IoTCommerceIn e-commerce everything revolves around the end customers and their needs, while in Industry 4.0 intelligent machines are in the foreground. With industrial IoT commerce, new commercial perspectives and opportunities are now established.

Social and physical distancing, as currently triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, inevitably accelerates consumption and the satisfaction of needs over a distance. The digitization of procurement processes – be it in the B2C as well as in the B2B area – is becoming more important than ever due to the unexpected crisis. As a result, new commerce practices and trends have emerged that are not only aimed at the end customer market but are also relevant to the industry.

Data and algorithms in digital commerce

Shopping on the internet, no matter where or what time, has changed the global retail landscape and the way we buy. While digitalization has increased productivity and efficiency in the industry, convenience, availability and transparency are the factors that are increasingly motivating customers to use e-commerce.

E-commerce retailers are collecting more and more data to identify customer needs in good time, to communicate better with customers and to provide them with tailor-made offers that encourage them to consume even more. Algorithms give them meaning. With the knowledge gained, inspiring customer experiences are to be created that seduce to buy.

If you look at the commerce trends discussed in the specialized media, you can see three directions of impact, but also overlapping target scenarios. The trends clearly point towards customer centricity, data usage and technological innovations that largely exclude people as procurers.

Headless commerce, for example, promises to reach customers everywhere. The buy button known from the web shop is always where the customer is, be it in the physical or virtual world.

Web shop providers and service providers are working on solutions for these future challenges because they fear that the traditional web shop as we know it today will soon no longer be relevant. The term “Connected Commerce” stands for the uninterrupted shopping experience across all touchpoints of a customer (seamless customer experience), both online and in-store.

While the term headless commerce stands for the buy button presence on the individual customer journey, the commerce experts usher in the future of digital commerce with the terms Commerce 4.0 and cognitive commerce with big data and artificial intelligence. Their goal is to meet customer needs based on customer and behavioral data in a predictive manner.

IoT commerce in industry

This development is not only interesting because of the extremely increasing number of smart devices in the consumer area. The number of IoT-capable devices and applications is rising to a new level in the industry too. According to a study by Gartner, the number of networked machines and systems will grow to around 25 billion worldwide by 2021.

IoT Commerce is driven by this digital networking of machines and is the result of fully automated, intelligent digital procurement. Because sensors are already making it possible for machines to talk to one another and transmit their status and production information for analysis and evaluation. In this way, downtimes can be anticipated, maintenance optimized, costs saved, supply chains become transparent, and the quality of products checked – in real time – even beyond the gates of the factories. Smart services allow making predictions about the machine condition in a production facility and to initiate necessary maintenance measures. These measures can be, for example, an automated call of a service technician or an automated ordering of spare parts.

Seize the opportunity and take advantage of it

After electronic product catalogues, B2B web shops or B2B portals, IoT-supported commerce platforms can play an important role in the future. Even if an investment in such a commerce innovation does not pay for itself immediately, you are equipped for the digital future and will stabilize or ideally increase your sales – even in times of crisis.

The Corona crisis showed us, procurement processes can be interrupted due to human sub-process steps and come to a standstill due to lockdowns. However, with a seamless end-to-end commerce integration, important procurements would be fully automated and secured.

By Daniela La Marca