Let me ask you a question. When you want to buy something, what are the first steps you take? You “google” your product. You ask your friends. Or you visit the website where you think they’ll probably have. Right? This creates a standard for your searching pattern. If you are predictive in your search pattern, big companies can use this in their advantage, especially if you use Google for everything. Google’s entire business model runs because of this.
Since the latest generation “Z” is used to use the Internet all the time, you see signs as online shopping is growing tremendously. E-commerce is thereby becoming more and more important. Companies as Amazon and Alibaba are now growing every day. Due the economies of scale and higher efficiency, they manage to keep their costs low and therefore sell items at low prices as possible.
The E-commerce business also relies on the reviews consumers place. Other people’s experience also does matter. Thus, consumers are connected in a social level.
Big platforms, such as Google, are making advantage of their information power. Google sees an opportunity, by launching Google Shopping, in helping webshops selling items through their platform. Instead of browsing through various websites as a consumer, checking for the cheapest items, hoping for the website to be reliable; Google takes all those concerns away by making it more convenient for the future shopper.
The same goes for Facebook. Facebook isn’t all about social media anymore. They implemented Facebook Shopping (helping webshops) into their website and you can purchase the items with your Facebook credits. That’s right; Facebook also has a paying system. The new sunglasses you asked your friends with a Facebook update, is now advertised through Facebook and you can pay for it, again with your Facebook account.
You can easily stick to less websites since business models from various platforms are expanding. What’s next: YouTube will take over television and start streaming everything? This is already happening over time.
Normally, I think a company should stick to one secure business model by doing where they are good at. Somehow, Google and Facebook found their way in doing this in a good way.
Are they loosing their focus? Or is this the way they can take over people’s mind and let them use their platform for almost everything? What does this mean for small companies if these big players take over a large market share and are active in several markets? Is it a battle between the giants such as Facebook and Google?
Not that I’m concerned, but I’m pretty curious about this. What I can give you as a tip is to use your common sense. Don’t forget about other players than Facebook and Google in the E-commerce world.
What do you think?
How often do you stand still for a red light, while you are in a hurry? Waiting in those traffic jams when you’re heading to work are becoming annoying every day. Not finding any parking space close to your favourite restaurant where you have a reservation in just five minutes. And since the world’s urban population is expanding, these problems can become even worse.
Fear no more! With the upcoming technologies and smart devices, it becomes easier to save your time in a precise way. This blog is about the upcoming trend of cities worldwide are becoming smarter!
According to the Guardian, cities such as Amsterdam, Barcelona and Manchester are getting. Smart cities are cities that are you using technology on a useful manner by developing techniques of combining people, data and IT processes all together. By building sensors, cameras and using several other devices, cities create a huge amount of measurable big data. This big data helps a city to make it more safe, accessible, pleasant or more green simply by analysing it.
Second, municipalities can also make use of their own data by knowing its citizens: where they live, their work life, when they do groceries, et cetera. This helps the city to plan their next move for building a new shopping mall for instance.
Also, more and more devices are connected to the Internet. All these devices are collecting data with their sensors and monitoring every move. Imagine if all these devices are uploading valuable information to the Internet and find a way to communicate with each other in a network. And this network is connected to various platforms or cloud-based services. This so called collaborating from smart devices is called the Internet of things.
Example. Imagine your phone knows that you have an appointment within an hour. Normally, you think that it will you take you twenty minutes to get there. What you don’t know is that there is a car accident in your planned route. Your phone can suggest a new route and tell you at what exact time you have to leave from the location you are at. If more people work this way, municipalities have the control over traffic jams in their city and people can easily be alerted in time. Local police can schedule their surveillance route more efficient.
Due this change in technology, cities can predict or respond quickly to what is happening in a city. Managing these data flows (big data) helps them to regulate air pollution, create more safety for their citizens or manage traffic for example. This is spread out in smart city segments such as energy, transportation healthcare, building, infrastructure and governance. By doing this, cities can improve the quality of life for their citizens.
Using all this data, gives companies an opportunity in this market. Think about from analysing and securing this data. This data creates a lot of potential. According to an article in the Forbes written by Sarwant Singh, two researched found out that this combined market has a potential worth $1,5 trillion worldwide. Smart cities can take different roles in these engagements:
What do you think? Does the future seem so bright? Are you afraid like you’re always been watched? How about the security issues with all this sensitive information?
Let me know what you think…
Have you ever bought a product from IKEA and wondered why you bought it. Or worse, it doesn’t meet your expectation at all. The couch you really wanted is either too big, too ugly or it doesn’t totally match your newly bought curtains. Fear no more! While technology is changing every day, IKEA has found a way to be at your service and fix the above mentioned problem. This blog elaborates on a new technology which will become more mature in the near future: Augmented Reality.
As new disruptive technology, we took Microsoft’s Hololens an augmented reality (AR) enabling device and analyzed how it fits within the business model of the world’s largest furniture and home appliances retailer: IKEA. The Hololens is a new Head Mounted Display which enables its users to augment new objects in the real world. For example, customers can virtually try out whether an IKEA product will fit in their room and which color or customization fits their interior and preferences the best. With augmented reality, you see how the objects would look like in the real world instead of a virtual world.
When Augmented Reality is implemented in IKEA’s current business model, it is expected that it will allow for increased sales through offline and online channels, improved customer experience, and customer support. In addition, IKEA can realise cost reductions due to reduced showroom space, lower prototyping costs, and speed up the design processes.
… improved customer experience, and customer support…
The use of Augmented Reality technology and the Hololens fits very well within IKEA’s current business model as well in its current information system strategy. In general, IKEA is perceived as a modern and innovative company, but they have currently made insufficient effort in the move to e-commerce. Most of the technology as well as information systems which are crucial to successfully implement AR technology are already present within the company, giving them a competitive advantage for the future of online retailing. The information systems in place are their webshop, 3D models of its products, 3D building tools and a basic mobile Augmented Reality application for phones and tablets.
Additionally, IKEA has always been focussed at lowering costs in all aspects of the business, as their price/quality attracts the major part of its customers. The Hololens will provide opportunities to further push costs down in varios aspects of the business, making the company more profitable.
.. opportunities to further push costs down…
Implementation of the Hololens is possible without too much alteration of the current structure and systems: it is financially, technically, legally and operationally feasible. However, it will still be a future challenge for IKEA to meet the demands generated by remote shopping over mobile applications and the Internet. But in the end, implementing and using the Hololens will provide IKEA as well as its customers with lots of benefits.
As a team, we can’t wait for this implementation. We hope you are thrilled too…
H. Gouiza – 322226
K.H. Schaap – 358985
G.S.G.M. de Jong – 357570
T.R. Jordan – 400986
J.S. Langbroek – 336822