These days, everyone’s in a rush to change. Whether it’s the latest telephone model or robot cars, everybody’s looking for flashy new technology.
But whatever happened to predictability? The milkman, the paperboy, etc., etc.? Businesses are so busy looking to sell in new ways and in new places that they’re forgetting an important fact: Things are fine right now!
So take a deep breath and settle in. What’s so wrong with good enough? Stop chasing the “next big thing” in commerce and start being grateful for what you already have. Customers are buying your products, right? Not everyone can say that. There’s no need to make a big change. It’s time to embrace relaxation, not innovation.
In commerce, slow and steady wins the race. Here are my rules to live by for maintaining the status quo.
1. Preserve Your Energy
If your business sells things, you’ve probably had no shortage of bright-eyed people in shiny clothes trying to sell you on “moving to the cloud” or “going headless,” whatever that means. They’ll promise you agile development or faster time to market or commerce innovation. I don’t know if those are true or not, but here’s what I do know: That’s a lot of work.
Your customers aren’t going anywhere. You have products, they buy them. It’s as timeless as primetime TV or reading the morning paper. Sure, you could try “shoppable social” or “selling in the metaverse” but why risk it? Never do something new if you’re comfortable where you’re at — that’s a rule to live by.
I’m sure you are a busy person with a lot on your plate. So why exhaust yourself with trying to change your commerce platform just to be “innovative?” Be thankful for the data-center CPUs you already have — don’t tire yourself out trying to chase down more. If you’re getting the itch to do something new, try taking a nap instead. You can never go wrong with a nap.
2. Good Enough Is Great
Lately, there’s an obsession with tracking down new technology. But you’ll never be satisfied if you’re always searching for cool new gadgets, no matter how much machine learning they cram into your i-watch. Make peace with where you are. The grass isn’t always greener, and AI Ain’t It.
Sure, maybe your platform maintenance fees are annoying. But your tech hasn’t broken, right? Well, it mostly hasn’t, I’m sure. So you must be doing something right. Worried your hardware can’t scale? Just breathe. Isn’t there something nice about knowing exactly how much computing space you have to work with? Automatic, indefinite scaling might seem appealing, but where’s it coming from? Who’s paying for it? How does it work? Exactly.
You can’t let customers push you around and make you roll out new features. If they want to buy from you, they will — you don’t need to sell on AOL or the metaverse or Narnia. You are what you are, and you don’t need to change. Just look them in the eyes and calmly say, “Deal with it.”
3. Can’t See It, Can’t Trust IT
Movers and shakers these days are all screaming, “Embrace the cloud!” To which I say, “How?” Your arms would go right through it. If you stick with an on-premise data center, you know what to expect. A set number of CPUs, a big room with whirring machines, one IT guy who kind of knows how to keep them running. Sounds like a well-oiled machine to me. Keep your commerce functions where you can see them — not floating around in some cloud.
Without eyes on your data center, how are you supposed to know if you’ve gone over the CPU limit? Cloud has gone too far, and a storm is coming. Despite the sales pitches, we all know data centers can’t get wet. It’s just common sense. Don’t give in to peer pressure about “innovating” or “keeping up.” Good customers will respect you for staying true to your origins.
4. Stop Comparing
A wise man named Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” And today, a wise man (that’s me) says, “I agree.” If you want to be happy as a retailer, you need to stop comparing. It’s not about numbers of features or who’s selling where — it’s about having a good time. If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life. And believe me when I say, I don’t work at all.
If you grew .5% last year, celebrate that. Who cares if other companies rolled out new features and grew 15% or 20%? They’re not you. All that matters is you did better than the year before. If you compare your company to others, you’re just setting yourself up for disappointment.
Fancy new commerce tech companies will try to sell you on massive growth opportunities. But don’t give in. Massive growth means a massive pain in the rear. Remember this: 1) Again, that’s way too much extra work. 2) It’s not important. So pour a drink, and toast to toeing the line.
Stay the Course
New commerce solutions come and go. You can choose to chase after them and “please customers” or you can choose to say “enough already.” You’ve made it this far, you must be doing something right. If you ask me, kowtowing to consumers is no way to live.
Whether it’s headless commerce, microservices or some other mumbo-jumbo tech word, don’t stress over flashy new features. Keep steady, stay where you are and you’ll be just fine. Your customers will find you — and if they don’t, that’s on them.
For more legacy commerce wisdom, follow @naysayallday on Twitter.