Must-Read E-commerce Insights From A Leading Thought Leader!
Branden Moskwa, co-founder and CEO of nadimo.com, is an industry leader in e-commerce development. He is a sought-after thought leader, who has done tremendous contributions in shaping the landscape of digital commerce on a global scale. He has been quoted in Inc and countless industry media outlets as:
“One of the industry’s brightest minds” – IBM
“One of the Industry’s top players” – Oracle
“One of the top 14 consumer products experts in the world” – SAP
Read on to discover some valuable reflections on the future of e-commerce and lessons from his journey of building and growing e-commerce business.
How Artificial Intelligence (AI) will influence the future of e-commerce? We would like to know your take on it!
AI is already taking the industry by storm. Though chatbots are perhaps the most tangible (tactile) of the examples, the true power of AI is far from being realized. The future of AI in e-commerce to me is far deeper than the simplicity and complexities of a chatbot. It will eventually add an ‘L’ to persona bringing PERSONAL back into the sales equation.
In order to explain this point further, I want to paint an example for you. In the past, we used to walk into the neighborhood hardware store, or convenient store for that matter and be greeted if not by name, at the very least by someone who knew us. They knew things about you, reached out to ask you questions, questions that allowed them to not only get to know you better through a certain level of genuine curiosity but also got you matched with the RIGHT product to serve your needs. They established a level of trust and certainty, which is becoming much harder to establish in today’s digital age.
AI, if used with responsibility can be used to benefit the consumer and allow them to feel heard, and in some ways bring this same level of PERSONAL. This will take numerous iterations before we master this and will be met with a lot of dishonest sales tactics. We are also in an age of the smarter consumers, who are seeing through the typical sales tactics and do not want to be sold to. So in the future, AI could simply force us to return to a more H2H (Human to Human) approach or at least allow us as consumers to feel heard. Stripping the Persona out of all levels of sales and forcing the one-on-one connection, even if it’s artificial in nature.
I am not talking about the personalization tactics of serving up products in a ‘related products’ section or ‘other products you may like’ type approach. I am speaking of something so much more powerful. AI will become your personal concierge and will truly be understanding not only your needs, wants and desires but also your intent.
You will see this start with intent-based search technologies, then adapted into an integrated experience where your ‘concierge’ could almost do your shopping for you if you let it. Forget the self-driving car, it’s going to be a self-driving shopping cart.
What led you to the founding of nadimo.com?
I was growing fed up with broken development processes, and misleading information out there. Information written for the given writer’s own best interests. Let’s put it this way, you can search on recommended platforms and you’re going to see so-called experts recommending things that were never intended to run e-commerce platforms. Also, I saw development firms that knew nothing about e-commerce taking on projects in the space only to use development processes that would and will never truly work in the development space of Digital Commerce.
It still frustrates me as I watch so-called industry leaders recommending and suggesting platforms or products that will never work for anyone who is genuinely serious about making a real go of things. When you consider that 90% of new businesses will fail, it is absolutely essential that people take the correct approach and treat their e-commerce business with the level of dedication and commitment that is required of any business.
What frustrates me more than anything is when you have someone with that level of commitment and they are led down the rabbit’s hole with misleading information, and poor development processes that will essentially set the business up for failure or an even steeper climb towards success then it really needs to face.
This is what brought me to start nadimo, and remain and grow more and more passionate about what we do. The knowledge that those who do it right will see significant benefits and being able to provide them with this level of knowledge that will put them on the path towards success through not only a strong knowledge base but also accelerating the success through technology.
What are the most common mistakes that the e-commerce owners generally do?
I would suggest that the very mistake of treating your e-commerce site as just another website development project is the single biggest mistake. It can and should be so much more. It can be your inventory management software, your omnichannel solution both from the perspective of order fulfillment as well as marketing. It will take secure transactions, and allow people to self-checkout at speeds faster than a gazelle running from a lion.
So when you look at it from the perspective of website development as opposed to e-commerce development you are making a critical mistake. Think of it in terms of an all-encompassing digital store. It can take you into the digital era as a leader and disruptor in the digital revolution as opposed to just another struggling online retailer.
Tips to Standout in e-commerce
Honestly, there are a lot of businesses that sell the same things, the same products, the same service guarantees, etc., but there is only one YOU. So, inject yourself into the business. Be Genuine, and honest and above all build trust. The only way to really build this trust is by being your own unique you. That said, if I were to give you some practical tips towards success and building trust I would suggest that you incorporate the following elements into your online experience:
1. Ensure your site loads FAST, Fast beats Flash. So I would rather have a site load quickly than be all flashy with all the latest scrolling banners (all the distracting elements of design).
2. Don’t use templates, don’t get me wrong, the experience needs to be familiar as a completely foreign type of experience could lose traffic faster than anything because people take comfort in familiarity. But build a site that is familiar in the sense of having the needed elements for navigation, content, etc. But if you are using a set template and stock photos, your site will simply feel impersonal. *Secret, it really doesn’t save time or money if you have a good development team, it actually adds further layers of work on but that’s another story.
3. Use Testimonials, product ratings and anything that builds on the words of others, let other people’s words sell your products for you, they are far more powerful than anything you can say.
Tell us about your most favorite role
I love the entire process of taking an idea to conception. I live and breathe the now and the future. Where are YOU now and how can we get YOU to where you want to be. I love being futuristic and an influencer to the commerce community, for organizations like IBM, but more than that, I love the daily grind of innovative thinking.
I love taking ideas and finding a way to make them into something revolutionary and disruptive through customized solutions and integrations. So my favorite roll is this one I am in right now, helping entrepreneurs realize their e-commerce dreams.