Dream and Hustle

How We Designed Merchant and the Flow as an Omni-Channel PSS

Monday, November 27, 2023

It’s been a while since I published any updates – because business is picking up and we are releasing our platforms around the world. This is part I have to make a quick announcement.

I will be in Tokyo next month to give a first presentation and demo of the Merchant and the Flow. I have made the decision to go where I’m celebrated. After Japan, the next target will be Southeast Asia, people who supported me as a people when I was targeting brothas and sistas in America who was ignoring me and my efforts. 

If you ask me as the owner and the developer, I believe Merchant and the Flow is awesome. It was not our original plan to even create a commerce solution. But as we created the whole Toshikiso ecosystem, we saw awesome potential for game-changing commerce for our target customer and the 21st century landscape.

The one thing I was not interested in was creating another “shopping cart” application – we had to change the game altogether and it has to align with Toshikiso potential and scale to be relevant. In this article, I will be revealing a short version what I will be presenting in Tokyo. The reason why I’m writing this article is for the Early Adopters who will have access to the platform and don’t have to pay for it like the rest who are going to pay and if they don’t pay, get their water cut off.

Now it’s time to tell the Dream and Hustle Early Adopters how awesome The Merchant and Flow is.

One of the buzzwords you hear about retailing technology and trends is the term “omnichannel” where there is a convergence of technology to move the value chain of a product physically and digitally. The ability to purchase via a mobile app or kiosk and take a pickup, take out or reserve all digitally and communicate via social media, chatbot and so on – a nice utopian dream and ambition.

The challenge is all of these “channels” are ran by third-party components and all of them cost money and it is like herding cats with the disparate ecosystem, so this is not as easy as they make it seem.

But a ghetto-smiling brotha from the West Side of Chicago has created a digital ecosystem with global scale and flexibility for digital nomads up to enterprises and smart communities. I’m about to repeat talking points from previous articles most of you guys forgot about and will make it make sense.

With the release of Toshikiso, I have explained to you the event saga pattern that people can use to create low-code, serverless processes for their business model and operation. If you look at the diagram with the middle saying “omnichannel” – that is really an orchestrator/controller function that route event to the nodes. Each of the nodes handle an event differently.

So for example – before I go into the examples, please use the bathroom so you don’t wet your pants reading how awesome the new paradigm of commerce is going to be for you.

For example, you can create a digital QR poster for available apartments to display in high traffic spaces. If a person has a question or want to inquire – a QR scan can route a message to a customer service to initiate a two-way video conference using the HTML5 markup. That customer service is part of the omni channel who can speak on the apartment and setup an appointment and give a walkthrough and receive a commission off your commission of the sale.

If you looked at Stony|Ellis and Toshikiso features, you would have saw a multi-party distribution for commissions and royalties that can be done in real-time. That’s how the call center can attach themselves to the sales cycle of securing a lease and get their commission.

But there is a second technology I mentioned and that is the graph data set, something you can create in Toshikiso right now. With a graph dataset, you create a node and one node can be connected to another node via a defined arc. This is important to understand this article.

So if you have a node called product, you can create an attribute node called color and other products can use that same node for a certain color like green. What makes graphs powerful is now you can filter any products connected to the green color so when St. Patrick Day shows up, you already got a new angle to sell your products with a specific niche.

I want to show you a diagram of The Merchant and the Flow and see if you notice something:

What you should have recognize is there is no parent/child relationship like typical e-commerce applications. Most shopping cart applications will have you create a store, then create categories and subcategories and you pay per-store you hosting.

With Merchant and the Flow, you create components then combine those components to create as many merchant configuration you need. You create a list of prices, you create a list of taxes, you create a list of departments independently. 

Then here is the awesome part – this design allows you to create a merchant for a storefront and you simply add the departments, the products and assign prices and taxes that are appropriate. So if you create a pop-up store, you simply choose from the list of products to add to the merchant. You have massive flexibility to create merchants of different types and sizes with different product assortments such as a vendor cart, a kiosk, a pop-up shop, a poster at a laundromat and don’t have to create a new merchant/shop like the other e-commerce outfit that charge per storefront and per products.

We haven’t really discussed the real potential here – you can create digital trade where you sell digital art from a flat screen showing the QR to purchase on behalf of artists and you get the commission split with the business that is hosting the screen. This is the type of stuff you living overseas as a lazy girl job or passport bro and the money is being made while you out at the beach soaking up the sun.

You can create a “ghost kitchen” merchant and sell digital copies of recipes and how to source the food to make prepared dishes. This is how most food franchises work, except another restaurant can copy/paste your whole merchant model for a fee and pay you a fee each month just like a franchise. This is excellent for Japanese candy-makers who can sell to African-American sistas to create candy stores as boutiques selling their digital recipes and equipment.  

Why is the price separated? It allows you to analyze price point fasters to determine what prices are selling the fastest or slowest and help you quickly adjust your product/service mix. This is where most business fail because their price point is not aligned with their customers and they not making profits. Same with discounts, you can apply a mix of discount numbers to check your math quickly if a promotion will be profitable or a loss lead.

For transactions, the Merchant and the Flow will allow purchase, rent, lease, utility billing, buy-now-pay-later, invoice, pay-as-you-go, pawn or collateral transactions – this make our platform exceptional, especially for both digital and physical transactions. I told you the platform is awesome and I will be in Tokyo to announce the Merchant and the Flow. I will provide more details from that presentation. 


Ed Dunn

From Chicago West Side to Worldwide