You guys. I did something really crazy the other day. Something I haven’t done in years and that took some serious convincing to do, but I took the plunge.
I bought a new kind of toothpaste.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been using the same brand and type of toothpaste, and I finally switched it up. It’s exciting stuff right?
Not really, but this $4 purchase made me realize something. I’ve used the same type of deodorant for the last ten years. The hairbrush I use? I bought it when I was 18 and it’s all I’ve used since. I have a pair of brown flats that I bought my freshman year of college and I still wear them on a regular basis. I know what I like and I keep using it with little thought for change. Why mess with it if it works?
This attitude towards objects is counterintuitive to the way I try to live my life – embracing change and not allowing myself to get too stagnant. When it comes to investing in a product, whether it’s $4 or $400 I want to know what I’m getting and I want to know I’ll like it.
IBM recently invited me to participate in a new campaign that they’re calling “My Smarter Commerce” – a movement around how technology and social media influence our lives and how we use them in new ways. (IBM isn’t sponsoring this post or requiring that I write it; I just think it’s a really interesting concept and I’m impressed that a major company like IBM is branching out like this.)
I don’t know the last time I bought something online without reading the reviews on Amazon, or crowd-sourcing product favorites from Twitter, or googling around to find a coupon code. I check-in to restaurants on Foursquare and scroll through the tips on what to order, and I use Yelp’s Neighborhood filter to find new restaurants to try nearby.
I usually think of social media and my ever-growing attachment to my iPhone in the sense of constantly being connected to friends & family & strangers; I haven’t spent much time thinking about how it impacts my role as a consumer. It certainly makes it easier to consume, with mobile shopping and apps at my fingertips and PayPal more than ready to steal my money at the click of a button. But it also impacts the things I choose to buy and the companies I choose to support.
To me, smarter commerce means being a curious customer, rewarding companies and small businesses who live and breathe their passion, and most importantly sharing my opinions through my internet megaphone.
If you’re interested in following along with IBM as the venture into this new frontier and listen to us as customers, feel free to check out the #MySmarterCommerce hashtag on Twitter. I would love to have you participate by sharing your story and what smarter commerce means to you. IBM will be using these stories and feedback in presentations across the country, including SXSW and their annual conference in Nashville, so keep an eye out. Let’s see what happens…