Customer loyalty is critical to any successful business strategy in today’s digital age. With emerging technologies such as the internet of things (IoT), companies are now leveraging a new approach called the internet of behavior (IoB) to gain deeper insights into their customers’ behavior and preferences.
What is IoB?
The internet of behavior exists because of the internet of things. IoT is the interconnection of physical digital objects that gather and exchange information over the internet. On the other hand, IoB makes sense of the collected data from various sources, including wearable devices, digital household devices, human online activity, and social media.
The acronym internet of behavior (IoB) was coined by Gartner, a tech research firm, as identified among the top 10 trends in their strategic technology report for 2021. However, the concept of using data to influence customer behavior was developed in 2012 by Göte Nyman, a psychology professor at the University of Helsinki, long before the internet of things took hold.
Gartner defines IoB as an extension of the internet of things, focusing on capturing, processing, and analyzing the “digital dust” of people’s daily lives.
Simply put, IoB interconnects IoT, consumer psychology, and data analytics. The data is analyzed in terms of behavioral psychology to capture patterns that marketing and sales teams can use to influence customer behavior.
How IoB can Influence Customer Loyalty
Aside from products and services, customer experience has become a significant factor in business success. By understanding customer behavior, businesses can leverage IoB data to influence customer loyalty in various ways.
Personalization has the power to transform customer experience. This is reflected in a survey that revealed 76 percent of Americans are more likely to complete a purchase because of a personalized experience.
To take advantage of IoB, companies study insights extracted from collected data and use it to decipher customer behavior; that is, their practices, preferences, habits, needs, wants, and more. The company can then leverage this data to offer personalized product recommendations, such as insurance premiums, saving plans, travel destinations, etc.
For example, an insurance company can have users install apps on their phones that collect data on distance traveled, car speed, etc., and optimize their car’s premium based on driving behavior.
Timely Improvement of Products and Customer Services
IoB also makes studying how customers interact with specific services or products easy. This saves companies from time-consuming surveys that are used to determine consumer preferences. The collected data is analyzed to identify pain points and issues of concern. The company can then address the issues before they become significant problems, such as by improving products and services. This is an excellent way to build trust and confidence in a brand, leading to customer retention.
Since companies can access customer preferences, recent activities, likes, dislikes, and location data, they can send real-time notifications to customers about discounts and new offers in stores nearby. They also can track loyal customers and offer them rewards. This kind of retargeting will make customers feel like the business values them and caters to their interests.
Develop a Tailored Marketing Strategy
Insights from IoB data can help tailor marketing strategies to individual customers. For instance, a retail store can offer products or services based on the mood, age, or gender of a customer; thereby providing a satisfying experience that will lead to a stronger emotional connection with the brand.
Key Challenges that must be Addressed for the Success of IoB
Despite the opportunities IoB offers, companies must be aware of some key challenges to fully realize its benefits.
- Privacy Concerns – Although personalization will make consumer lives easier, there is a concern about privacy. Companies must implement strong cybersecurity policies and measures to ensure that customer information is used only for that which a customer has given consent.
- Convincing Users to Share Personal Data – People might not be comfortable sharing their personal data.
- Laws and Regulations – Strict regulations around collecting and using personal data, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), require companies to comply in order to avoid fines and legal issues.
- Cybersecurity – As reliance on technology rises, so do cyberattacks. Cybercriminals may access sensitive data on consumer behavior, making consumers susceptible to online scamming and identity theft, among other threats.
Leveraging IoB can provide businesses with a competitive edge and drive revenue growth. Companies seeking continuous success should consider placing IoB at the center of business innovation to create personalized customer experiences. At the same time, they must also examine any challenges that might reduce the effectiveness of IoB.