The Internet of Things and Your Online Store

The Internet of Things for Ecommerce

Mobile apps, wearable tech, and innovative takes on seemingly mundane home products like the Nest Thermostat and Hue Lightbulbs are all harbingers of a breakthrough that analysts have been discussing for some time now: the Internet of Things.

To quickly catch up anyone who isn’t familiar, the Internet of Things refers to a trend towards having items outside of the world wide web exist as always on, intelligently connected and accessible from nearly anywhere. Ever seen those old cartoons about “the home of tomorrow” where the guy walks in and the house turns on the lights, starts making dinner, and asks how his day was? We’re basically there.

Obviously, the ramifications for this are potentially huge. Right now we have scales that will allow you to step on, read weight and body fat percentage, send that information to a mobile app that also reads activity data from an activity tracker, which will then propose and monitor fitness goals for you throughout the day.

Ecommerce (well, all commerce really) stands to benefit from this trend. From a basic level, administrative duties will become much more efficient if suppliers adopt technologies such as smart inventory management systems and gps-enables shipping containers that let you pinpoint exactly where (and when) your shipments are.

From a slightly more interesting perspective, the Internet of Things allows for much more engaging customer interaction through their smartphones and through whatever wearable tech they might be…wearing. Right now you have the ability to send immediate messages and deals through your app with push notifications. As the Internet of Things becomes further integrated into the lives of your customers, app developers and app creation platforms (that’s us!) will be able to allow for conditional and immediate messages to be sent. For example, you could set up an event that immediately sends a deal on sun screen and goggles if customers are detected to be near the coast.

The Internet of Things is here now, though it is still in it’s infancy. We’re all extremely excited to see all the possibilities it opens up.

Do You Sleep with Your Smartphone?


We tweeted a funny article from Business Insider the other day with the Headline: “90% Of 18-29 Year-Olds Sleep With Their Smartphones” (

As BI put it, smartphones have basically become a new bodily appendage.

Other interesting stats included in the article:

– 95% of people use the phone for something just before going to bed

– Half of people check their phones immediately if they wake up during the night

I find myself reading emails or news on my phone just before going to sleep and during the night if I wake up. And since I use my iPhone as my alarm clock it stays on my nightstand within easy reach.

The point is, smartphones are mostly turned on and with us 24/7. And as smartphones are reaching critical mass as a percentage of mobile devices in use, achieving an optimized, useful and interesting presence on these new devices becomes more critical every day. Mobile, smartphones and apps represent the most important opportunity since the World Wide Web came along to communicate, interact, transact and build loyalty with your customers. If you haven’t started thinking about your mobile presence yet, time to start thinking!