The Internet of Shopping (IoS) Is A Thing And It’s Growing

Author

Yoav Vilner, Contributor

March 29, 2016

Could this be a trend now?

We all know about the Internet of Things (IoT) and the Internet of Everything (IoE), but why are we yet to hear of the Internet of Shopping (IoS)? Technology is making new strides and breaking down boundaries on a daily basis. So it’s only natural that the “Internet of X” theme has taken hold and revolutionized the way we conduct our lives, both in the real world and through tech devices.

So what does IoT and IoE actually mean? It’s a fancy way of saying that we are able to use technology to assist us with real life things. So when it comes to using an app to adjust your house’s thermostat, you are utilizing the Internet of Things (using an app to influence a tangible item).

So what’s the difference between IoS and Ecommerce? Ecommerce is limited to transactions that are done over the internet, while IoS includes but is not limited to this specification. The Internet of Shopping is the idea of using technology to change the way that we shop. What does this mean exactly? Well let’s take a closer look and see.

As a capitalist society, America has a soft spot for shopping. The phrase “the customer is always right” didn’t come from nowhere. As consumers, we believe that our time is the merchant’s money. And the merchants are likely to agree – the more pleasant the consumer experience, the better the final line is for the merchant.

We used to think that Ecommerce was the ultimate shopping frontier but online shopping existed only to lay the groundwork for IoS. Take, for example, Amazon’s Dash Button. A portable tech device, it connects to Wi-Fi to and communicates with your phone’s Amazon app. By simply pushing a button, you can place an order for the item that correlates to the dash button. The online shopping industry is expected to grow to a yearly sales of $370 billion in 2017. That’s a huge number which exhibits the emphasis that shoppers place on convenience. Using IoS to enable items such as the Dash Button further enables convenience and could influence this number growing even larger.

Technology helps us make the most of our time, so using it to enhance the shopping experience is a highly beneficial option. Did you know that 60% of shoppers browse a store’s app at least once a week? They report using the app to check deals, find sales and check loyalty points. Imagine that a consumer belongs to more than one loyalty program – that’s a lot of apps to check.

If shoppers are using multiple apps anyway, it makes sense that one app would “rule them of all”. A notable startup in the field is Shopic and there are several others growing in the meantime. Consolidating loyalty rewards and letting you pay in-app (enabling you to pay while skipping the checkout line), this is a great beginning to the IoS revolution. IoS can even apply to crowdsourcing when purchasing an item. Another notable App is Vinino which lets you read user reviews of wine so that you can shop smarter and upload your own reviews. After all, technology is here to make our lives more convenient.

When it comes to the consumer view, IoS is nothing but gains. Accessibility, convenience and security combine to make the shopper experience at its best. From the merchant perspective, IoS means happier customers, higher conversions and easier access to the analytics on their sales and traffic. Combining the power of the “Internet of X” with the thrill of shopping is an exciting trend that’s making waves already. It will be exciting to see how this trend progresses and evolves in the future.

This article was written by Yoav Vilner from Forbes and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

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