The Internet of Things (IoT): Shaping the Future of e-Commerce
In March 2015, Amazon unveiled to its selected Prime members a wi-fi connected Dash Button that could be attached to home appliances and allowed consumers to make online orders automatically by simply pushing the button. In April 2015, Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce giant, established "smart living" business unit, taking another step in deeply exploiting the Internet of Things (IoT) business opportunities. Internet of Things was defined as a worldwide information infrastructure in which physical and virtual objects were uniquely identified and connected over the internet. These inter-connected devices would generate and communicate big data dynamically, enhance operational efficiency and create new business opportunities for various industries. The e-commerce sector was no exception to the booming IoT development trend. The IoT would expand the scope and depth of e-commerce by linking people, smart devices and objects that were offline in the current e-commerce business model, generating unprecedented big data on product performance and customer behavior and experience, involving more communication and action, and ultimately shaping the future of e-commerce. How would the IoT change the current e-commerce model? What business transformations could companies undergo to integrate the IoT with existing e-commerce platforms and create new business models and competitive advantage?