Immersive experiences, from gaming to virtual conferences to watching sporting events, have seen a tremendous rise in popularity over the previous few years. The purchasing experience is no exception.
According to recent YouGov data, over a third of Brits (31%) would consider shopping in a virtual environment, which opens up a large potential for brands to use these digital spaces as an extension of offline efforts and diversify how they communicate with customers. To truly stand out in this scenario, companies will need to go beyond the capacity to try on clothes virtually and push the envelope of what's possible with technology.
Some brands are already ahead of the curve. VF Corporation, for instance, has developed a digital showroom that allows customers to view products from its various portfolio companies – including Vans, The North Face and Timberland – in an interactive 3D space. Similarly, US retailer Target has created an AR-powered app that allows users to see how furniture would look in their homes before making a purchase.
While there are numerous opportunities for brands to explore in this burgeoning field that don't require a huge outlay of new technology but take your shoppable content to the next level. There are also a few things to keep in mind:
1. Make sure the experience is truly immersive, get them engaging with your content.
2. Create a space that is both functional and visually appealing.
3. Offer something that cannot be replicated offline. Quick easily at to basket.
4. Make sure the technology is easy to use. Inactive content doesn't have to require headsets, it can be viewed like a standard video.
5. Think about how you can use data collected from the experience to improve customer service.
At Interflix, we provide all our clients with unobtrusive back end data reports.
Brands may create virtual shopping experiences that are not only visually attractive but also provide consumers with a one-of-a-kind and easy method to buy by remembering the following points.
While this e-commerce development is tremendous, it's crucial to keep in mind that for many customers, going to a store is still a pleasurable and exciting experience. As a result, the typical shopping trip now incorporates both brick-and-mortar stores and digital interactions.
Brands may get a lot of value out of creating digital experiences in-store to engage customers at multiple touchpoints. This is especially significant when marketing to a younger, Gen Z audience: 50% of 16–24-year-olds are interested in merchants who provide more immersive retail encounters according to IBM and Yahoo. These may include methods to improve the in-store experience with digital tools, such as:
1. Virtual showrooms and store layouts
2. Interactive displays
3. Personalised content
4. Augmented reality in the fitting room
5. Geolocation-based offers and information
6. Beacons for real-time notifications and messaging
7. In-app purchasing
8. Appointment scheduling
9. In-store navigation
10. Social media integration
We recognise the importance of personalisation to customers, especially as businesses have closed down for months on end. It's critical for marketers to ensure that any digital modifications made to the in-person experience are additive and can help improve the overall shopping experience. Brands must try to reimagine digital real estate so that it may capture and retain attention.
Data-first unlocks shopper insight
Given that cookies will be lost, data-driven retail methods will also be critical in order to provide a high degree of personalisation, given that brands will have to work much harder than before to nurture customer connections. It has become more difficult yet more essential than ever for advertisers and publishers to comprehend internet audiences and engage with them in meaningful ways.
This means brands and businesses need to be able to build direct relationships with their consumers to be able to leverage their first - party data to engage with their audience online in a way that really keeps them connected. Thats why so many of our clients come to us, because they are looking to collect that all important insight.
What does this mean for brands?
With consumers attempting to marry online and in-store activities in order to discover new items, conduct research, purchase merchandise, and interact with companies, the role of the brick-and-mortar store has changed from transactional to inspirational, according to the IBM research: Retail technology for the evolving consumer landscape. The aim for retailers and brands is to integrate the most up-to-date digital features into their physical locations while also ensuring that both environments are valuable and coherent.
Retailers that have already put a large amount of money into digitising their physical locations are ahead, reviving antiquated shopping settings with modernised customer experiences.
Digital experiences are becoming increasingly important for brands to adopt in order to improve customer engagement and satisfaction. However, these experiences must be designed with the customer in mind and must add value to the overall shopping experience. Finally, data collected from these digital experiences can be used to further understand customers and provide them with personalised content and offers.