ecommerce in the future.

e-commerce in the future.
Commerce changes from new tech and new systems.
New tech involves things that can only happen because of new technology
Boats allow trade.
But so do people setting up trade routes. A better more efficient trade route can improve even if tech does not get better.
In commerce we have a combination of new technology
And systems. Social networks are great systems.  In fact any marketplace or way of connections multiple people are systems that are useful with or without new technology.
So both new systems and new technology can help remove frictions or change commerce.
Trends and brands and general attitudes change as well. That is not the type of things I am looking at here. A business can be innovative in these ways or just do a great job of meeting these needs.
I am looking for more utilitarian changes. Craigslist is utilitarian, face book is utilitarian, google is, Amazon is and so on.  That is companies to guess Jeans or Kim kardation or fad diets.  Great business can be made on these but it is not what I am looking at here. I am interested in better systems and what new technology can do.
New technology:
Vr ar
New sensors
Internet of things
3D printing
Amazon is doing drones and walking out of store with goods. And push button. And image scan. Voice
New systems could include:
– better curation
– better matching
– eliminating marketplace fees.
– more Meta data available.

Commerce frictions

areas in commerce that frictions can be removed.
– all products have a high price a person is willing to pay and a low price a person is willing to sell for. As long as the price of the product is in between these two prices a win win situation happens. As a buyer, we want the product for as low price as possible. Any time a seller is willing to sell us a product at a lower price (we pay 10 but they would have sold for 9) we are loosing out to friction (loose 1 dollar) or not having full information. For a seller of a product any time the buyer is willing to pay more we are loosing out on profit. (Buyer would have paid 11 but we sold it for 10)
from the buyer perspective it is best to find the lowest price a seller is willing to sell for. any time we pay more we have information frictions that can be eliminated. The same can be said from the seller perspective
– i may want something now but have to wait 2 days or 2 hours or 2 weeks to get it. Product exists but is not close to me. This is friction for some situations. Other times i am willing to wait much longer but may end up buying the more available item at a higher price.
product knowledge
– If i am not sure a product is one i will like, it will fit, it will last or it will complete the task i want we have friction. We may never get perfect knowledge but we can get closer.
– many product exist in the world, that, if i know about, I would purchase them. Somewhere a pair of pants that fit me perfectly exist but i do not know what pair it is and the cost of time or money (friction) for me to find them is a road block.
payment options and terms
– i may want to pay tomorrow or pay in
These 4 road blocks can be eliminated or at least slowley chipped away at. And they have been. social media and “you may also like” or “customers like you” are a great example of discovery. Product knowledge has been helped with reviews and videos of the products. Availability of more products is clearly impacted by the unlimited products available online and the increase in quick delivery methods. Price becomes a race to the bottom with sites such as amazon, jet and eBay.
But each of these areas has a change to get get better or reimagined as we continue to invite in the world of commerce. By optimizing traditional types of stores or inventing new ways of connecting sellers and buyers we can eliminate more and more of the frictions in the retail world.
Google shopping is one example of a product that has done a great job of helping us find the lowest price. Past options of purchasing something may have been limited by the one local store selling what i need or want. They could dictate the price with very little competition. Now i can search dozens of people selling the same product online and choose the low price if that is what i am after. From a buyers perspective competition may help lower the price and may get some of the friction of paying a tithe price than necessary for the product.
But that does not mean i am reaching every person that would be willing to sell me the product. I only connect with the sellers on google shopping. And it may not be the best price the they are willing to give me. They may be willing to go cheaper as the simple fact that google is changing some fee for the transactions. That fee is anouther friction. Google Shopping eliminates some frictions but still has some in place and this friction is what gives google the incentive (profits) to create and maintain the service. The fact that we do not know everyone selling the product is a friction that google helps reduce but it still has the cost (a new friction) to its service.
We could also imaging “paying” in other ways than with just money. Some sellers may be willing to sell at a loss if they feel the gain something else from the transaction. customer loyalty, information, sharing of your data, sharing with friends and so on. Retailers could sell at break even or a loss on products and still come out ahead as well as getting the customer the best possible price.
– many items exist in the world that I would buy if i know about them. Any time someone else has a product
a few frictions
– not having full price transparency
– transferring money
– knowing if the product is one i will like
– finding everyone that is willing to buy or sell the product
– paying for it when i want to (getting credit)
– finding the person that has it and can get it to me the easiest
frictions can be eliminated it two ways
– finding current situations where we are bing inefficient and it is a matter of knowledge
– forming new systems that did not exist in order to be more efficient
– if i have a used bike i want to get ride of for 150 dollars and you live next door and want a similar bike and am willing to pay 150 dollars then we do not need to creat anything, we just need info to do the transaction.
– new systems would be me knowing that people in the town i am in need bikes so i open a bike shop and bring in bikes for these people to try and buy.
both are ways of helping to fix frictions.
examples of companies that have fixed frictions in retail
– amazon
– craigslist
– ebay
– google shopping
amazon has done a number of things.
– created a marketplace the encourages low prices and great customer service
– central place for reviews
– easy discovery of similar items
– fast delivery
– low barrier of entry
– minimum friction on price as it is free
google shopping
– find a lot of people selling a specific product with clear price and delivery and availbilty
– helps curate product informations
– low barrier of entry
– helps find optimal price
uber – connects people with free time and a car with those that need a ride – removes frictions – creates a market places – allows people to search by keywords or filters as well as many more people. – helps discovery
some companies filter or evaluate for you. – some stores only sell quality products. you can go to a local outdoor store and pay more but get great personalized quality. i may accept junk at a 99 cent store but not at nordstrums
how can we find the person willing to sell me this object for the lowest price?
how can i discover what i want with the least amount of work.
how can i discover what other people want (gift)
how can i be more certain i am getting the product i want (zaps return policy)
how can i pay for it the way i want. credit card, pay pal, check, now, in 15 days in 30 years, using something besides money?
can a service replace my product? uber replaces second car for many people
how can i get this to me the quickest or easiest or how do i connect with them
how can i be more trusting of the transaction?
how can we eliminate errors in the transaction?
not all of these are business ideas to fix but these are real frictions
if i go to the store why do i have to walk the entire thing?
why can i not return my item easier?
what if my avocado is bad?
how come i do not know where all the ready to eat avadaos are in 15 miles of me so that i do not have to go to 3 stores before making sushi
why is the shirt not pre shrunk?
why can i not see all products in the category in one place

e-commerce books – 1 idea

6. e-commerce books

– Iot amazon

– 4th transformation
– inevitable
– why we buy
– buyoligy
– word of mouse
– Location is still everything
– the mobile shift
– Demand: Creating What People Love Before They Know They Want It no such thing as an average customer.

word of mouse –
our brick and mortar shopping habits are influenced by the internet.
– instant reviews. – find the best prices or price matching – do research in advance or at store

Boost ecommerce sales
– size charts
– add a phone number increases people do not feel good about shopping online

Location is still everything
– even with the internet experience the same for all the need varies by geo
– what we search for / shop for  and so on are very impacted by locations
internet may be basically  the same everywhere but what we do with it is impacted

Pre suasion
– the situation you are in influences how you are persuaded
“the things we do first persuade our audience” it alters there associations with what we do or say next .. (framing??)
– lot more notes for this one

– others people behavior has an enormous impact on our behavior

amazon IoT
– not tech chain key tech for IoT
internet, processing connectivity, sensors, analytics, machine learning. each of these are improving.
IoT is only useful if you are solving customer problems
– customer trust, not profit is what leaders at amazon are told to obsess over (my guess it is still profit but threw the customers service leans)
– enable customers any time, any day.
– data uses data
– OPT (other peoples tasks)  what can others do – mechanical turk (marketplace for work that requires human intelligence)
– IoT – robots drone – this is real – 15 leading coutyies will loose 5.1 million jobs to AI and automation.
robots good at simple reputable tasks and low dexterity – humans at creative and can adapt at will for the process or product – co-bots robots that work coldbertly with humans
3 hrs 6 min remain : thought customers would want store fronts (once lanched they found out customers wanted to shop by category.
(a lot more great book marks ……) this book will be one that i do a bigger review on
Products are only useful if the solve a problem for a person.
The IoT will provide us with different types of communications between devices but you always must start with the customer in mind. What do they want, not what can this new technology do?
What are some new innovations that are interesting but seldom used because no one used them?

– what assumptions about workers do people make that is no longer true?
– barrier over entry to some things are changing
– moving at moors law pace
– power shifted from companies to consumer bad product reviews trump cleaver marketing  – great products win
– similarly individuals and small teams can have enormous impacts (in google — big companies)
– business can make a profit giving things for free in order to make money in the areras
– we can one to one everything

How to Grow When Markets Don’t
sell your customers new things

– unrivaled customer service
– repeat customers and word-of-mouth be their true form of marketing
the cost of unparalleled customer service can be paid back with LTV from repeat customers and word of mouth referrals.

elements, UX and models???

store models

7. do good / feel good
depending on your target market adding a store or products with a purpose can be interesting

12. lifestyle type products / utilitarian type products

14. innovative ways to shop

15. innovative delivery ideas

great experience
1. interesting ways to discover / what your are looking for or other things you may want
2. reviews
4. easy to order / easy payment
8. answer the questions when they need
Answer the questions when they have it.
– 1. Am I on a trust worthy site / trust worthy seller
– 2.  will they have the product i want
– 3. how do i find it?
– 4. is this the product i want
– 5.

9. singularly  focused pages
each page on your website should have one main goal. even if you are on a page without “one main goal” your goal is to help them answere the next questions or find what they are looking for.

2.5 info on product / reviews
reviews can also give a bit more information about the that a description can never give. use case, other alternative items,  point out the negatives

13. comparisons
– help people make a decision. features / benefits  of this one compared to that one

conversion optimisation
2. social proof / reviews
social proof can be used on a website to encourage the customer you are a legit and safe website as well as inform them about the product quality, features and use cases

10. deal / anchor points

11. eliminate “online fears”
we have a lot of fears shopping on line. Payment, delivery, the right product ….

3. scarcity:
this can act as an inventive to get people to buy now and may tell people it is a popular product.

5. easy to find accessories / ad ons
every item a person buys gives you one more clue about what else they could be intersted in and now is the time to sell it to them.


William Sonoma
• on a product detail page from a search they have “products, recipes and videos”
• they also have “limited time only”  next to all sale prices
• product detail page has videos and open reviews.

Power equipment direct
• number 1,2,3 seller with percent
• category pages with images and sub categories as headers
• quick search on the left
• home page meet our experts

repair clinic
• large search bar, by model or part number
• Help me find my model number popup
• 365 day return policy
• has a larger photo not of parts but of a family to show it is for home use.

• large “save 20% banner
• large search bar
• sale with a time limit
• sticky PDP header

one king lane
• navigations has “shop by style” or “shop by room” along with product type navigations. also has an almost infinite scrolling of products so it is more like a browsing feature on some of its product list pages.
• very minimal design on the pdp. image and add to cart button. stand out.
• uses a “5 left” banner.


• 24 hour offer
• mobile app clearly advertised
• force sign in before shopping cart
• coupon code already added


• Larger search bar
• Much better design
• Easy reorder in header
• Inc and Toner in header (only product)


• Heart images without login
• Express pay skips shopping cart and right to checkout

Where we get our products

Where we get our products


Globalizations and trade are not new but may be put into hyper drive. Ordering from other countries or different states has changed who can play in the retail landscape. Some sites such as or Alibaba make it easy to discover cheap products from all over the world that we would not have had access to just a few years ago.

— talk about wish

Different types of people selling

As mentioned many times before, now almost anyone can post a product on eBay or craigslist and can be part of the retail landscape we find ourselves in

How we discover products or stores

Google / other search engine
Google is often the place that people start searching for products they want to purchase online. With the advent of Product Listing Ads e-commerce has become very important for Google, online retailers as well as consumers. Google relies on ecommerce for much of its Pay Per Click Advertising revenue, retailers for much of their web traffic and customers for the best place to find great prices and selection.

side note: more and more people are now starting their searches on amazon. This has a potential of really hurting both google and smaller retailers.

Many people are now moving away from Google as the starting point for their online purchases. Amazon can be the perfect place to start your search. It has good prices, selection familiar interface, your credit card and shipping information, product recommendations and more. Even if the price is not the best for some products it is just easier to shop on amazon and not worry about starting a new account at a different retailer just to save a dollar or two.

Social Media
People are both discovering and now purchasing in social media. These can be a perfect platform for some types of products. Sharing products on Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest is popular right now and will only get more important for online shopping as they continue to integrate the ability to purchase the item right into the platform. Social media platforms can be perfect for finding trends or products from people you trust such as friends, celebrities or experts. That said, people are not going to social media to shop and may not be in the mindset for buying the way they are when search google or visiting Amazon.

TV / Real-World
The ability to buy a product online when you see or discover it in the real world or on a video is a changing the way we discover products and how we shop. Amazon lets you scan an actual product and if they can recognize it you can purchase it right then and their. This can be done by using your phone to scan the barcode, the box or sometimes even the product itself. This is about discovery and convenience and could be a great new way to buy the products you see in everyday life with less effort. Some stores have been experimenting with letting people purchase products that are featured in a video, TV show or movie. This is relatively new and will continue to change as the technology, customer expectations and infrastructure evolves.

Side note –  i recently scanned a bottle of organic protein powder and within 3 minutes of scanning it i was able to order it on amazon. A search for organic protein powder would have brought up a lot of other results but a scan of the bottle easily found the product and brought me right to the Amazon product detail page.

Side note – Google recently added a barcode scanner to chrome that takes you to the search results and shopping results for that product.