If you have been reading our newsletters over the last couple of years, you may have noticed that I am a big believer in what’s old is new again. Over the last 7 years we have witnessed the rise of new version of old marketing channels; Direct Mail, Out-of-Home, Audio, and TV. But what about the shopping experience itself. We went from in-store experiences to catalogs to TV to telephones and back again. However we haven’t seen a significant change in ecommerce. For the most part, ecommerce entails visiting a webpage with flat images that sometimes rotate. Sometimes we get videos or product demos but none of it is truly interactive and engaging.
We have all read the stories about the acceleration of ecommerce due to the pandemic but as a result, brands have lost their ability to provide a unique customer experience. Retail isn’t only suffering from fewer in-person shoppers but also fewer people that want to work in physical retail. Last April, 650k people quit their retail jobs and over 1 MM jobs are available in retail today.
Brands and retailers need to create unique and engaging online shopping experiences. It’s too easy for a shopper to bounce around website to website in search of the best price. Engaging experiences will demand premium prices, create repeat purchases, and increase LTV. So how do you achieve this?
Brands and retailers should create digital showroom experiences that bring the benefits of the in-store experience to online shopping. Starting with with real people, brands can start building relationships with the consumers that want to have them. To envision this, imagine what the shopping experience would be for your brand if you had a physical experience. You would be able to access your entire catalog of products. You would be able to answer all the shoppers needs and questions with ease. You would be able to assist with the checkout process. I am sure each brand will have additional features in between.
An experience could include all or some of the following:
- Access points from your homepage or key locations on the website
- The ability to book a convenient time with a personal shopper
- Integration with your ecommerce platform and CRM
- Interactive co-shopping
- Product demonstrations
- Sharing of files
- Augmented Reality
- Multi-device capable with the ability to swap between devices for the seller
- A knowledgeable sales team
- The ability to make your unique experience engaging and successful