IoT: The Next Big Shopper Battleground

It’s no secret that the IoT (Internet of Things) has been increasing its critical mass over the past few years. It started slowly, in a very stealthy way: lightbulbs, smart wearables and speakers. Now, the IoT is gaining momentum, making its way into everyday products like refrigerators, doorbells, thermostats and cars. It’s seeping into every facet of our lives. And, with Amazon’sEcho Auto announcement (which brings Alexa into the car), the war for dominance of the IoT is quietly being waged.

The 101 definition of IoT is a system of interconnected, interrelated devices that collect and share data without human interaction. The war being waged is over which framework, or OS (operating system), can connect, share and make meaning of this data through apps and devices to be actionable and, most importantly for consumers and marketers alike, transactional and automated.

Here’s an example of how IoT could affect shopping: Sam needs to automate his fruit delivery because, like his kids, he’s overscheduled: commuting to work, shuttling kids to soccer and football practice, to singing lessons, making meals, and getting everyone organized for the next day. He wants his fridge to be able to connect with his smart home speaker, his mobile device or his smart car speaker so it can reorder his fruit delivery each Wednesday. One less trip. One less stressor. Unfortunately, right now, Sam has to initiate that order through voice each Wednesday – if he can remember. In the future, those systems will determine his usage algorithmically and automate the shopping transaction.

If you think that’s amazing, the next phase of the IoT is when consumer applications begin to integrate and interact with commercial applications like transportation and health care. It’s as exciting as it is frightening.

The battle is over which platform will interconnect and automate those transactions: Google, Amazon or Apple? With the size of the prize at an estimated 21.5 billion IoT devices by 2025 worldwide, the company that can saturate enough key devices (mobile, automotive, smart speakers, etc.) stands to grab a huge share of a $1.5 trillion global market in 2025.

Contributed By: Tony Verre, Integer Dallas

Image Source: Unsplash