The Internet of Things from a consumer perspective
Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is an excerpt of a current article from Oracle Blogs.
To take advantage of new data sources from sensors and machines emerging from the Internet of Things, it helps to consider what it all means to the now commonplace mobilized consumer and their journey along the path to purchase.
For CPG manufacturing and distribution processes, the use cases for Internet of Things technology are highly compelling — from machines that produce goods and generate data that help predict and head off maintenance or failure issues, to the flow of tagged goods (via RFID) through the supply chain, and knowing with confidence their quantity and place relative to demand. Having product on shelf is critical to serving consumers.
Retailers can pick up where suppliers leave off, knowing precise inventory and shelf positions for all merchandise, both in store and online. With omnichannel, this capability is crucial to simply maintaining competitive parity.
But what about the potential impact on their consumer? Mobile is becoming the ubiquitous interface between consumers and their environment, at any point along the path to purchase. Mobile is not just for texting, e-mailing, browsing and using apps, but serves as the connection point to the consumer Internet of Things — health monitors, thermostats, household appliances, security systems, automobiles, watches, televisions, and even pantry and household products.
Whether separately or in collaboration, retailers and their supplier partners have the opportunity to connect the tracking of physical goods through the manufacturing, marketing and sales processes, to consumption by consumers. That’s a complex problem for which solutions now exist.
How could this all unfold? Gartner describes "business moments" as cross-industry collaboration scenarios that provide a differentiated consumer experience that benefits all parties — the consumer and the businesses working together to deliver the experience.
Imagine a can of paint knowing it’s nearly empty or your car recognizing when you are going to the hardware store to buy another. Your furnace becomes part of the conversation, and notifies you to pick up a new filter, while the businesses supporting this experience try to connect you with a location that has both items in stock.
It is a somewhat lofty concept requiring a change of mindset for industries such as CPG and retail that are often at odds, but makes sense against a backdrop of fickle consumer attention. Supporting such complex and differentiated experiences will come to define business success.
For both retailers and CPG manufacturers, the future is nearer than they think, and consumers will come to expect and prefer satisfying experiences unhindered by limits imposed by disconnected business processes.
Imagining a mobilized consumer along the path to purchase is a good way to think about The Internet of Things.
Do you think consumer applications of the Internet of Things will facilitate collaboration between retailers and their vendor partners? What do you see as the obvious and less obvious hurdles to creating such a collaborative ecosystem?