It’s 2018 and everything is automated. But if you’re sitting in front of your computer surrounded by other smart devices, chances are you already know this.
This age of automation has brought new possibilities, and challenges, for businesses. Small businesses are trying to keep up with industry behemoths and, to some extent, automation has somewhat leveled the playing field.
But enabling customers to order items from your website is simply not enough anymore.
Today’s consumer is drastically different from 10 years ago, and market analysts have noticed.
As lifestyles get busier, people are trying to spend as little time as possible actually shopping for the necessary things in life.
Making time-consuming purchasing decisions, wasting time in crowded malls or finding out you missed out on a useful deal after a shopping spree are all situations consumers are growing more and more impatient with.
A-commerce is a term coined last year by Trendwatching, a global market research firm. However, the idea, in practice, has been around for much longer. Prior to that, many businesses were already analysing their customers’ behaviour and using this information for personalized marketing. It often happened through blog posts, personal emails, and even tailored landing pages.
Now, they’re taking things a step further.
With more access to basic goods and services, people are now investing in worthwhile experiences. Time is becoming a lot more valuable than money in this hyper-connected world.
Convenience is key. There’s no longer an excuse small businesses can give for not making the consumer experience as easy as possible.
The question is no longer whether you’re convenient but rather, how convenient you can be.
Automated commerce is, essentially, what you make it. This year, many businesses are implementing advanced algorithms and subscription-based shopping.
Amazon was one of the trailblazers in this area with Amazon Dash. In 2015, the service which enabled customers to order products with a push of a small button on a plastic device was met with skepticism. But, as the consumer became lazier, Amazon Dash took off and was, according to Amazon, a success.
A-Commerce For Everyone
Today, Amazon Prime enables subscribers to set up repeat deliveries to save them time from going grocery shopping. Before you mention that your product may not be needed enough times for a subscription, you should note that there are several niche subscriptions that have found a willing market.
Holstee is a subscription service which send customers actionable guides and inspiring art every week. Boxycharm sends their subscribers a random selection of makeup several times a year. Recently, the Canadian retailer, Frank and Oak, launched its clothing subscription business. Customers fill out a survey on their fashion preferences and, every month, receive clothing selected just for them.
If your business is too small to launch its own subscription service, consider reaching out to an external service to distribute your products.
Even if you don’t think subscriptions are right for your SMB, you still need to analyse your customers’ behaviour so they will trust you with their future choices.
Invest in setting up a smart algorithm to predict consumer activity. With luck, it will allow you to spend less on general marketing to retain customers and the convenience of your website will attract new ones.
People today want a convenient, effortless shopping experience. Step up to the plate and sign up for an account today.