The age of hyperconnected commerce

There is a fundamental shift that has happened in the retail and commerce landscape over the past decade that provides massive upside for consumers and huge risk for retailers. This new world of commerce is being shaped by the accessibility of huge amounts of data that enables faster decision making that creates an continuously evolving industry that we call, hyperconnected commerce.

Change is happening across each touchpoint within the ecosystem of how we buy goods, at Teespring, one of the world’s largest ecommerce platforms, we have four key focus areas that unlock growth in this hyperconnected world.

The connected customer

Never before have we been able to have such deep understanding into who our customers are and what they care about. Direct to consumer online retailers have an almost unfair advantage over their offline or B2B counterparts. The end consumer is now a connected part of the buying lifecycle, meaning that companies can make real-time changes in order to optimise performance

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At Teespring, we are constantly working to develop a better understanding of our connected customer, whilst you may think this is nothing new, big brands have been doing customer focus groups for years - uniquely, we are analysing millions of data points each day. These insights drive our direction in a world of constant iteration.

Tapping into connected demand

Online shopping behaviour has changed. 10 Years ago, if you wanted a pair of Nike Trainers you’d visit Nike.com and enjoy everything on their site. In 2017, Nike signed a groundbreaking deal to allow its products to be sold on Amazon. Why? Because shoppers are flocking to online marketplaces to find the products they can’t find anywhere else.

In early 2017, Teespring built the Boosted Network, unique technology that allows products created on Teespring to seamlessly flow into the world’s largest marketplaces, including Amazon, eBay, Walmart, JD.com, Rakuten and Wish. Instead of trying to bring customers to us, we have gone to them.

Innovating with a connected supply-chain

Logistics and supply chain has been the last bastion of commerce businesses, each trying to innovate in new ways to allow customers to provide the largest availability of products that can be delivered to the customer in the fastest times. But...what if the supply chain doesn’t need to exist until the customer actually places the order? Welcome to the world of ‘Pre-Commerce’ where companies can understand demand before they need think about supply.

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Teespring was initially founded as Print-on-Demand (POD) platform; we have spent the past seven years perfecting this technology, becoming a world leader in the space. We are now pushing these ideas to the next level ‘Made-on-Demand’. It is our vision that we will create a technology that allows us to create any product only once it’s ordered by the customer.

Building connected brands

Building a ‘brand’ is a concept that is in flux, it’s difficult to try clearly articulate into what a brand actually is in 2018. The conversation between brands and customers has been completely flipped upside down - we have moved from a one way conversation where the brand told the customer what to think, to a world where now the brand creates a conversation in hope that will engage dialogue between its customers and their friends.

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In light of these changes, companies need to think more holistically about creating brands, these can be more niche to a specific customer set that could be under-represented by its current offering.

As an ecommerce platform, we see tens of thousands of brands created, grown and scaled on Teespring every day. This micro-brand movement can certainly be scary to large well established companies, but stepping back and letting the connection between customer and brand happen is critical to success in hyperconnected commerce.

We have seen huge consolidation in the commerce landscape in the past 10/15 years, unfortunately, the worst is yet to come. Whilst we are in an exciting world of hyperconnected commerce, many are slow to act and make the necessary changes to their business models that allow for the next phase of growth. Companies who can stand back and think about their businesses more holistically as vessels for new commerce will succeed in growing in what will become an increasingly difficult climate.  

What is most essential is we all play a role in designing, building, protecting, and questioning the unprecedented benefits and risks of an increasingly hyperconnected world.

This is a guest blog and may not represent the views of Virgin.com. Please see virgin.com/terms for more details. Thumbnail from gettyimages.

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