It’s in the FitBit you use to track your activity. It’s in the Nest thermostat that automatically regulates your home’s temperature. It’s in LG’s new Smart ThinQ™ fridge that tracks grocery lists and meal plans, and more.
Tesla’s new Model S sedan, the “app on four wheels,” is more software then mechanics. Appliances that utilize the Internet of Things are on the verge of a lifestyle takeover, and businesses in various industries are gearing up for the next generation of connectivity.
So, if the Internet of Things is the future of business, what does it take to sell it?
At its core, the Internet of Things combines a smart device with a cloud service. The services can be enhanced with apps and accessories, developed on a common API. It’s a subscription based service. With this in mind, businesses looking to branch into the IoT world should consider what works to sell these core elements online:
A commerce system that sells both digital and physical goods
Much like a cell phone company, any IoT e-commerce business should be able to sell physical items independently, or bundled, with the service they run. And while we’re on it…
Subscriptions & bundling
Users will need to purchase subscriptions for the services offered by their device, and bundling must be an option. The commerce platform should be capable of offering various subscription models, and pricing options based on the package an item or service is sold with.
Entitlements & metering
When the customer purchases an IoT device, they are really purchasing the right to access the services offered. The device is a physical item, but the real value lies in the intangible benefits they’re receiving. In the back end, you should be able to manage these entitlements, and to truly utilize the technological offering you should be able to meter the customers’ usage, to personalize their service offerings.
Push recommendations of service add-ons, accessories, apps or more as they use their smart device. Based on their use of the product, you can personalize these recommendations to reflect their personal needs, delivering them as they’re needed.
Marketplace for third party vendors
A third-party marketplace that allows outside vendors to develop apps that work with your IoT device will enhance your service offering for your users.
More than ever, an integrated solution that melds physical products with less tangible services will key for successful commerce. Sales no longer end the transaction, but rather open the door for continuous engagement. Those companies who learn to master that extra service will be at the forefront of this IoT revolution.