Amazon Go stores where you can walk in, pick up the items you need and walk out without interacting with any human is a great example of what can be achieved by leveraging IoT. Customers purchasing tickets from a movie theater kiosk from their smart phones without touching the kiosk or customers ordering /paying for food from their tablets without talking to anyone are some of the potential applications of collaborative commerce.
So, what is Collaborative Commerce? Collaborative commerce happens when the consumer and the merchant are in communication with each other during an in-person shopping transaction for the entire life cycle of the experience. This may involve merchant presenting an offer, customer browsing the menu, ordering, paying and getting updates from merchant on the order fulfillment real time. This ability of having a real time communication between merchant and customer during in person shopping benefits both the merchant and customer. The merchant can understand the customer behavior better, provide targeted offers, gets an accurate picture of the demand and customers can benefit from finding out the best deals, avoid standing in lines and can pay from anywhere and using any pay instrument. The merchant may be an attended system where there is a human accepting order/payment from the customer or an unattended system where the merchant is a kiosk, vending machine or an ATM. A customer ordering and paying for food while entering a drive way is an example of attended system collaborative commerce while a customer purchasing a car wash in a automatic car wash bay is an example of unattended system collaborative commerce.
Let’s take a look at the basic architecture behind this exciting world of Collaborative commerce and how IoT plays a significant role. There are 5 basic architecture components which form the foundation of collaborative commerce platform