Zero Effort Commerce (ZEC). A new kind of brand loyalty?

My last Zero Effort Commerce (ZEC) blog had me considering whether brands are going to own the tech that orders my yoghurt while I’m busy at work or hanging with my kids.

I’ve since thought about the fact that ZEC will create a new kind of brand loyalty. Not only because potential ‘brand apps’ could lock me into a certain brand of yoghurt. But also because of the simple fact that I will no longer have to think about buying a different type of yoghurt.

So, will that mean we’ll say goodbye to the supermarket promotion? Or will the promotion have to be of higher value? Say, a £5 coupon instead of 50p, to get the attention of the consumer.

Will MA bots and ZEC bots talk shop?

Or will ZEC create a world where the marketing automation bot and the ZEC bot are the only ones having a conversation about my shopping? Will ZEC be intuitive enough to choose the best yoghurt brand for me, and make a switch on my behalf where it feels relevant?

And what will happen when it comes to buying clothes or shoes? There is already tech that will order a replacement of your favourite shirt when it reaches 25 out of its recommended 28 washes. But what if I know I’ll want a new favourite shirt at that point? Will there be a way to programme my preferences so that my ‘virtual assistant’ knows how to search out the best new shirt for me?

Zero effort or peace-of-mind commerce?

There are already signs that ZEC can be used to benefit consumers in more ways than one. Think of the smoke alarm that knows its battery only has one month of power left. So, it orders you a new battery. Suddenly, ZEC is not just about convenience. It’s about giving you peace-of-mind that your family is safe. That you don’t have to worry about taking your eye off that ball.

The ZEC conversation is getting more interesting is it grows. I’ll certainly be sharing more thoughts as the technology evolves…

Gavin W H Anderson | Head of Strategy | July 2017