The Internet of Things is big business in itself, but this new wave of analytics and networking also offers big benefits to businesses of all stripes. Gartner estimates that there will be 30 billion connected devices in use by 2020.
As ordinary objects are able to transmit data, services can be improved and marketing endeavours streamlined. Here are a few ways that this could be a boost to start-ups in particular.
1. Improved tracking procedures
One of the first ways to use the IoT to your advantage is in the logistics area. Sensors can be placed on moving vehicles to track components as they’re shipped, improving efficiency overall. For a start-up, saving any penny can be a big help right from the start. Better management of the transport process can translate to big savings.
2. Marketing using highly specific data
Another area where the IoT plays a large role is in the field of marketing. If you’re just starting out, you may not have a massive budget for advertising and marketing. The IoT helps even the playing field, giving you access to analytics on a grand scale.
Promotions can then be better targeted when you know exactly who is using your product and how they are using it. With this information, you can send alerts for special promotions based on your client base’s preferences and habits.
On-web behaviour can also be tracked, so that you can learn where your site visitors are coming from and where they’re going next. This data is more easily aggregated with the IoT for future marketing uses.
3. Inventory management
As with the transportation logistics, physical inventory can be better managed with the help of the IoT. Sensors in warehouses or storage areas can monitor the temperature and other conditions, while tracking which products are in and which need to be ordered.
Automatic restocking alerts can ensure that you’re never out of product. At the same time, you don’t need to waste money on restocking a product that’s not selling.
4. Building customer relationships
All of these functions help improve customer service and build strong customer relationships. When clients know their products will be in stock and their preferences are tended to, they’ll be far more likely to return to your website or business.
Customer service personnel will have more targeted information to improve the user experience as well, without making clients wait on hold. Employees can automatically access stored manuals, saving time and money for businesses.
5. Secure assets
Assets are kept secure when they are better monitored with the use of sensors and chips. Nokia’s IoT innovation allows businesses to manage storage areas with basic networking, so that the business’s assets are more secure and reliable. This can assist with maintenance as well as security.
These are just a few main ways that small businesses can use the power of the IoT to their advantage. And as the technology grows, we’ll most likely see new uses for it that we can’t possibly dream of just yet.