For generations, if you wanted to sell a product, you had one place to do it: a brick-and-mortar store. That has all changed in the last several decades, with the rise of online retail giants like Amazon and technology like smartphones, tablets, and cloud-based digital assistants. Customers now expect companies to provide a connected commerce experience.
What Is Connected Commerce?
Connected commerce is an integrated shopping experience that allows transactions to occur anytime, anywhere, and on any device. You buy a shirt in-store, a receipt pops up on your phone, and a coupon for 25 percent off matching pants waits in your inbox. Three-quarters of consumers are likely to support a business that knows who they are and what they want.
These purchases are possible not just on a smartphone, but on watches, TVs, and other connected gadgets. Sometimes you don’t even need a gadget. Amazon’s Go store in Seattle uses sensors and cameras to track what you take off the shelves, then charges your card after you leave.
But these gadgets are only part of the story. Now, more than ever, a delightful experience is an integral part of successful connected commerce—78 percent of consumers expect personal service when they shop. They’re getting it at outlets like Nordstrom, which offers wine and manicures alongside personalized sales assistance.
And it’s not just for retailers. Financial institutions are slowly making their way onto the field. International software and services company Diebold Nixdorf imagines a world where an instantly approved bank loan accompanies an email discount on a big-ticket item, making the path to purchase that much clearer.
So what can your company do with connected commerce?
Meet (and Exceed) Expectations
When your commerce is connected, you can grow your business by offering your audience and employees the ultimate omnichannel experience. Not only can customers buy anytime and anywhere, but your sales and inventory teams have similar flexibility to sell and fulfill whenever needed. Small businesses can accept any form of payment, be it in-person or on the go.
Get Real-Time Data
When your sales, inventory, and accounting systems all talk to each other, you have a powerful tool at your disposal: actionable data. Not only can you provide remarkable customer service in the moment that it’s needed, but you also now have numbers that let you anticipate when and how to offer it in the future.
Future-Proof Your Business
Connected commerce gives your company the ability to react in real time to changes in consumer behavior and wider trends in the marketplace. Every real-world customer interaction, online review, or clickthrough stat tells a piece of a larger story that can indicate the direction in which your customers want you to go.
At some point, the way you do business will likely need to change, as technology and consumer preferences evolve. Rather than fear it, embrace and even plan for it. Assume that your product or service will be outdated in a decade and set about creating a strategy to meet the future with open arms. Ask your audience what they like about you and what they don’t like. Take that feedback to heart and incorporate it into your daily operations and your five-, 10-, or 20-year plans.
Modernize in Minutes
All the data in the world won’t do a thing without the right tools to collect, analyze, and act on it. The Poynt HQ app gives merchants the latest transaction log, buyer information, insights, and trends that allow you to find and reward your most loyal patrons, make sure you have what they need in stock, and craft promotions to bring in new customers.
Poynt can help delight your loyal customers (and inspire new ones), provide insights that allow you to grow your business, and fulfill the promise of connected commerce. Let us help modernize your company in a matter of minutes.