Seventy per cent of UK consumers now prefer shopping online to shopping in-store, jumping from less than half before the pandemic. With no intentions of slowing down, how can eCommerce stores provide customer-winning experiences in such a competitive environment?
Live video shopping has helped brands create new revenue streams and position themselves as customer-centric evangelists. Here, we look at five ways live video shopping is reshaping the eCommerce landscape.
What is live video shopping?
Live video shopping is where in-store conversations meets eCommerce and shoppable media. Live video shopping software plugs into your online store to enable live conversations between a designated expert and your customers.
Through the medium of video, it replicates the very same interactions that happened in-store online. In recent years, live video technology has advanced which steps away from the traditional two-way video that would take place on software such as Zoom.
For example, Confer With integrates with eCommerce stores so once a video call starts, the expert has access to the entire product inventory where every item is made shoppable inside the call.
By bridging the gap closer between physical and virtual, it creates an environment where the customer can be completely immersed in your products and values, resulting in a captivating shopping experience that will entice them to come back for more.
Five reasons why it’s reshaping eCommerce
The pandemic served as a catalyst for retailers and eCommerce brands alike to adopt an aggressive digital strategy to match the fresh demand of online shoppers coming in. The influx of new customers brought new shopping expectations too.
From personalised experiences, to easy to access customer service channels, online shoppers have higher expectations of eCommerce websites than they did several years ago.
But retailers are now catching on – with the environment looking more competitive than ever, providing customer winning experiences is crucial to win new customers and retain existing ones.
The answer to delivering customer winning experiences looks to be live video shopping. The market is expected to be worth $35 billion in the US by 2024, doubling its 2020 value.
1. Personalisation in a cookieless world
In 2020, Google announced that in 2022 (now postponed to 2023), third-party cookies will be phased out in its Chrome browser.
Marketers heavily rely on third-party cookies to manage ads, personalised messages, and identify audiences.
However, customers are now gaining back control of their data and expect brands to use their personal information with integrity and transparency.
Alternatives to third-party cookies revolve around capturing email addresses, consumer surveys, and live video shopping.
Live video shopping invites an intimate perspective of the customers who are purchasing your products and understanding the intent behind it. In addition to selling, you gain insights that influence product development, future campaigns, and improving your services to support your customers going forward.
2. Connecting with your online customers in a human way
Growing the human side of your brand opens opportunities to establish trust and customer loyalty. Eighty per cent of customers are more likely to purchase from a brand that provides personalised experiences. Exactly like how an in-store salesperson would tailor the experience to customers walking inside their shop; live video invites a two-way conversation to truly understand your customer needs.
Take the sofa in a box company, Snug. They were prominent across their showrooms until the pandemic hit. It was at that moment that they started to open new marketing initiatives to meet their customers at digital touchpoints through live video shopping.
Carly Russ, a live commerce agent, said “they are 100 per cent putting their trust in you to make the right decision”. It’s this type of feedback that only happens when brands make an upward effort to create customer-centric experiences that delight.
3. Positive experiences lead to repeat custom
This leads us in nicely to the financial benefits of building better connections with your customers. Many factors influence a reason not to purchase online. From not enough product information, unclear refund policies to better alternatives; it is a hard field to navigate around.
Live video experiences place your experts at the heart of digital touchpoints where they can educate and reassure customers before making a purchase. Combine engaging customer experiences with prompt delivery results in a winning combination that leads to repeat customer. Check out this review:
4. Increase your conversion rates and average order value
On eCommerce sites, conversion rates sit between two and five per cent, whereas physical retail achieves anywhere between 30 and 40 per cent. Online retailers that use live video shopping have seen conversion rates jump by 30x.
Virtual Retail Consultant, Matt Hazelden, commented that live video shopping experiences can change a light-touch enquiry to a sale.
Utilising your digital touchpoints and placing a human advisor where purchase intent is growing increases your chances of converting.
5. Video is set to become a primary communication channel
In today’s world, video has placed itself at the heart of culture. YouTube, TikTok, and Facetime encapsulate our innate human desire to communicate via video. Video started as an intimate way to communicate with friends and family, has now grown across business communication too.
In 2021, Vonage revealed that three in five consumers worldwide are video chatting with businesses or service providers more than they were 18 months ago.
Between January 2020 and July 2021, video was one of the top emerging channels, seeing a 28 per cent jump.
That’s why it’s time for eCommerce and retailers alike to add live video shopping into their digital strategy to not only match the demand now but to safeguard their business in the future.