Programmatic commerce is the next big thing in manufacturing, marketing and retail. The idea is simple enough, to automate purchases based on past history and recommendations set by the consumer. This idea has become popular as consumers get more comfortable sharing their personal data with assistants like Siri and Cortana. Gartner predicts that the internet of things (IOT) connected devices will rise from 5 billion devices in 2015 to 21 billion in 2020. As more and more people are getting connected to the internet, Programmatic commerce will shape the future retail industry and eliminate search services which are presently the most widely used method to find a suitable product on the Internet. Salmon, a global e-commerce consultancy, is offering market changing solutions that are shaping the future of commerce.
Big names in the online retail industry have already started adopting this trend. In Jan’ 16, Amazon started shipping a selected batch of Brother Printers, which will automatically order their own refills when the ink approaches warning point. Similarly, GE Appliances have manufactured washing machines that will sense when it is low on detergent and order it from their online store. Such trends are not only visible in the application of sensors in equipment, but also in schemes offered by e-commerce companies on commodities you need to buy on a regular basis, like groceries and cosmetics wherein you get a discount if you subscribe to buy the product weekly/monthly.
Programmatic commerce offers consumers the option of automation and the power of control, as they have the ultimate say in automating or revoking an order. On the other hand, for marketers it represents a complete shift in their operating strategy. Because such automation process will enable manufacturers to pre-brand their devices. So, marketers must enter much earlier in the process flow of buying. Programmatic commerce will also eliminate search-based services like SEO and PPC which currently dominate commerce as intelligent data mining and access to personal data will enable assistants like Siri and Cortana to choose the most preferred options and present it to the consumer. This will eliminate the current race of marketers to stay on top of search results and will rather encourage them to strengthen the link between data and content, understand their consumers perfectly and tailor the content to suit the tastes of the consumer so that they don’t get ruled out during the intelligent search carried by assistants.
With more and more manufacturers employing the use of sensors in their pre-branded devices, sales and marketing departments will have to come up with innovative strategies or face the possibility of obsolescence. Manufacturers with a well-established market will no longer need to create demand for their products. Sensor-employed devices will automatically warn a consumer and the manufacturer of the approaching deficit commodity. This enables the manufacturer to estimate the production beforehand, so consumer can get better deals with the supplier and in turn offer attractive offers and promotions to the consumer, while maintaining a smooth and smart logistics chain without overstocking the warehouses for anticipated orders. So the consumer is happy because they save time and money, while the manufacturer enjoys a different set of advantages, all with limited involvement of a marketing department.
Manufacturers will include pre-packaged subscription plans with the purchase of the smart device to facilitate the start of the connected consumer relationship. M2M learning will start from day one and will continue throughout the lifecycle of the product. Buying and selling will be fully automated with a set of algorithms constantly learning the nature of our choices and catering to them. Manufacturers as well as marketers are posed with a completely new set of challenges in this changing era of commerce, the consequences and opportunities of which are still yet to be discovered.