A-Commerce is a way we can solve a lot of this. It’s kinda new and there is disagreement on what exactly a-commerce is. There is a lot you can learn from a-commerce regardless of how you define it.
Let’s start with “automated-commerce”, which is the currently-accepted meaning within the industry. Amazon calls this “subscriptions”.
Quick story: I’m addicted to Monster Energy Drinks. When I need my Monster Fix, I need it now, and I can’t jump in the car and go to the local convenience store. Whenever I order a case on Amazon it takes 2 weeks to arrive (why is that?). So I need to expend a lot of mental energy determining when I need to reorder so I don’t run out. Or, I can use an Amazon Subscription and put it on auto-pilot. I can automatically have a case delivered on whatever schedule I want. I get a 5% discount on every order and 20% off the first order.
Net effect: After being a subscriber for a year I have about 3 cases of Monster in the cupboard. I guess I consume less than I thought I do. But I’m not going to alter the delivery frequencies because I know it’s going to take me an hour to figure out where that option is on the Amazon website. I’d rather pay for a product that I’m overstocked in, just to avoid dealing with what might be another bad user experience. And with Covid’s effect on supply chains, I may be glad I have some extra on hand. All of this works in the favor of the business.
That’s a-commerce. Automation
Back to my favorite pizza shop. One day during the pandemic I noticed my pizza shop released Version 2.0 of their website, which included an option to “subscribe” to my pizza. I can set a recurring schedule for pizza. So Wednesday has become Pizza Night and at 7:30 I know I’ll be having delicious pizza without any additional work to do. Do you know how many times I’ve forgotten about my “pizza automation”? Too many times. But that’s a good thing. It gives me a midnight snack without even thinking.
Automation is solving consumers’ desires for speed and reduced human contact.
A-Commerce is also:
These are all things that I can improve with an better algorithm and possibly some additional data.
A-commerce is still nacent, but forward-thinking companies are carefully watching the trends. All of these a-commerce trends require more data and a different approach to analytics. Traditionally, data projects were risky, with blown deadlines and budgets. This risk has been mitigated in recent years using better technologies that can be deployed in an agile fashion without any up-front capital expense. We do a lot of these projects and I can assure you that simple processes like integrating your SCM data with your Salesforce data can be done in just a few days instead of a few months. The tools are that much better and easier to use. The ancillary benefit is your marketing team can actually do a-commerce initiatives instead of massaging data in Excel.
Are you convinced that your company is ready for the a-commerce era?
Most marketing departments are taking steps to become more data-driven, but there’s a lot of work to do. Most data-savvy marketers are still doing analytics using carefully-curated Excel data. We can do better. We can automate these processes.
I am a Microsoft Technology Center (MTC) Architect focused on data solutions. The MTCs are a free service and we strive to be Trusted Advisors for our customers. Others have Know-How, we have Know-What. We want to understand your business problems before rushing to solutions. We also know that technology alone cannot solve these problems without smart people and modern processes. We offer services ranging from human-centered Design Thinking Workshops to hackathons.
Listen, we aren’t a-commerce experts but we are great enablers. Within a few days we can build a rapid prototype and show you the Art of the Possible. Just bring us a thorny problem that we can help you solve. We’ll show you what it takes to start an a-commerce initiative and we’ll help you solve data problems in days that would’ve taken months just a few years ago.
Does that sound compelling? Contact me on LinkedIn and we’ll get you started on your a-commerce journey.
Are you convinced your data or cloud project will be a success?
Most companies aren’t. I have lots of experience with these projects. I speak at conferences, host hackathon events, and am a prolific open source contributor. I love helping companies with Data problems. If that sounds like someone you can trust, contact me.
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Dave Wentzel CONTENT
data science Digital Transformation