eCommerce Insiders

How the Internet of Things Will Make Online Ordering Easier

If you’ve ever worried about leaving an appliance on at home when you’re miles away, you aren’t alone.

In fact, Honeywell’s research found the anxiety so common, they came up with a nickname for it: “FOLO,” meaning “Fear of Leaving On.”

FOLO is driving the rapid growth of the connected home, where appliances and light bulbs are connected to a house’s Wi-Fi. These connected devices can then be controlled by an app on a smartphone or tablet. Called the Internet of Things (IoT), this trend has captured the attention of consumers and product manufacturers everywhere.

As IoT makes its way into the products families use every day, brands are learning new ways to use the technology to increase sales. One of those ways is through making it easy for customers to order products. Here are three ways IoT will make online ordering easier for consumers.

One-Click Ordering

Amazon demonstrated the potential of IoT-related ordering with its Dash button. Currently available by invitation only, customers get a button for each product they frequently order. Those buttons can be placed around the house, allowing family members to simply push it to ask that it be reordered. The administrator of the family account can then approve the order before Amazon finalizes it and ships the item.

As convenient as Amazon’s Dash buttons are, most families won’t want dozens of buttons around the house. Brands will likely work hard to find ways to make it as convenient as possible for families to order products like groceries and toiletries with one click without requiring a separate device for each item.

Interconnected Products

Wi-Fi connected products already have the ability to communicate with each other, often through Nest’s smart thermostat. As consumers connect items like light bulbs, slow cookers, toaster ovens, and refrigerators to the Internet, businesses will work hard to find apps that allow easy management of all of these devices.

Through one portal, families will someday be able to login and check on all appliances in one place. When a product malfunctions or needs new supplies, the system can alert homeowners and allow them to order directly from the app.

Product Repair

When a product breaks down, family members often scramble to find someone to service it. If an item is still under warranty, homeowners must search for a serial number and any other supporting documentation a manufacturer might need.

IoT could make one-click repair requests a part of every home. When an appliance breaks, a notification can be sent to that appliance’s owner, along with a possible diagnosis. At the customer’s request, a repair professional could be sent out to make repairs, with the part being sent ahead of the technician to avoid delays.

As IoT becomes more affordable, most families will find themselves living in smart homes. Businesses that find ways to monetize the technology will be the first to benefit from it. Amazon is leading the charge into IoT-based product ordering, but there’s plenty of room for innovation from eCommerce brands of all sizes.

What are your thoughts on the rising popularity of this “Internet of Things”? How do you anticipate it affecting your business? Discuss in the comments or on Twitter at #EcommerceInsiders.

Stephanie Faris is a freelance writer and novelist who spends her days putting off working on the next chapter. Six of her children’s books have been contracted by Simon & Schuster and two, 25 Roses and 30 Days of No Gossip, are currently available. Her freelance work has been featured on,,, xoJane, Dell’s TechPage One, and HTC’s Breaking Modern, among many others. Find her on her website or on Twitter.


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