Connected Devices: What it Means for Your Business

August 2, 2021

Estimates state the average person will own and use at least 15 connected devices by the year 2030. From planes, trains, automobiles, to everything in between, companies are discovering new ways on how to operate their business more efficiently and effectively with the Internet of Things (IoT) and connected devices.

IoT simply means internet-connected devices that are able to collect and transfer data over a wireless network. For those companies investing in IoT and connected devices, business opportunities to connect with customers in a more meaningful way are endless.

In this article, learn more about what types of companies that have embarked upon using connected devices and what type of benefits it brings to their business. 

Traditional Markets 

Discovered in the 15th century, the game of golf is one of the oldest sports. It’s also a sport that has been known to be a “rich person’s sport” or even an “old man sport”. One thing we know for sure, it’s a popular sport that continues to grow around the world. In the U.S. alone, a Statista golf report noted in 2019 nearly 25 million golfers ages 30-49 are playing golf. 

The game of golf hasn’t changed for many years… until now. Shark Experience presented by Verizon is revolutionizing the game of golf. Shark Experience is a premium media platform that delivers connectivity and content to golfers through a screen on a golf cart (exclusive to Club Car). This connected device was launched in 2018 and today, it’s available at 250+ golf courses in the U.S. and more than 25,000 golf cars. The platform is enhancing the golfing experience with its built-in speakers, Bluetooth connectivity and premium content, alongside other popular golf features like Greg Norman golf tips. 

Connected Vehicles

When General Motors launched OnStar in Cadillac DeVille, Seville and Eldorado in 1996, it was the first connected car feature in the market. The primary purpose of OnStar was driver safety and to get emergency help to a vehicle when there was an accident. Since then, the automotive industry continues to use advanced technology solutions for connected cars, and according to Forbes Business Insights, the connected car market is projected to reach USD 48.77 Billion value by 2027. 

One segment of the connected car market that is growing rapidly are the connected devices that are designed specifically for fleets. The connected vehicle platforms are able to locate and track the movement of multiple vehicles in a fleet. The technology can also track the drivers behavior, vehicle performance, engine data, fuel consumption, fault codes, etc. of each vehicle. All this information can be gathered in real-time so it’s easier to manage fleets and increase uptime. 

Connected mobility devices are made to not only improve driver safety, but also to enhance the user experience with music/audio, smartphone apps, navigation, roadside assistance, voice commands, engine controls, parking apps and car diagnosis. Connected car devices that have these capabilities are in high demand, and consumers are willing to change brands for better connectivity services (McKinsey report)

Other industries that have included connected devices into their business models: JetBlue, AutoNation, Dominos Pizza, Lego, Starbucks and more. 

Moving Forward

From traditional markets like golf, consumer brands like Starbucks to the cars we drive, one thing is certain—we live in a digital world. This year, the number of connected devices will be 46 billion. They say that there’s power in numbers, and this concept certainly holds true when it comes to connected devices. Moving forward, it’s important to be strategic in how and why companies are adding devices and software to their tech stacks. 

Consumers are moving toward a fully connected world enabled by technology. Companies investing in IoT and connected devices will need to reimagine how they attract, service and retain customers. During the planning and strategy phase, think about all the business benefits of using connected devices — more productivity, improving efficiency, cost reduction, new business opportunities, etc., but it’s the customer experience that stands out amongst the rest. Without happy, loyal and satisfied customers, businesses would likely fail. The following are some things to consider to enhance the customer with connected devices: 

Be flexible: Keep in mind the customer experience is not about what you want, but what the customer wants it to be. Be willing to make any adjustments so the customer’s expectations are being fulfilled. 

Connectivity: Consumers need devices that are fast (real-time), easy to use and easily accessible. Time is a precious commodity and customers expect the experience to be effortless and seamless on all digital channels (mobile, tablets, watches, etc.). The consumer demand for faster connectivity is increasing, and if you don’t meet their expectations, consumers will move on to another brand who will. 

Be Human: 64% of consumers expect companies to respond and interact with them in real-time (Gartner). Consumers also say they are likely to move to another brand if they’re treated like a number instead of an individual. Therefore, it’s essential to be transparent and have human interaction with the customer.oooo

Convenience: 75% of customers say self-service is a convenient way to address their customer service issues (Clarabridge). Even more convenient, 81% of Millennials and 66% of adults overall have a more favorable view of a brand or organization if their customer service portal is mobile-responsive (Microsoft).

There’s much to be gained from leveraging the Internet of Things (IoT) and connected devices in the business world. The Future is Electric!