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Automatic Replenishment of Home Supplies: The Wave of the Future

February 9, 2017         By: Lucy Maher

Who hasn’t gone to do a load of laundry only to find an empty supply of detergent? Or opened the cabinet for a garbage bag and found that someone else used the last one?

If you have the right appliances, these situations could become a thing of the past.

“We are at the beginning of every appliance becoming ‘connected[1],'” says Christian Renaud, Research Director, 451 Research’s Internet of Things. “Right now, we are seeing early examples of pre-authorized commerce among well-known retailers in the manufacturing industry that automatically re-orders refills based on customer usage. For customers that opt-in to data sharing and consent to advertising, brands can now perform analytics on product end usage by each customer to inform product development and to perform targeted marketing of adjacent relevant products.”

While these types of appliances and devices are in their nascent stages, the ability to re-order products automatically through a subscription model has proven to be a popular one. Last year, e-commerce sales of consumer-packaged goods (CPG) grew 42% year over year[2], according to 1010 data.

“It’s important for retailers to devise a strategy on how they’ll tackle connected devices – and how they can make their customer’s lives easier by pairing their company products with payment technology,” said Soumya Chakrabarty, Director, Research & Development for Discover Global Network. “The industry is evolving quickly, and with focus, retailers can remain competitive with the right tools in place to adopt, and adopt quickly.”

How It Works

Let’s take a water filter as an example. A customer purchases a new water pitcher that has the ability to track usage and automatically orders replacement filters when needed through a designated ordering supplier. The customer “activates” the pitcher through a Wi-Fi connected device such as a smartphone, tablet, or computer, and sets up an account on the retailer’s website, checking the box for automated deliveries. When it’s time, the pitcher sends a notification through Wi-Fi to the supplier noting a new filter is almost due, and the supplier has one delivered.

One of the biggest benefits to a customer is the convenience of it all, and replacement based on consumption, rather than at pre-determined intervals.

“Retailers have the potential to create a far more ‘sticky’ and predictable relationship with the customer,” says Renaud, “and if the original manufacturer is involved, as they increasingly are, with customer opt-in to data sharing consent, they gain valuable insight into ‘sell-through’ use by end user customers of their products, rather than abstracted macro point-of-sale numbers from the retail channel.”

And while convenience can be an important factor for a customer, keeping their information safe during the payment process should also be top priority.

To begin accepting Discover® Global Network cards within any payments channel, simply contact your current acquirer, or find one from our list by visiting DiscoverNetwork.com. To let customers know that you accept their preferred method of payment online or in-store, simply log into the Discover Global Network Signage Portal and get free signage, from website/app acceptance marks to window decals, to point-of-sale terminal signage. To test your terminal to ensure Discover Global Network card acceptance, please visit the Test Your Terminal page on DiscoverNetwork.com.

This article was brought to you by Discover Global Network. For more insights into consumer trends and the world of payments, visit the Discover Global Network website.

The article and information provided herein are sponsored by Discover® Global Network for informational purposes only based on independent research and are not intended as a substitute for professional advice.

[1] 451 Research: Analyst Christian Renaud , 2017

[2] 1010DATA: “CPG Killed It in E-Commerce in 2015,” January 26, 2016