Local Commerce and the ‘Experience’ Economy
With smartphone penetration reaching 133.7 million consumers, a full 52.5% of the U.S. population, mobile is taking over the shopping experience. Whereas desktop computing relegated the internet to access points in our homes and workplaces, mobile adoption, and the explosion of internet connected devices, has brought the web to every moment in our local shopping experience. It’s with us on the train when we remember our toaster shorted that morning; in the store as we compare products; and back home years later when it breaks again.
Local search revenues, on the other hand, are skyrocketing, expected to increase annually 10% over the next five years. User-generated reviews and ratings have dramatically improved our ability to determine the quality of a businesses, altering, more than replicating, the consumer’s experience in the local marketplace.
Companies like Yext help coordinate the flow of content and information coming from local businesses, then automating distribution across the fragmented landscape of consumer-facing search and discovery services
A big part of the ease of online shopping is the seamless and personalized buying experience a digital platform affords. And a programmable buying experience also provides a wealth of information for businesses, allowing them to analyze, tailor, and upsell consumers in real-time based on previous purchase or recent activity.
the point-of-sale and CRM systems that help merchants customize the buying process, and the analytics services, which help business optimize their business.
Improvements in logistics software have opened new opportunities for technology companies to expand out-of-store fulfillment options for brick-and-mortar stores.
The availability of same-day delivery allows brick-and-mortar businesses to offer a viable, and vastly superior, alternative to the traditional e-commerce model, and even take back a share of sales that Amazon siphoned off over the past decade.
Evolutions in technology and consumer behavior in point-of-sale and smartphone adoption have spawned a growing set of next-generation loyalty and CRM companies capable of helping businesses add a degree of personalization and incentives that e-commerce companies use to grow their customer base and retain their best customers.
A Unified System
Services like Uber, which collapse search, buying, fulfillment and retention into a single integrated experience, demonstrate the potential of a programmable local commerce experience.