To keep up with technological trends and increasing customer demands, businesses should investigate integrating consumer IoT (CIoT) into their existing products. Today’s consumer wants more than just a great product; they want a great experience with after-sales services and product support. Businesses that embrace this change and tailor their offerings to meet these evolving expectations are better positioned for growth and success in the long term.
So why is CIoT so important to the business model of the future? The consumer product market is changing as customer demand changes. Consumer IoT is redefining what a product can be and can do. The possibilities are endless, and billions of products are set to become connected in the next few years. Your company can and should look to keep up with these trends to avoid missing out on an expansive market.
Must Have Capabilities for CIoT Products
To take your existing products to the next level, consider providing complimentary services. When your products become connected and service is built-in, you can monitor use and performance, as well as provide services such as better customer support and efficient troubleshooting. Because of this, customers receive more value and are delighted because their expectations are exceeded, and they are more likely to stay loyal. In your company’s case, you can save money in service costs, improve technical and customer service and realize noteworthy returns.
Using product-monitoring data and reporting to provide stellar service to customers is one of the many benefits of incorporating IoT into your products. Consumer product companies can take this to the next level and give their customers the ability to monitor their own products. With consumer IoT, the performance, usage, and status of connected products can be monitored and reported. By giving customers the ability to manage connected products on an analytical app, you have empowered them with information that is useful whether the product is being used at home or in business. These analytics can help them regulate product use, better schedule maintenance, repairs, or refills and help them better understand their product overall.
Integrated into Your Organization
As has been shown, connected products bring value to the customer which increases the returns to your company. On an internal level, your business can use connected products to help optimize processes. By integrating IoT product capabilities into your business, you are better able to manage many different systems and make data-based decisions. Data coming from your products can be used to either automate or inform functions such as your supply chain and customer relationship management, your enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, your support capabilities and your monitoring of usage and location of products and assets.
With IoT capability comes the ability to add new services and better product monitoring. The extent of this technology is yet unknown. Connecting your existing products allows your team to innovate and try out new options and services that may or may not be a hit with your customers. You can be pioneers in the unique way an existing product is presented and redefine the customer experience. There are new revenue models and product capabilities waiting to be explored and developed. Customers can enjoy products with better features, more interfaces, and better built-in services.
If you are going to take part in the revolution that is consumer IoT, you must have the capabilities to see it through. By building service and analytics into product offerings, integrating IoT into your organization and being open to innovation, you can position your company to succeed in this emerging space.
Business Benefits of CIoT
Higher Profit Margins
The modern consumer now enjoys the use of smart devices that allow two-way communication and feedback. Some examples include wearable technology for fitness and medical monitoring. Smart devices give users a more meaningful and enjoyable experience, and this is the reason why consumers are willing to pay a premium for smartwatches, smartphones and other interactive products. Therefore, companies stand to profit by integrating technology into existing products.
Long Revenue Streams
Thanks to IoT, there are more ways to gain a consumer’s attention, generate revenue and continue to build a growing relationship with the consumer for the long haul. The applications of consumer IoT are vast, still growing, and still being perfected. And, revenue generation models are set to change as an estimated 50 billion products become connected in the next few years.
Some of the revenue generation models that consumer product companies are starting to investigate include a prepaid model for access to connected features for a limited time. A pay-for-privacy model gives users greater control over when and how they are connected. Companies also can opt for a digital/physical freemium hybrid model. These types of revenue models give consumers more flexibility and control, making them less likely to unsubscribe.
Turn Products into Services
A consumer’s interaction with a consumer product is usually minimal. They buy it, use it and on completion dispose of the container. With the direction IoT is moving, there’s no telling how different these basic interactions can become. Research is currently underway to drive down the price of sensors, the key enablers of this technology. When the price is low enough to be used in consumer goods and low-value products, there are unlimited opportunities for consumer product companies to redefine what they are selling.
Connected consumable goods offer additional value to the consumer. A simple product like dish soap can be bundled into a service that monitors the level and initiates a new order when the soap is low. By enhancing existing products with IoT capability, companies can gain insight into how consumers interact with products, change the way products are used and provide add-on services for an increased margin.
Understand Your Customers
IoT gives companies unprecedented access to their consumers. They are better able to understand how customers use their products and what their likes and dislikes are. This kind of data can be very useful in improving a product offering to better meet the needs of the customer.
Customers are becoming more demanding and are continuously raising the bar of what they expect their ideal product to offer. They want personalized products and a more interactive and engaging experience. Companies can meet these growing expectations by using consumer IoT to direct their R&D. They also can use it to provide more personalized experiences, marketing and promotions that foster increased customer loyalty.