Last week I spoke about how Smarter Commerce and Analytics can revolutionise the way organisations price products and services for their customers, click here for my previous post. Smarter Commerce is just as beneficial to organisations when making decisions about “Place” – the second “P” in the Marketing Mix.
What is Place?
“Place” refers to all the activities required to get a product from the organisation to the end consumer. This includes distribution, sales channels, logistics and supply chain.
Historically, place is mostly dictated by the organisation. Where and how customers buy is limited to the channels the organisation has invested in. These channels generally suit how the organisation likes to operate and not how the customer operates. As a result, some channels are not utilised effectively or may be siloed from other channels. For example, the online store is treated like a separate entity from the in-store experience which is also treated like a separate entity from call centres, pop-up stores and so on.
Place and Smarter Commerce:
Smarter Commerce takes the “Place” element of the Marketing Mix and puts it in the hands of the customer, allowing the customer to decide the most relevant channel for their purchasing behaviour. Using the benefits of an omni-channel strategy, Smarter Commerce places the customer at the heart of any decisions around place. Smarter Commerce provides customers with the ability to buy anywhere at any time. This means that customers can buy through the channels that suit them, whether it is in-store, online, over the phone or through a mobile device. A superior customer experience should allow the customer the flexibility to view your products or services on their desktop, review these items on their tablet device, finalise the order on their smart phone and make an enquiry about their order over the phone – with all channels harmoniously talking to one another.
The retailer-customer dynamic is changing; customers no longer want to be restricted by conventional methods of shopping. These changes are witnessed by the re-emergence of the “TV shopper.“ The new TV shopper is nothing like the traditional TV shopper. These shoppers now have access to sophisticated technologies such as smartphones, tablets and laptops. They are watching TV, viewing advertisements, using multiple social media platforms and shopping online – all of this occurring simultaneously. With this knowledge, strategies need to be put in place to get customers from these channels to your store. For example, could a QR code be embedded into a TV advertisement as a way to move a passive viewer to your online store? A unique opportunity exists for organisations to take similarly innovative approaches and capture market share.
Next week I will be discussing the third “P” in the Marketing Mix – “Promotion.”