We live in an era in which, as customers, we expect companies to understand our wants and needs and provide us with better experiences. For this reason, personalization has become a key element in business strategies. It is through personalization that they can provide us with a differentiated offer of products and services, with the aim of attracting us and maintaining our loyalty.
When an organization designs a strategy based on personalization, the most important thing is to collect relevant data from customers, such as their preferences, habits and expectations, in order to learn how to meet their needs. This collection is done through all kinds of Internet-connected devices, from smartwatches and smartphones to speakers, home appliances and even medical devices and smart city systems. The data that all these devices collect provides valuable information about users, and this is what has paved the way for a new concept, called the Internet of Behavior (IoB).
The IoB, an extension of the Internet of Things (IoT), connects devices that were not traditionally connected, such as screens or refrigerators, to the Internet and to each other: your smart watch with your cell phone and with the lighting system in your home, for example. It is precisely this interconnection of devices that provides a large amount of data and extremely valuable knowledge about us: the information we seek, how we behave, our interests and preferences, etc. Thanks to IoT and IoB, it is possible to track, collect, combine and interpret massive data generated through the behavior of individuals and their online activities, including social networks and commercial transactions, at the individual level.
More personalized customer experiences
Retail is already using IoT, IoB and edge computing developments to drive many of its initiatives. One example is the «buy online and pick up in store» scheme, whereby we can pick up an order without getting out of the car. How does this work? A smart camera with computer vision applications automatically identifies us from data such as the license plate and the make and color of the vehicle. This speeds up waiting times, increasing the number of customers that can be served, which is very useful, especially at peak times.
Installed inside stores, these same cameras could analyze which products we prefer and, by recognizing us (through patterns of colors and shapes), «alert» a digital sign of our arrival, to present us with advertisements and offers that are relevant to us. Can you imagine, as you walk through your favorite supermarket, digital signs making offers that make particular sense to you?
Solutions like these enrich the customer experience and drive loyalty by creating a fully personalized journey. Thanks to IoB and IoT, smart cars can recognize the need for a vehicle to be serviced, and then initiate a process that includes alerting the driver via the driving screen, while alerting the dealership that one of their customers’ cars requires an appointment, so that the dealership sends a notification directly to the driver’s cell phone about availability. For him, all he has to do is click on the day and time of his choice.
Best of all, there are multiple examples like these because more and more industries are leveraging new technologies to enable this new generation of services. Airlines are creating personalized omnichannel experiences by using artificial intelligence to link customer data (gathered online) with the experience they receive in airport lounges. Through facial recognition, they can prepare their customer service staff with the information they need to serve travelers by greeting them by name, offering them their favorite drink and providing recommendations based on their tastes, based on information from previous visits. This same dynamic can be taken to other environments, such as hotels or hospitals, to optimize the user experience.
The IoB also helps insurers. With the information that a connected vehicle provides (such as braking data, acceleration, miles driven and other factors), insurance companies can improve their decision making in terms of policy generation and coverage, as well as drive changes focused on making drivers and their passengers safer on the roads and highways.
Another example is in crowded events, such as concerts or soccer games, which have the particularity that in the intermission their restrooms and snack stations are filled with people. Using sensors and cameras, it is possible to track footfall and occupancy levels, and display approximate waiting times, thus benefiting both the customer experience and the sale of snacks and beverages.
Data has been important to businesses since the dawn of the Internet, but as you can see it is now much more so. That’s why the IoB is one of the top technology trends for the years to come, ensuring that organizations continue to grow in the context of a new post-pandemic reality and changing economic environments.
The heart of IoB is to understand all kinds of behaviors to improve the customer/user experience, and help companies make more informed decisions and improve the quality of their services.