Omnichannel, Millennials, and Drones...Oh my!
By Ruben Martin, Co-Founder & CEO, Quivers.
Have you ever done an online search for eCommerce? If not, here’s what you will find: articles on omnichannel, video, and blog shopping experiences posted by millennials, drone delivering packages, and more IoT (Internet of Things) information than you’d ever need. In the mid-to-late 2000’s, CRMs and sales systems were the primary SaaS focus. However, now it is the ever-changing eCommerce space.
So why is eCommerce such a major trend?
In 2017, the most talked about retailer news came from Amazon and Walmart. These retailers are taking large steps towards conquering the e-tailer space, from purchasing brick-and-mortar chains to offering delivery within 60 minutes with the help of advanced robotics. These giants have significant infrastructure in-place to support their growth plans which make it easier for products to get into the hands of the consumer.
While this is exciting news for these giant retailers, where does it leave everyone else wanting to sell online while being able to compete in this constantly changing technology environment?
I was having lunch with my good friend and mentor, James Moody, CEO of Sendle, an Australian SaaS company changing the face of small business shipping. As I was talking with James about today’s advancing technology and businesses making the right decisions to not only keep-up, but lead with innovation so consumers remember; he asked, “Have you ever heard of Raymond Loewy?” Loewy was known as the Father of Industrial Design. He designed tractors, merchandise racks, ovens, and vacuum cleaners. He even worked on the color scheme for the United States’ Air Force One plane. Needless to say, he was a man with an eye for design. When asked how he reached success across such different industries, he said he followed a principal called MAYA, which stands for most advanced yet acceptable. To summarize, this principal meant he pushed the envelope of design but not too far where you lose the attention of an audience.
Businesses primarily want a solution to easily set up an online store-front and abilities to make product changes with the smallest amount of time wasted
Think about it in this way, what if Tesla had come out with a three-wheeler car as their first model instead of a car that looks relatively similar to other cars. Tesla made their products standout by creating a vehicle that is electric based on a traditional car design. In doing so, they took a large step towards their vision while not scaring away consumers with a radical new design.
While it may be easy to get lost in the mix of all new technology trends, there are many different ways to engage consumers without making it too complicated to the point where you can’t pick a direction. Sure, you could be a small retailer in Oklahoma with big dreams to deliver your homemade ice cream by drone, but does it add significant value and will it be too complex of a concept for your consumers?
Let’s start with the basics…
For most businesses, the major issues of selling online are having an interface to ensure easy purchases, fraud-protection, and mobile compatibility. Businesses primarily want a solution to easily setup an online store-front and abilities to make product changes with the smallest amount of time wasted. From a consumer’s perspective, they want the least amount of clicks from thinking of a product to having it at their doorstep, while knowing their journey is secure and the product is authentic. This means products need to be easy to find and on a credible website. Formerly, e-tailers have played the biggest role in eCommerce, but now SaaS technology allows brands to extend their reach while supporting their retail channels to sell directly to consumers.
Once the basics are in place, you can start looking at connecting eCommerce with other consumer channels. With increased competition online for similar products, consumers are focused on how they want to shop, and not catering to business’ sites. Though omnichannel and personalization are terms that have been overused, their concepts are relevant. A consumer may want to start their buying journey by first looking at a product review, then in-store, then online to make the purchase. They may select a capability such as pick-up in-store, ship-to-store, or ship-to-home. Ensuring that the consumer’s desires are known, the various channels are synchronized, and the consumer gets a personalized experience, which will hopefully result in turning a one-time purchase into returning business.With those elements in place, the concept of MAYA is at the forefront; having created an innovative shopping experience using SaaS, yet not going too far to lose a majority of your consumers. What does the future hold? It may look something like including possibilities of accepting crypto-currencies (i.e. Bitcoin) as payment, drone shipments, and driverless truck deliveries. Taking personalization to the next-level with consumer buying decisions and habits based on intent is certainly relevant. The key to offering any successful SaaS solution is to truly understand consumers with ultimately offering an amazing experience!