with John and Anya
Episode 12, March 8, 2022
The days of one online website channel funneling to one onsite sales center channel are long gone. Shoppers now control which channels they shop and in which order. Like all eCommerce, the common thread is the internet. At home or at the sales center, the entire start-where-you-left-off (swylo) experience is done online.
Online shopping has changed everything. It’s really swinging the pendulum of power from marketing to technology, to e-commerce. If you look back in history, marketing and sales were really the purview of the marketing departments and agencies. The marketing departments really controlled which channels and what the type of content went on there. And the sales departments were just the recipient of the marketing traffic that went into their sales centers.
As technology has started to enter our industry, we saw the evolution of MarTech, but let’s introduce another term-the SalesTech. MarTech and SalesTech shift the power to the technology departments, software developers and consumers. It’s the fundamentals for eCommerce and eCommerce creates that omnichannel ecosystem that shifts the power to the OSC, the online sales counselors, even the salespeople, because it gives them 24/7 response capabilities without being locked into physical constraints at the mercy of whatever marketing drives to them.
Technology is a win-win for everyone, from consumers to salespeople and everyone in between. And that’s what we’ve seen so far with the roll-out of the BUY NOW feature. Salespeople love it, and they’re saying how much easier their job is becoming. Consumers love it as well-it puts everyone on the same page.
With eCommerce we’re going to see the channel side transition from offline to online and content from static to interactive. SalesTech brings the transaction online so the customers can shop, consume and pay entirely online, anytime, anywhere on any channel. The eCommerce engine also connects all the different digital channels in the cloud, from TikTok, to marketplaces, ERPs, MLSs, CMSs. It brings all systems together and it makes it all seamless.
It’s bringing all the systems online and essentially it connects salespeople and buyers in this online journey, so they are meeting each other exactly where they are. So we’re basically just trying to create electronic commerce, which uses the internet as this backbone to create that digital sales process, brings the buyers and the sales people together online to collaboratively shop design and even buy online. BUY NOW is only a part of the buy online process, which is an integral piece of eCommerce. But purely for a transactional convenience BUY NOW is about time not distance. That’s why the word “now” is in there. Location is not part of the equation.
Bringing the transaction online does not mean the process can’t be in person. They may start online, they may come into the store. They may go back online. They may never come into the store. They can use a DIY sales kiosk or a self-guided tour. But all that stuff is connected together and you can collaboratively shop, design and even buy online. The consummation part of the transaction should be done online, whether it’s remotely or on-site with digital contracts and ACH. And it’s all connected to your CRMs and using all those technologies together, keeps the buyers online where they want to be, but it also keeps your data online. And it’s all dependent upon this cloud-based app, connected omnichannel e-commerce ecosystem.
We’re going to see a vertical integration of a lot of the traditional processes. Outside, looking in are all these giant portals like Zillow, Opendoor, Realtor.com, Redfin, Offerpad. When we clean up the mess and prepare for e-commerce ecosystem, they’re going to be ready to jump in. There’s so many different specialty tools for the sales process. Self-Guided tours, ratings and reviews, CRMs and sales apps. In a tech-centric world you’ll able to bypass a lot of those handoffs. eCommerce platforms are not just going to simplify shopping for consumers, but it’s also going to simplify shopping for builders. Builders will rely on vendors that already put the whole ecosystem together.
Large builders with a lot of resources may go the “do it yourself” route. And they essentially developed the whole thing from scratch. But for vast majority of home builders out there it makes sense to go through something that’s packaged done for you solution.
Gray is the new black! A lot of people put the proposition on extreme. Either you buy on-site or you buy remotely. We think the wholesale process is going to be all of the above. It’s really going to be the buyer’s choice, but it all should be done online. Like we do with everything else. The means to transact when the buyers are ready, and they have the choice of doing this on their own or with assistance.
eCommerce ecosystem, is about flexibility. The buyers are going to have their own virtual shopping carts as they traverse the different channels. All roads lead to home because at the end of the day, we’re trying to bring the consumer as quickly into their dream home. And you as a salesperson, want to quickly convert them as a sale. There’s no two shopping paths that are the same, nor should they be. All shopping paths, ultimately lead to new home purchases, and the apps and the clouds connect this online omnichannel network. The internet are the roads of the future and personal virtual shopping carts will traverse this network.
It’s just meeting your customers where they are. Some customers will want to come in and do the handshake and do the whole process in person. And you can still offer that. Some customers want a combination of in-person and online. Some customers will want to do it entirely online. Some customers will want a phone call. So this is just another avenue of meeting your customer, where they are, wherever they are.
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