By now most of us are almost blasé when our household devices connect to the Internet. From thermostats to speakers and TVs, even our scale is connected. As businesses explore this technology, making use of it while keeping it secure and reliable, the benefits to dealers are not totally futuristic but could be leveraged in the present.
A few years ago Amazon CTO Werner Vogels announced the Amazon Web Services IoT (Internet of Things), a platform for processing and using data from Internet-connected devices. While onstage, Vogels demonstrated a basic example of the new product in action—each hand sanitizer dispenser at the 19,000 person conference was constantly sending back its status to a central location, letting the conference staff know when one needed more soap. This platform is available to any company willing to tap into the cloud with AWS.
Does the IoT solve an auto-replenishment problem by creating an efficient, cost saving technology that can also drive sales?
For the B2B dealer it could help by managing inventory that currently requires staff resources and human accuracy. You might be ahead of the game if business partners offered auto replenishment that combined cost savings and increased sales. For example, hospitals have connected medical devices that can replenish supplies before they’re at the critical point. This is an obvious benefit to patients and medical staff.
But does it drive sales?
In a B2B marketplace, vendors and manufacturers who offer IoT auto replenishment are providing a convenience and efficiency and that could promote sales and loyalty. Your customers would come to depend on having their favorite products always on hand. Auto replenishment could remove the “shopping around” element of online purchasing. Instead of making purchases somewhere else, the dealer who offers convenience could be rewarded with loyalty. We see this with the Amazon Dash Button that connects directly to your Amazon Prime account. At the touch of a button the item is reordered and sent to your home in a matter of days. At the conference we talked about earlier, blank buttons were given to developers to program and innovate with, only limited by their imagination.
It wasn’t so long ago that the IoT seemed beyond comprehension or even useless. Now it’s part of our everyday lives. Dealers who innovate and are ready for change can decide how to move forward. The first step might be to find a trusted vendor who understands the industry and then work together to find their best solutions.
Are you ready?