June 03, 2020
If your brand deals with commerce, there are three things that—if you aren’t already—it would be good to start thinking about when it comes to your commerce offering.
1. Subscription Services
Perhaps we’re starting with an obvious one here, but you need to have a focus on supercharging your products with services and delivering experiences in new ways.
In another blog post we talked about the Dollar Shave Club and how they’ve managed to capture the razor market by owning the manufacturing process, removing the middleman and selling D2C via a subscription service. It’s a smart way to build a loyal following of customers and a great way to capture more customer data that will act as the starting point for you to start iterating on new product offerings. By removing the need to think, the customer is given a great and helpful experience that feels personalised and exclusive.
By delivering straight to customers’ doors, you not only remove the need for that person to go in store, you also remove the risk that they will be tempted by the competition that they see sitting on the shelf next to your product. Another great example here is Tesla which provides in-car features on a subscription-model basis. From heated seats to air conditioning, the ability to switch functionality on and off has pay offs for the consumers as well as the auto business. If you have the means, subscription services are the smart way to boost your product offerings, capture more customer data used to improve your long-term prospects, as well as securing a captive audience that can’t be tempted elsewhere.
2. Connected Services
It’s time to combine your products with services that improve the overall experience and strengthen brand sentiment. Your products may be great in their own right but could be so much better.
Audi announced recently that they wanted a vast share of profit to come from services in the coming years. Why? Because in the traditional auto dealership model, once the car has left the factory, it’s out of the manufacturer’s hands. It travels from manufacturer to the distributor to the dealership. Audi becomes far removed from the end customer, and that limits the data they can collect and innovate with. By developing in-car services, Audi has been able to pivot the business model; the car is no longer the only commodity, instead, the car becomes a digitally enabled touchpoint and the data becomes worth something too.
Partnerships with retailers or traffic bodies can be established where they charge for access to data points and consumers. Of course, there is a huge element of data privacy that will be considered here, but by owning the end transaction, they are owning new avenues of revenue as well as providing a much greater overall experience for the customer.
By coupling products with services, you can deliver a greater depth of interaction with your brand and make yourself indispensable to your consumers. Develop products that are connected to each other and that immerse your customers in an ecosystem that becomes second nature. By providing connected experiences and seamlessly integrating the physical and the digital worlds, you’re opening the gates to an even richer source of customer data insights and a strengthened end-customer relationship.
3. MACH (Microservices, API-First, Cloud Native, Headless) Technologies
MACH stands for Microservices, API-First, Cloud Native and Headless, and refers to collection of modern architectural principals used in creating ecommerce platforms. We’ve created a series of posts that will give you more insights into MACH technologies and whether or not they make sense for your business.
The Audi example above could only be made possible with a MACH approach. It wouldn’t make sense to build a monolithic web platform to try and achieve the same results; there are multiple services that need to play a part, and you need to be able to deliver a seamless experience across multiple touchpoints whilst protecting the customer experience at all times.
The ability to decouple the back-end and the front-end from each other is what makes the MACH approach so effective and responsive to changing customer behaviours, giving you the flexibility to innovate without risking long-term brand impact.
The commerce world is complex and ever-changing, and it’s important that you are making the right, and most relevant decisions for your individual business. Let's chat through the small changes you can make today to firm up your long-term offering?
The Valtech Commerce team works alongside some of the world’s best-known brands to deliver best-in-class commerce solutions to transform businesses for the long term. With 3500+ specialists in 45 offices across 16 countries, whatever you need to achieve, our teams are here to help you succeed.