What are the e-commerce trends that the retailers who are ahead of the game are already integrating into their digital presence? Consumers are often overwhelmed with choice by the oversaturated market of online retailers. To succeed you have to find a way to stand out from the crowd. To offer a seamless customer journey, address your audience in an approachable, personable way and of course, look amazing.
THROUGH VR STORES
Developments in technology have led to all of us, especially the younger generations of millennials and Gen Z, living a lot of our life online. We use our phones and tablets to socialises, keep up with current affairs, educate ourselves and of course, shop. The exciting advances in science and technology have allowed new worlds to be created and for retailers to offer new ways of shopping that go beyond social media and brick and mortar stores.
Something we talk about a lot as a retail design agency is the need to create retail theatre. That a store is no longer just a store. It has to offer an incredible experience and be a destination that people can’t wait to visit. But it is not just the in-store experience that should be extraordinary. Consumers should be able to take the experience home with them. That’s why companies like Obsess are causing a stir. They have developed augmented and virtual reality software that enables retailers to build their own 3D 360-degree shopping experiences on their websites, mobile apps and social media channels.
The software lets you build a virtual environment that can be filled with everything your brand has to offer. It enables retailers to create a space that customers can access anytime, anywhere. That reflects your brand’s identity and tone of voice in a far more relatable way than a 2D website. It could be used as a platform to sell limited-edition merchandise or exclusive products that are only available in this VR environment. You can even use it to build avatar shop assistants that can take on the appearance and mannerism of anyone.
As the amount of time people spend online increases, and the way they spend their leisure-time evolves, a new hybrid of interactive, entertainment-driven e-commerce is emerging. It is expected that by 2022, 82% of all internet traffic will be online video, with live-streamed video in particular accounting for 17% of that (source: CISCO). So now is prime time for retailers to capitalise on this market for shoppable content, by realising that video content can be used as a primary channel to access products.
In late 2018, NTWRK launched. A growing video commerce platform that combines pop culture and purchasing ability. The platform creates shoppable content. It is used to sell exclusive products via live video content, presented by well-known personalities. Building hype around brands as they count down to the next live show on their website and app.
As we statistically know; people are spending large portions of their day on their phones. Scrolling social media, streaming videos, watching YouTube or browsing the web. NTWRK’s CEO Aaron Levant says, ‘That’s where the market is, that’s where the attention is, so that’s where we want to play.’.
THROUGH MOBILE SELLING
In the first 6 months of 2018, a recorded 2 billion retail apps were downloaded. It’s no longer only big e-commerce retailers that brands have to compete with, but the rising of the mobile-first players. E-commerce is quickly becoming a mobile-first industry. Brands are using social media platform like Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook to promote their product but also as the point of sale for a vast amount of their products.
Sarah Miller, chief information officer at Neiman Marcus, has suggested that ‘retail companies have to start acting more like technology companies.’. 50% of retailers have admitted that a mobile shopping app is their highest priority for their omnichannel strategies.
It’s a fast-paced, changing market and brands need to invest the time and resources into developing these channels and their omnichannel strategy to stay relevant for the vastly digital, younger generations.
With the growing backlash on bland e-commerce, it is as important as ever to deliver outstanding in-store experiences and this high standard needs to be conveyed across all brand touch points. Online shopping is no longer purely a means of convinces. Taking inspiration from these e-commerce trends and disruptive brands, let’s create remarkable new ways for our customers to shop online!