Shopify’s New Text-to-Buy Option Marks Rise of ‘Anywhere Commerce’

, Internet, Modernización de Empresas, Retail, Tarjetas y Pagos Electrónicos, Tecnología Personal, Telecomunicaciones

We’ve learned more about how to sell anywhere under any conditions in the past two years than in the prior 20, and more of that learning is appearing in the field as merchants turn to forms of conversational and embedded commerce to capture sales in the moment, in any channel.

The latest news in this area is the launch of a text-to-buy solution built with Shopify’s Shop Pay accelerated checkout technology, launched in 2017 and rolled out to other platforms in 2021.

Omnichannel, retail, mobile shopping

Conversational commerce platform Attentive announced its new text-to-pay capability Wednesday (Aug. 3), saying in its announcement that the feature allows customers to purchase directly by responding to a promotional message without having to go to a website, load up their shopping carts and check out.

That followed the mid-July news that Instagram is enabling purchases directly in chat, allowing users to make payments for items they see while scrolling through their social media feeds.

See also: Instagram Users Can Now Buy Products in Chat

In its announcement, Meta said shoppers can use Meta Pay to complete their purchases, track their orders and ask follow-up questions in their chats with businesses — keeping customers inside the IG ecosystem from the discovery through transaction.

The Rise of Anywhere Commerce

Furious innovation during the pandemic has accelerated efforts to make more digital channels shoppable, starting with the online ordering wave of prepared meals, groceries and home goods that marked COVID lockdowns and created new trends in how and where we pay.

Buy online, pick up in store (BOPIS) and contactless curbside pickup were easiest in the early COVID days, as these were extensions of budding eCommerce activity in 2019. Now it’s routine.

PYMNTS’ July “ConnectedEconomy™ Monthly Report: The Rise of the Smart Home,” based on a survey of nearly 2,700 U.S. consumers, noted that 8.6% of consumers — an estimated 22 million individuals — purchased retail items online for curbside or in-store pickup daily in May.

See the Study: The ConnectedEconomy™ Monthly Report

Voice-based conversational commerce is also making big strides, with Amazon announcing in a June blog post that Alexa is wising up with “ambient intelligence,” a form of artificial intelligence (AI) that offers browsers and shoppers recommendations by doing its own thinking.

“If during a social conversation on Valentine’s day a customer says, ‘Alexa, I want to buy flowers for my wife,’” Amazon explained, “Alexa can leverage world knowledge and temporal context to respond with, ‘Perhaps you should get her red roses.’”

Amazon also unveiled upgrades to its Alexa Shopping Kit in July, debuting features that let developers building Skills create actions that allow shoppers to add recommended products to their Amazon cart or shopping list on Amazon, and buy the products with a voice command.

“The ‘Add to cart’ and ‘Buy’ shopping actions are available in all Alexa locales while the ‘Add to wish list’ shopping action will be tentatively available later in 2022,” Amazon said, adding that the “add to cart” and “buy” experiences can be embedded in commerce flows.

Pinterest is putting itself in turnaround with new commerce experiences, bringing in former Google commerce chief Bill Ready as CEO and acquiring shopping platform THE YES.

See also: Pinterest Makes Push to Reclaim Social Commerce With New CEO

In that announcement, THE YES Founder and CEO Julie Bornstein said, “I’ve spent my career at the intersection of shopping, fashion and technology and have seen first-hand the valuable impact of building technology that enables brands to join a platform with ease while enabling customers to share their preferences.”

Some of the oldest names in retail are also reinventing in digital channels. In an interview with PYMNTS’ Karen Webster, JCPenney Chief Digital and Transformation Officer Katie Mullen said, “Where retail is going right now is that customers are engaging in real time in these micro bites that might be on a platform like TikTok, it might be on Instagram, it might be on Facebook, it might be on a retailer’s own platforms, but they’re bite size.

“What we need to think about is, ‘How do we make bite-size interactions more cumulative and holistic?’”

See alsoJCPenney Gets Extreme Makeover With Assist From Shoppers’ Smartphones

That’s where contextual approaches are gaining more fans.

“If a customer starts a transaction online, should they be able to finish it in store seamlessly?” Mullen said. “Yes, that sounds logical. If they’re starting something in store and they want to come home and think about it [and] check how it fits into their family finances and make the decision, well, great.”

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