How Retailers Can Adapt To Digital Transformation With Live Video Shopping
Fueled by global lockdowns and a surge in digital spending, the retail landscape has undergone huge changes. Retailers that once stagnated in adopting digital technology to capture customers are now in a race against time to stay relevant.
According to a McKinsey report, the next ten years in retail will see cataclysmic disruptions that will embrace new shopping experiences. Digital transformation will become a foundation for delivering innovative sales channels that can be harnessed by the power of live video shopping.
Live video shopping company To talk with Editor Meg Bryant explains to Retail Insight Network how retailers can adapt to the changing digital retail landscape using live video shopping and why it’s important to do so.
What does live video shopping mean for retailers?
Simply put, direct shopping provides the opportunity to demonstrate products to an online audience, where they can interact freely within the experience.
To mimic in-store experiences, the expert can engage with customers via video and chat; reduce unnecessary response times associated with contact forms or live chatbots.
A subset of live shopping are hyper-personalized “one-to-one” live feeds, allowing businesses to take a more personal approach to specific customers. It faithfully reproduces in-store experiences where the expert can provide VIP service, online.
Fuel a positive online customer experience
Retailers can reinvent the customer journey and deliver successful experiences to meet new demands. In a recent Harvard Business Review (HBR) survey, 40% of respondents noted that customer experience is a top priority for digital transformation.
Meanwhile, 84% of consumers said being treated like a person, not a number, is key to winning their business.
Live video shopping enables retailers to deliver a powerful online experience that puts their experts at the heart of digital touchpoints. In doing so, a live video call is initiated where digital dialogue can identify customer needs and create a very unique experience.
This medium format claims its domination in China. Social commerce, as it is otherwise called, is equivalent to about 9% of the Chinese e-commerce market. It is now projected at a value of 15-20%.
Buying live video also works particularly well with high-demand items. Customers tend to be overwhelmed with information and seek out websites for credible reviews and authenticity. Without a concierge page, customers are often presented with a live chatbot, which is great for handling simple queries but lacking in more complex scenarios.
Instead, an expert can be equipped with customer tools and relevant data to create an expensive shopping cart that meets real-time needs. It eliminates customer doubt and incorporates an element of trust that was once elusive.
Empower merchants with hyper-personalization tools
McKinsey Senior Partner, Eric Hazan, commented on the aforementioned shift in retail technology: “If you don’t invest in analytics, if you don’t invest in personalization, the barriers to entry that d ‘others will create will be too high’.
Basic customer expectations for personalization were driven by Amazon’s aggressive ecommerce scaling and highly personalized choices. According to a survey by Epsilon and GBH Insights, 80% of respondents want personalization from retailers.
However, respondents to the World Retail Congress survey said only 23% of consumers believe retailers are doing a sufficient job when it comes to personalization.
Live video shopping mimics in-store interactions, whereby the expert can perform live needs-based analysis and recommend products directly from the ecommerce recommendation engine.
Harnessing data alongside human interactions opens up opportunities not only to personalize the experience, but also to create meaningful customer relationships.
How can retailers adopt live video shopping technology?
For many retailers, what slows down digital transformation is finding the right tools to do it. In the same World Retail Congress survey, 67% of businesses admitted they didn’t have enough tools in place to execute scalable personalization.
Another 41% said they struggled to find the perfect solution partner. This puts pressure on retailers to identify quick-to-market solutions to meet the ever-changing demand of consumer behavior.
Live video shopping software can be integrated with e-commerce store using headless commerce. Simply put, headless commerce is a separation between the front end and the back end of an eCommerce store.
Its architecture provides a platform through APIs consisting of a back-end data model and cloud-based infrastructure.
Developers can then use APIs to implement product feeds, shopping carts on any device or screen. Meanwhile, the decoupled front-end allows businesses to unleash their creativity to customize the e-commerce storefront to meet their business goals.
This is a fundamental shift in digital technology that allows retailers to have technology that can essentially attach to an e-commerce platform.
Why it’s important to digitally transform your online customer experience
Retailers need to take a technology-driven approach to deploy human-like online services.
As consumers quickly return to physical retail, it will struggle to reach pre-Covid levels. Nonetheless, in a time of social famine, there was a wake-up call for consumers shopping online.
They want to receive unique VIP service and buy products with confidence. In a world where the use of data becomes more ambiguous every day, retailers must implement innovative practices to use data effectively and efficiently.
Live video shopping can usher in the new era of online shopping, mixing experiences to provide an entirely new environment.