Leverage The Internet Of Things To Deliver New Customer Experiences

Joerg Koesters

Digitization is changing our world and our customer’s experience expectations. It’s expected that by 2020, IoT devices will increase from 6.4 billion to more than 50 billion. This pervasiveness of technology means many more data points are available from every customer or prospect. It’s expected that as these available data points grow, so will customer expectations.

Disruption is also having a strong effect as new business models are being developed and implemented. Instead of video rental stores, we now have kiosks at every major store and streaming video. Why? In addition to convenience, people didn’t like the excessive late fees. The world’s largest taxi service owns no vehicles, because people were tired of high rates. In response, someone developed a site to facilitate private ridesharing. Big-box stores have been closing in record numbers. Why? Because the convenience of shopping online with better customer service won the hearts of shoppers around the world.

Today’s customers are also more educated about the products they’re purchasing well before they speak to a sales representative. It’s estimated that 90% of research that happens prior to purchase happens online. Combined with limited stock in stores compared to online, this often means the sales representative has become a facilitator of the purchase process. This transformation is part of a larger overall change in customer expectations. Part of the shift that disruption is bringing to our society is creating a customer-centric focus. Out of all retail CEOs, 77% are concerned about this change. This is much higher when compared to CEOs in other industries. But how do you deliver a superior customer experience?

Under pressure to deliver new customer experiences? Leverage the Internet of Things

Today’s consumer expects the right deal at the right time in the right place. They expect an exceptional customer experience. Responding to that level of expectation is difficult at best. Today’s businesses are under pressure to deliver on that expectation. But how do you reach that end goal? There are a number of ways you can get there, but a combination of these approaches will yield the best results. Here’s a quick look at some of the major facets of creating an exceptional customer experience.

One aspect of this expectation is personalization. The modern consumer wants to see offers that are focused on their interests. This requires in-depth data and analytics to find customer buying patterns. Using Facebook ads or Google Analytics to track the consumer’s interests gives you the data you need to, being able to process the data you receive can mean all the difference between having a successful customer experience and one that leaves your customers wanting more.

Innovation management is another area that will help your company gain ground with your customers. Connectivity allows consumers to look at products from a wider range of companies. This means that the time you have from product or service development to introduction to the market has sped up significantly. This adds a great deal of pressure to your team. Having solid innovation management in place is vital to your company’s overall vitality. As customer expectations increase, you’ll need to deliver new products and innovations on a faster timetable than in the past.

With the pervasive use of mobile technology, having a solid, seamless experience is vital to your company’s well being. From your mobile app to your website to your brick and mortar locations, every interaction your company has with a prospective customer provides an opportunity to create an exceptional experience. Having a solid digital core makes it much easier to create a uniform experience. However, just as important is getting the system set up properly to work with not only today’s technology and expectations but tomorrow’s as well.

What level of integration does your company have with IoT technology? The fast increase in the number of integrated objects will provide companies with a much wider range of opportunities to interact and gather information from your prospects. It’s expected that over the next ten years, companies that work directly with their customers will capture 90% of the industry’s growth. This will cut out many companies that have served as middlemen in the past. These companies will then need to reinvent themselves or get out of the market. How will your company respond to these many challenges over the upcoming years?

As the customer experience continues to evolve, delivering an experience quickly while dealing with the pressure of time and competition is essential to retaining loyal customers. It will require working smarter rather than harder, automating much of your current workflow. Part of the process will also require adapting your current process of moving customers through their purchase to the new digitized reality.

Learn how to innovate at scale by incorporating individual innovations back to the core business to drive tangible business value: Accelerating Digital Transformation in Retail. Explore how to bring Industry 4.0 insights into your business today: Industry 4.0: What’s Next?


About Joerg Koesters

Joerg Koesters is the Head of Retail Marketing and Communication at SAP. He is a Technology Marketing executive with 20 years of experience in Marketing, Sales and Consulting, Joerg has deep knowledge in retail and consumer products having worked both in the industry and in the technology sector.