Smart thinking: Smart watches and speakers will be the next retail battleground, says Fastlane

Smart watches and speakers will be the next
retail battleground, says Fastlane International

Apple Watch sales doubled last year, and smart speakers such as Amazon Echo will be a £7 billion (€8.3 billion) market within five years. But are consumers and retailers ready for the revolution in shopping habits they will bring, asks e-commerce provider Fastlane International.

Sales of smart watches such as the Apple Watch, and smart speakers such as Amazon Echo and Google Home, are booming. Household ownership of smart watches rose from 3% in 2015 to 12% in 2016; and Google Home’s launch in the UK last month fuelled a market expected to grow to £7 billion globally by 2022. It’s time for everyone to think smart, says home delivery expert Fastlane International.

Fastlane’s head of Consumer Research, David Jinks MILT, warns smart devices will transform shopping in just a few years – and retailers will have to move smartly to keep up with changing consumer habits: ‘The Apple Watch is already a boon to lazy shoppers like myself. Ocado and Just Eat apps are accessible all the time; and make it easy to book home deliveries on the go.’

David Jinks

But it’s not only pure-play online retailers who benefit from the new tech. Says David: ‘If it’s a local shop I’m after, clever tools like Find Near Me are great for hunting down nearby stores. And look out for Watch List; you check off the items on your list as you go, and the App even re-orders the list to follow the layout of your local supermarket next time!’

But David warns this is another reason to be concerned for the future of the High Street. ‘Online specialists and larger retailers are going to hoover up sales from stores that don’t have Apps or appear on third party ones. And next generation Apps will really have the smarts. Based on location and history, they will be able to tell an in-store customer they are passing a product they need, or a sales promotion they will be particularly interested in.’

Meanwhile Voice shopping has made smart speakers indispensable. Echo users are already well-used to asking Alexa to ‘order dog food’,etc, through Amazon Prime. This is obviously good news for Amazon but bad news for other sellers. But David points out that third party stores can literally upskill to ensure they don’t miss out.

‘Companies like Just Eat have created app-like “Skills” for the Echo to re-order takeaways. ShopSavvy even tells shoppers if a particular product is on sale at a particular store. That means if Echo users ever leave their couch again; they at least won’t have a wasted journey!’

And even Fastlane’s own partner services are in on the act. Hermes’ Skill for Alexa enables you to track a parcel easily from your arm chair; as does DPD’s new skill (launched this week in Germany) which also alerts you to the 60-minute delivery window.

David concluded: ‘Consumers and retailers are already buying, selling and shipping with these new technologies. But many retailers haven’t even produced responsive sites that work with mobile phones. Smart tech could hit many retailers where it really smarts… their bottom line.’

Comment on this article below or via Twitter: @IoTNow_ OR @jcIoTnow

RECENT ARTICLES

SpotLite360 IOT Solutions expands contract with KORcannabis

Posted on: November 28, 2022

SpotLite360 IOT Solutions an emerging supply chain technology solutions company, announces a contract to provide design services, equipment and technology for KORcannabis, a large indoor cannabis cultivation and environmental control operation.

Read more

DHLink, SHOPLINE Logistics partner to develop cross-border logistics globally

Posted on: November 28, 2022

Beijing, China – DHLink, the smart logistics arm of DHGATE Group, officially announced its cooperation with SHOPLINE Logistics, an independent logistics advisors of JOYY Group. By fully leveraging the advantages of direct mail channels, warehousing, and freight transportation on both sides, the collaboration will simplify the logistics process, eliminate connection problems, and enhance transport efficiency. The shortcomings

Read more
FEATURED IoT STORIES

The IoT Adoption Boom – Everything You Need to Know

Posted on: September 28, 2022

In an age when we seem to go through technology boom after technology boom, it’s hard to imagine one sticking out. However, IoT adoption, or the Internet of Things adoption, is leading the charge to dominate the next decade’s discussion around business IT. Below, we’ll discuss the current boom, what’s driving it, where it’s going,

Read more

9 IoT applications that will change everything

Posted on: September 1, 2021

Whether you are a future-minded CEO, tech-driven CEO or IT leader, you’ve come across the term IoT before. It’s often used alongside superlatives regarding how it will revolutionize the way you work, play, and live. But is it just another buzzword, or is it the as-promised technological holy grail? The truth is that Internet of

Read more

Which IoT Platform 2021? IoT Now Enterprise Buyers’ Guide

Posted on: August 30, 2021

There are several different parts in a complete IoT solution, all of which must work together to get the result needed, write IoT Now Enterprise Buyers’ Guide – Which IoT Platform 2021? authors Robin Duke-Woolley, the CEO and Bill Ingle, a senior analyst, at Beecham Research. Figure 1 shows these parts and, although not all

Read more

CAT-M1 vs NB-IoT – examining the real differences

Posted on: June 21, 2021

As industry players look to provide the next generation of IoT connectivity, two different standards have emerged under release 13 of 3GPP – CAT-M1 and NB-IoT.

Read more

IoT and home automation: What does the future hold?

Posted on: June 10, 2020

Once a dream, home automation using iot is slowly but steadily becoming a part of daily lives around the world. In fact, it is believed that the global market for smart home automation will reach $40 billion by 2020.

Read more

5 challenges still facing the Internet of Things

Posted on: June 3, 2020

The Internet of Things (IoT) has quickly become a huge part of how people live, communicate and do business. All around the world, web-enabled devices are turning our world into a more switched-on place to live.

Read more

What is IoT?

Posted on: July 7, 2019

What is IoT Data as a new oil IoT connectivity What is IoT video So what’s IoT? The phrase ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) is officially everywhere. It constantly shows up in my Google news feed, the weekend tech supplements are waxing lyrical about it and the volume of marketing emails I receive advertising ‘smart, connected

Read more