Blog Post - Neil Stewart, Aug 31 2016

The Future of Retail is Programmatic

The Future of Retail is Programmatic

Neil Stewart, Chief Executive Officer at Salmon sheds light on how Programmatic Commerce will impact the retail landscape.

This concept of Programmatic Commerce encapsulates a shift in consumer behaviour, with buyers allowing purchase decisions to be delegated to connected machines. For instance, imagine the coffee machine in your kitchen not only detecting when the coffee is running low, but automatically reordering supplies according to your pre-set preferences. Or, picture the tyres on your car detecting when the tread is close to the legal limit, then sending a message to the cars’ manufacturer, enabling them to order replacements in advance. Buying and selling, particularly of routine purchases, will be transformed into an automated process, guided by artificial intelligence.

Unsurprisingly, Amazon is already on the case. With the launch of its physical instant purchase button “Dash”, Amazon is bringing the programmatic phenomenon even closer - and into our homes. Orders - or in most cases, re-orders - are made by pressing a physical wireless button that is linked to a specific branded product such as Andrex toilet roll or Whiskas cat food. There are initially 40 brands supported by Dash in the UK; each a relatively low cost, repetitive purchase item such as washing powder, kitchen rolls, washing up liquid and coffee. The benefit for Amazon is clear: locking customers into a relationship, and pushing out traditional supermarkets. For the consumer, it’s real convenience.

Yet whilst Dash relies on a user’s action to place an order, Programmatic Commerce is truly automated with no action or approval required, other than the upfront programming of user preferences.

With the technology coming of age, Salmon anticipates some of the major trends we can anticipate from Programmatic Commerce.

Read the full article printed in The Retail Bulletin's, Future of Retail report here.