We now have the option to live fully connected to our homes through our phones, Amazons Alexa, Google Home, Siri and many more devices.
We can control our lights, our heating, hot water and our fridge. We can talk to our TV, speakers, even run us a bath or start the car on a frosty morning to de-ice it. (And this is only what we can do in our homes)
The world is connected.
So where does this leave you and your business? How in this connected world do you fit? But most importantly, how can you take advantage of this to grow your business?
The connection of devices including the few mentioned above is a small part of what makes up ‘the internet of things (IoT)’ for which Business Insider UK defines as
‘A network of internet-connected objects able to collect and exchange data using embedded sensors.’
You may never have come across this phrase before, however going forward in 2018 and beyond it is going to play a larger role in both your personal life and your business. It is predicted by Gartner that by 2020 there will be 26 billion connected devices – This doesn’t include computers, phones and tablets.
An example of how businesses are using this technology can already be seen on a daily basis.
Take Sky for example – Fancy watching a movie? Here, we have some recommendations for you based on your previous viewing habits. Just download it and away you go. Don’t like these, here are a few pay to view movies you might like.
Home connectivity is also becoming more popular. On the bus heading home on a cold wet night? Switch your lights and heating on during your journey so your home will be welcoming when you get back. Ran out of washing up liquid? Just ask Alexa, and she will order you a new one to be delivered the following day, along with the dog food you forgot to pick up on your way home.
We even have Smart fridges. Scanning what you put in them and what you remove. Building up a shopping list of what you need next time you order food online and even ordering it for you from your local supermarket. All the time monitoring your purchases and building a database of what you like to eat, when you’re likely to eat it and other habits that you didn’t even know you had.
So how does this benefit me?
Above are genuine examples of the internet of things and how they are starting to take over and understand various aspects of our life – Ok we may not have a bought a smart fridge yet, but our daily interactions on our phones, shopping websites and even when we scan our reward card at Nando’s all contribute to the key in all of this. Data. Companies want your data. They want to know what you buy, where you buy it from, how much you pay and even what time you get home from work.
Small parts of data all add up.
Let’s say you are a pizza shop local to Mr Smith. Mr Smith has a few connected devices around his house. He has a fridge, connected lights and heating and Amazon Alexa.
He walks into his house. The lights and heating are on. Alexa knows he likes to listen to Radio 2 when he comes in so already has the station selected ready to go. It’s the weekend and the local pizza shop know he usually orders a ham and pineapple pizza on a Friday around 7-8pm every week. He receives a push message on his phone at 6.30 saying ‘Mr Smith, buy a large Pizza and get free small fries. Tonight only’ from his usual Pizza shop and he then proceeds to order his unique offer.
This target marketing will encourage Mr Smith to keep up his routine, and feel like a valued customer as he has a special offer personalised to him, and further strengthen his relationship with his takeaway.
As a takeaway or restaurant owner, you may not see data as an essential part of your business, however in the future, it will become essential to manage your data as well, if not better than your competition, and starting early is going to be key to giving you the advantage.
App4 has worked in the takeaway and restaurant industry for many years providing a custom built takeaway and online ordering system. The solution allows restaurants to take orders from their customers very easily through connected devices such as phones and computers. Getting this facility within your business is essential as not only is it more cost effective than other online food ordering services, but it lets you start to build your own customer database.
Taking this first step will allow you to start building your database of customers and collect their information such as what they ordered, what day and time and addresses.
By using the App4 solution, you can then look at your customers in more detail and start making specific offers just for the individual. Using push message notifications built into our system, you can send out offers, reminders to customers who haven’t ordered for a few weeks, or even wish a customer happy birthday with a special offer, all built into a simple to use system.
Eventually, we can also help you with interactions on various spoken and interactive services. We will be able to work with the home solutions such as Amazon Alexa and Siri, so when someone walks into their kitchen, they will be able to order specifically from your takeaway with a simple ‘Order my usual from Shalimar Pizza’
Now is the time to start thinking and investing in your customer data, collecting it and starting to leverage it to your benefit.
Why not speak to us and see how you can start using data to your advantage.