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How the Internet of Things is Boosting Customer Experience––and Expectations

As at-home coffee retailer Nespresso is proving, customers want to love what they buy. 

Jean Scheijen

Jean Scheijen

 

When it comes to Internet of Things, innovation in technology is making it possible for consumers to more easily distinguish an everyday retail experience from the truly remarkable. As the technology continues to develop, it has the power to change the face of retail one smart move at a time.

 

The Internet of Things takes common objects (in our homes, for example) and creates a network connection for them to communicate information with each other. One good example comes from the home-order coffee service Nespresso, which recently debuted the Prodigio, a coffee machine enabled by Bluetooth. The machine communicates with a smartphone to brew coffee, monitor the quantity of coffee in the machine, and simplify maintenance.

 

The Prodigio app allows consumers to program when specific brews get made, when the machine needs cleaning, and when need pods need to be re-ordered (single-button purchasing makes this simple and quick, easily increasing sales).

 

The Prodigio is “just” a coffee machine, yes––but the point is, the Internet of Things makes it fun. Fun to choose a blend via the app, fun to set the timer before you’re even out of bed.

 

For someone who might have low expectations from brands (and the shopping experience in general), the Internet of Things could radically change their perception––and even their behavior. In fact, according to a study by COLLOQUY that surveyed more than 1,000 consumers, 27 percent said they used to strongly dislike shopping but now really enjoy it, thanks to wearable devices that capitalize on the Internet of Things. Of those surveyed, 15 percent said they’d like to wear even more of these devices.

 

The machine isn’t the only thing Nespresso is doing to boost their customer experience. Each member of the Nespresso Club receives a compact brewer plus an impressive variety of coffee pods that are coded by color. Members can also receive a customized package based on past personal consumption trends.

 

As consumer expectations begin to change and skew higher, retailers have the unique opportunity to get creative. Anticipating consumer needs ahead of time will become key. The solutions brands offer in response to anticipated problems should be simple and engaging to consumers. Nest, for example, sells climate-control devices for the home. But the way the brand markets the product, it easily falls under “lifestyle enhancement for the modern family.”

 

Retailers must also create trust with their customers, especially by delivering on brand promises of quality service and ease of use. The goal is to dazzle customers, then follow through by delivering. Something shiny is nice. But something they can’t live without is much better.

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