Imagine: You walk into a retail store. As you enter you notice that there’s a different feeling, something has changed. Today the customers are engaged. They are interacting with the product and having a conversation with the brand. How did this conversation start? What changed?
The change began with a connection. Like all good conversations, connection is key. People are searching for commonalities and reasons to be a part of something. Businesses that are connected to the IoT, become connected to their customer. They use the IoT to find common ground and as soon as the customer picked up the product, nearby digital signage began playing content which was focused on creating a bond between, customer, brand and product. The brand went from being a vague concept to something the customer can relate to and interact with. The brand is part of their shopping experience and on their mind.
Now Imagine: That brand is yours.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a term for devices or things which are able to connect to the internet, transfer, collect and observe data. The IoT is made of various devices and includes wearable technology, point of sales systems, dressing room door sensors and connected cars. They are all different. Yet, they all have the ability to connect to the internet whilst being able to report on what they’re doing as well as what is going on around them. This takes mobility and big data into a whole new stratosphere of measurement and analytics. Gartner Inc, a technology research and advisory corporation, estimates that by 2020 there will be nearly 20.8 billion devices connected to the IoT. In just four years from now billions of devices and billions of people will be able to connect, sync and communicate with the internet and each other. Rather than fearing the growth of the IoT, businesses need to embrace the interdependence of consumers and digital.
It’s a big concept, but essentially it means this:
Devices are able to connect and share information. They can share this across the internet, to other devices or to other users. They collect an immense amount of contextual data which businesses can use to embody a new customer experience. A customer experience centred on communication. No longer is communication just between the customer and the brand. Now with social media and the IoT, that conversation has expanded to include the community, devices and wearable technology. This is changing the process of decision making by customers. With the IoT you are sending the right messages to the right customers at the right time. Not the same message, every time.
When objects sense, communicate and interact, that changes how and where decisions are made by customers.
The world we live in is changing and growing with connected devices being adopted by companies like Amazon, Microsoft and IBM to name a few. We are part of a global network where computers, sensors, data and virtual artefacts all communicate and impact on our daily lives. One of the easiest ways to interact with physical objects and their data sources is digital signage, for example a fire alarm that is connected to your digital signage screens that instructs people to the safest exit routes. This is not a far-fetched dream, in Sweden content is activated based on the arrival of passing by trains using the communication between mobile apps, beacon technology and digital screens. This interconnectivity is a reality. A reality, that can leverage data to personalize visual experiences and give your business a powerful tool to differentiate your brand from your competition.
Customers in this digitally entwined world expect a media experience and connection to products that are individualized. Participation and timeliness are especially important when it comes to creating content that is integrated, interactive and viral. An ‘aware’ retail space creates a collective experience that can be shared by those who are drawn to the brand. Customers want to see themselves as part of the brand experience and through connection to the IoT (awareness), your retail store gains knowledge on your customers. You then use this awareness of your customers to transform your brand into a shareable experience that is collective but also unique to the individual.
Deliver a tailored customer experience through technologies that interact with digital signage through IoT such as integrated camera and beacon technologies. Businesses who adopt the IoT today are embracing opportunities and benefits, which in the next four years will be part of standard business practices. The IoT is not going anywhere and its capacity for digital communication and use of data to enhance the customer experience will ensure it is around for a long time.
Global Access is an innovative digital media and content solutions provider. Call us today and let us connect you with your customers and create unique, individualized digital signage experiences.