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The Internet of Things: How It Will Change the Way You Shop

The Internet of Things: How It Will Change the Way You Shop

Knowledge@Wharton
Marketing

Whether the concept excites you or scares you, the Internet of Things has the potential to change the way people make choices and go about their daily lives.

The term refers to a new reality where everything from clothing to household appliances are interconnected and tech-enabled to send data back and forth. For example: A grocery store chain sends consumers some recipes based on the items they place in their carts; or an alarm clock turns on and begins warming up the car when someone hits the snooze button.

It’s the sector where “real change is going to happen” for retailers, according to Doug Straton, who heads the North American E-commerce Center of Excellence at Unilever. For a company like Unilever, which sells 400 brands across multiple categories of consumer goods, the question becomes: How do you react? Should the company build its strategy around certain devices or interfaces, partner with a company that manufactures those devices, or build and market devices of its own?

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