Remember when gas stations used to sell only gasoline? (OK, I’m old…). Then someone thought, if I have customers spending 5-10 minutes on my premises and who take out their wallet in front of me, why not try to sell them a newspaper or a chocolate bar?
The idea: there’s much more value in your customers and their time, beyond your core business.
Later someone thought, if I sell loaves of freshly made bread people may come to my gas station, which happens to be open 24/7, to buy bread and take the opportunity to buy gasoline or other products from my store.
The new idea: find ways to increase traffic to your store and the time spent there.
These two ideas represent key opportunities for many e-commerce apps and websites. There is more value to users around your core business than is being extracted by many single, one-directional business relationships. Perhaps there are ways to get your users to come more often and have a broader range of products and services that can be consumed on your site.
In other words: increase the number of visits and increase the average value of each visit.
In the virtual world, one way to do this is to create a new channel in which you can place other content that is adjacent and slightly different from the rest of your app or website core function.
The new content feature “Trip Experiences” from UBER meets these two objectives. Their plan is to increase visits to their services and, more importantly, the average dwell time of each visit by providing targeted, relevant content. By doing so they can increase the average value (or “ticket price”) of each visit by increasing the range of monetized products related to their business, not previously available. Which is good because they can now sell new “experiences” and charge money to other companies to be present in their “inbox”.
And, guess what, this is what iadbox is all about (you can read our first blog here). With iadbox, we increase visits with engaging, fun content (competitions, quizzes, etc) and increase “ticket prices” through commercial tools (coupons, rewards, adjacent 3rd party content etc).
BUT… I hear some of you cry, that’s all very well for a company like Uber that already has an enormous market share, but not so easy for my smaller operation. BUT… I hear some others cry, my whole objective is to simplify my digital processes to deliver one service brilliantly without muddying the water with non-core activities.
Well, for those companies that use their app or website to deliver a very clear, single service (sell clothes, sign up new customers, provide customer services), there is one key ‘product’ that all businesses (yes, including you with the smaller business) need to position adjacent to your core products. And that is data.
All companies need to understand better their customer opinions and preferences. And with the arrival of new data protection laws, particularly in the EU with much tougher regulations around using 3rd party data for commercial activity, the need for you to capture first party data from your users is going to become increasingly critical, whatever your business.
Using a separate ‘inbox’ channel as a mechanism to engage and capture direct responses from your customers can provide you with the data that you need to help grow your business through increased sales or better positioning of adjacent products and services.
So, by our reckoning, any business of any size can benefit from a separate communication channel to engage, profile and further monetize their audience. Whether retail, finance, media, service, education, non-profit, food, publishing… and petrol stations!
Get in touch if you would like to chat about those ideas for your business.