- Short Correlated Results – local merchants (shopkeepers, service providers, etc) have a hard time understanding what they do online leads to sales in their store. One of the reason Groupon was effective is that people walk in their business stating that they found them through Groupon. If you want local merchants to adopt or retain your service, they need to be reminded that it was you that brought them that customer.
- Integrated Workflow – the typical merchant already has their 6AM-9PM day completely engrossed in their business. This goes from stocking inventory, dealing with suppliers, interfacing clients, and maintaining (cleaning) their shop. Adding another thing to do to that list is a hard-sell. Somehow, you need to make your service completely hands-off, or built into passively something they already do.
- Device Agnostic (or absent) – believe it or not, shopkeepers do not spend their day in front a computer. Work with the form factors and devices they already have will give you a tremendous head-start – yes, that means dial-up modems, fax machines, landlines, their POS terminals, and their cell phones (hopefully they have a smartphone).
- Remove the Technical Friction – merchants are generally not technical. They have as much interest in the internet and technology as you are into the price of vegetable oil and salt by the pound. Make this super easy to use, or even better something they can do without a computer.
- Reduce or Remove A Common Task – Same as “integrated workflow” – if you can find a way to remove or reduce a task they already do, then you have a great head start to adoption.
What should a startup in the local commerce space focus on?