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The new state of play for commerce

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The new state of play for commerce

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It’s out with the old and in with the new. Say hello to a whole new era of commerce! Fifteen years ago, you shopped at a mall and dabbled occasionally in online shopping with large retailers. Fast forward to today, Australians can purchase or sell anything. Shopping can be done at any time, anywhere on a multitude of devices, apps and platforms. Shopify’s Shaun Broughton looks at the new state of commerce.

Currently Aussie businesses are tackling inflation, lingering supply chain challenges, and changes to global advertising standards that can make acquiring customers difficult and expensive. The reality is that the world has only gotten significantly harder for independent businesses. On top of this, today’s consumers are craving deeper connections. Customers want to feel connected, considered, and appreciated by the brands they support. So, it is the businesses that adapt to meet this need who are the ones who will ultimately win.

Connecting to the consumer is an entirely new phase of commerce. Opportunities to connect exist everywhere. These give businesses endless pathways and put authenticity, loyalty, and trust at the heart of every interaction between businesses and buyers. In this new era of commerce, we want to focus on more personalisation. Deeper connections build brand loyalty and make customers come back time and time again. 

This new era of commerce has a larger focus on personalisation

According to Shopify research, 85 percent of Australian brands aim to offer personalised experiences. Only 60 percent of consumers seem to think that they’re receiving personalised experiences.. Australian consumers are looking for more than just transactions. They want to feel connected and resonate with the brands they purchase from. 

To succeed in this new era, businesses must build long-term relationships and loyal communities. Forming genuine connections with consumers in new channels are among ways to keep them returning again and again. In Shopify’s recent Summer 22’ Editions launch, the brand released two products – Tokengated Commerce and B2B. Both present a unique opportunity for brands to build a stronger connection with their customers.

NFTs for a deeper connection 

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) represent a unique opportunity to build even deeper connections through brand loyalty. This is increasingly important in a world where customer acquisition costs are on the rise and fostering a loyal brand community is key to business growth. Shopify research found that more than one quarter of Australian consumers said they’re likely to purchase an NFT in 2022. What does this mean? There is an opportunity for brands to go the extra mile to create a stronger connection with customers.

Shopify recently released tokengated commerce. This means Australian businesses can offer a new way for loyal customers to expand the utility of NFTs and access personalised experiences. Consumers can connect their crypto wallets to a Shopify online store and use NFTs to unlock exciting experiences. This isn’t just online but also in a physical retail store through POS. This gives a greater ability to add value to the customer lifecycle through loyalty and higher engagement. 

B2B expanding to new customer segments 

For independent businesses, connecting to consumers isn’t just something that happens one-to-one. There is a whole world of opportunity that exists within businesses connecting with other businesses. This gives full control to expand to new customer segments. We are now at the point where it should be just as simple for a business looking to sell B2B to manage their products, prices and sales through an e-commerce platform, as it would be for any business selling individual products to consumers. Shopify’s ‘B2B’ product has changed the game and allows businesses to expand into an entirely new market category on the same platform they already use to reach consumers. 

According to the Global B2B E-Commerce Report, APAC has the fastest growth of B2B companies adopting e-commerce platforms for growth in the region. B2B on Shopify offers a similar online store experience that merchants use to sell to consumers, but with customised tools that make it easier to sell wholesale or in bulk directly to large businesses allowing Aussie merchants to expand into an entirely new market category on the same platform they already use to reach consumers.

From JB HiFi and Who Gives A Crap to Mustard Made, Australian businesses are constantly creating and evolving. We know that we can’t predict the future, but it’s certain that we have entered a new era of commerce. For Australian businesses to survive, it is important that they remain agile and continue seeking new forms of growth. Our goal is to build for the future, giving merchants what they need today so that they can prepare to face uncertainty tomorrow.

Shaun Broughton is the managing director APAC at Shopify. 

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