P-Commerce – Do You Know What It Is?
The world of business has always seemed to reinvent itself when it comes to new terms for explaining specific business practices. In regards to commerce, some of us remember when the practice was simply brick and mortar style shopping, or mail order catalogues. Later on, the concept of e-commerce became a reality, first referring to electronic transactions made via check and credit card, followed by internet shopping. Yet again, another term – P-commerce – has emerged and is making many business-owners ask, “what is this?”. Below, we will outline the tenets of what p-commerce is and how it can help boost your sales and lead to additional exposure for your business or brand.
‘P-commerce’ is lingo for participatory commerce, and was first used as a phrase the better part of a decade ago. Since then, the notion of participatory commerce has been gaining traction as technology permits businesses to use approaches that allow customers to be involved with the creation of their products and services. One of the first companies to jump on this bandwagon was Nike, which launched its own p-commerce platform several years ago. Through this, customers can create their own products such as shorts and shoes, selecting specific colours and combinations while also having control over the types of materials used in their crafting.
The Broader Concept
Participatory commerce revolves around the idea that consumers should have as much say as possible in the creation of their products, as this will make them feel more at home when shopping at a particular store or business. While the most common form of p-commerce pertains to direct customization of consumer products, other forms of p-commerce exist that allow users to decide which products a company will offer and how their projects are funded. By pinging websites with p-commerce models to search engines and social media while accurately describing the versatility they offer, many brands have seen dramatic increases in sales for select products and services.
How Can I Use P-Commerce?
The art of participatory commerce is not for everyone. Small businesses especially will have difficulties in creating a custom order system that is both cost-efficient and pleases consumers in the way that a p-commerce model should. Still, some small businesses (like those using Etsy, for instance) can offer an array of customization options to allow their customers to have greater flexibility in the creation of their products. Large businesses, likewise, can also implement online tools and manufacturing procedures that will assist consumers in creating that perfect finished product.
Consumers are consistently pinging websites that offer versatility in their shopping experiences, so the p-commerce model is obviously viable for select businesses and brands. Not everyone can, nor will, benefit from a p-commerce approach, but every business model has instances in which it functions and instances in which it does not. Small businesses that can offer customized services on a one-on-one basis, in addition to with large companies that have access to sophisticated production capabilities, will find that participatory commerce is the future of consumer shopping and a great way to increase their bottom lines.