Are we ready for the Smart Fridge?
Today’s retail economy is focused on acquisition and retention costs. Getting into people’s homes and turning them into long-term brand buyers is the goal, and appliance makers control an untapped resource — the Internet of Things (IoT) — that can effectively extend a brand or retailer’s supply chain visibility into the home. How will the IoT manifest itself in the home? For many consumer brands and retailers, there’s always been one door that holds the key to the $65 billion a month American households spend on food: the refrigerator door.
For example, at this year’s CES, Samsung introduced a refrigerator touted as truly “smart,” with connected cameras inside the fridge, an ability to run Pandora with built-in speakers and even grocery shopping through Amazon’s Alexa or a new, dedicated app called Groceries by MasterCard.
By building smart fridges that can track consumption, deliver offers and manage purchasing and replenishment, manufacturers can extract subsidies from companies in order to tap into data and the revenue stream of each consumer, then provide them with a free refrigerator. With a connected fridge, advertisers will pay to promote products to the consumer on the refrigerator’s screen, who will then use a related subscription-based service to buy the products. What makes promotion like this appealing to advertisers is that it’s data-driven, personalised and proactive.
Nothing in this life is free, so how will advertisers and retailers make back the cost of subsidising these “free” fridges? By tapping in to years of food purchases via the fridge. There will have to be some manner of contract (just like with cell phone carriers) to ensure users behave as intended and buy what the fridge recommends or buy goods from a certain store.
Are we ready to share the details of every late-night snack, or will the fridge be the line that we draw when it comes to sharing our private information with commercial organisations?
Excerpt from article on TechCrunch