Retailers are doubling down on digital transformation to match the ever-growing demand to deliver highly personable and relevant experiences online. Meanwhile, customers are becoming more conscious of how their data is shared and disabling cookie tracking, which in turn impacts on marketing efforts. Whilst there is a lot of ambiguity surrounding the distribution of data, there is a solution to ethically leverage contextual data using shoppable video. In this article, Confer With will be talking about what retail shoppable video is, its impact on retail, and the benefits it can bring to your retail business.
What is shoppable video?
Shoppable video is a blend of entertainment, eCommerce, and immersion. Watchers can view livestreams of their favourite brands and purchase any product inside the sales channel. Similar to QVC, shoppable livestream can take a one-to-many format or a direct 1:1 call, depending on the business goals of the eCommerce website. Shoppable video originated from China where it has since advanced to integrating gamification features on shoppable platforms. Watchers can accumulate points based on how often they interact with influencers, brands or products, and subsequently use the points to access behind-the-scenes features. This secret sauce formula has projected China’s livestreaming industry and is estimated to be worth $66 billion.
Will the future of retail be made shoppable?
TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, and Shopify are big key players reinventing the wheel when it comes to interacting with customers. Shopify allows merchants to add live video technology to their stores, regardless of business size. Social media platforms also enable self-starters to place themselves in front of an audience where they can authentically present their products, and encourage watchers to become active followers. When it comes to rejuvenating your brand’s eCommerce presence, it should focus on placing the customer experience at its core. Ecommerce was synonymous with quick buys and quick deliveries. Now it has transformed to not only provide discounts and the entire product catalogue but an opportunity to deliver shoppable experiences across digital channels.
Benefits of shoppable video
1. It’s a solution to a post-pandemic retail environment
Since COVID-19, retailers who were not digitally native have been forced to drastically change their business models to match the changing demand in how customers perceive online experiences. Eighty-two per cent of retailers expressed “improving customer experience” as their highest business priority for the following year. In particular, 46 per cent of business leaders are placing priority on engaging with customers via digital channels. Shoppable video marries a variety of online and offline services into one channel, and maintains a level of customer service that was once only achieved in physical retail.
2. A powerful tool to combat cart abandonment
Barclaycard Payments recently revealed UK retailers have lost out on more than £39.4 million due to the staggering increase in cart abandonment over the last 12 months. Factors influencing this change include unexpected delivery costs, cyber window shopping, and poor website navigation. What would be the impact of including shoppable video with a virtual assistant? It utilises the customer’s time spent on the eCommerce website. The expert can control the flow of information, mitigating the “tabbed out” phenomena, which is when a shopper has too many tabs open and thus becomes overwhelmed with information. Additionally, by including features that immerse and engage the shopper, the expert can evoke powerful storytelling and ensure a confident purchase.
3. Utilise virtual appointments to offer a blended retail experience
Virtual shopping equips retailers with the necessary tools to reach customers regardless of where their team are based. By providing virtual assistants with resources, they can virtually uphold store values with ease, and ensure customers are receiving the same high standard of service. And while stores reopen, virtual appointments offer convenience to those who cannot make in-store. In addition, virtual appointments allow brands to build an effective customer profile so when customers enter in-store, they can offer a far more personable and efficient service.
Often the lack of emotion of eCommerce sites creates an environment where customers are not able to build that emotional connection with a brand, nor are they encouraged to do so. This leads to low conversion rates and the inability to build a loyal customer base. Introducing shoppable video to your sales channel empowers your team of experts with valuable customer knowledge to curate unique baskets and deliver an experience so immersive that it will lead to repeat custom. Actively partaking in a customer’s online shopping experience can help navigate them through the purchasing journey and help address needs that only an expert can answer.