E-Commerce sells EXPERIENCES, not things.
Adam Rifkin stashed this in Commerce
Katherine Barr writes a different perspective about E-Commerce than I'd heard before in Forbes:
There are other new e-commerce companies emerging as well with the explicit intent of creating or enabling new experiences. Joyus offers a beautiful video shopping experience. Pinterest offers an inspiring (and addictive) visual browsing experience. Kiwi Crate enables new offline experiences through the craft boxes it delivers to children each month. In fact, Sandra Oh Lin, Kiwi Crate’s founder, describes her company as “providing materials and inspiration for hands on activities by children and their grown up assistants or sidekicks.”
E-Commerce is no longer selling things.
Online sites are now selling experiences, peace of mind, and inspiration.
A former eBay executive, Lin underscores the new trends in visual browsing, discovery, curation and experience. She says, “People – in our case, mostly women – are placing a lot higher value on their time and on great experiences, rather than simply getting a lot of stuff. There’s a massive amount of information and resources available online today, but how can we narrow the choice by curating and vetting something that is done well and deliver those select products and experiences to them in a delightful and convenient way?”
So curation isn't just filtering.
Curation is providing better experiences.
As I was preparing to write this piece (in a rare and cherished moment of quiet time), a quote by Ursula K. Le Guin, from “The Farthest Shore” in the Wizard of Earthsea series came to me:
“When I was young, I had to choose between the life of being and the life of doing. And I leapt at the latter like a trout to a fly. But each deed you do, each act, binds you to itself and its consequences, and makes you act again and yet again. Then very seldom do you come upon a space, a time like this, between act and act, when you may stop and simply be. Or wonder, who, after all, you are.”
The best E-Commerce experiences let a person stop for a little while.
And simply be.
I think the smartest startups (including Amazon!) are learning this and applying it to their websites and mobile applications.
As I listen my 4-yrs son sleeping in his bed in the other room, I simply think about the ocean of buying openings he already has with E-Commerce, from apps to learn German to time with a caregiver. He's like a king!