for tracking the items in transit. This means consumers are given complete information about location, temperature, and estimated time of delivery.
This has been quite a revolutionary development in the eCommerce sector that has led to increased customer demand and trust in eCommerce.
4. Enhanced Consumer Experience
Online retailers have a large pool of data at their disposal. IoT has helped get deep insights of consumer profiles to improve their shopping platforms. This has helped them identify their potential buyers better than ever before.
Furthermore, IoT has also helped in reporting issues even before they are noticed. This has helped retailers to anticipate possible complaints and adapt to resolve these complexities before it disturbs the consumer’s shopping experience.