While the retail industry remains in a state of constant flux, brands need to take advantage of the latest technological advancements to stay afloat or more importantly, get ahead. For most retailers, this means giving customers seamless, and an engaging experience on their online store, without over doing it. With more retailers to shop at, customers have higher expectations and rightfully so.
Online shops give brands the opportunity to show off their content with blogs, look books, videos and reviews, each offering another chance to engage the customer. To get from content to cart to checkout, many retailers are optimizing these rich media tools to increase conversion rates throughout the customer journey. Below, we’ll explore how each of these tools play an important role in the checkout journey.
When shopping online, shoppers want to visualize how a product flows, feels and looks. Video helps by offering shoppers a standalone and sometimes personalized view of an item. It also provides a way to convey enthusiasm and inspiration. Commercial- type videos show customers how to pair an item and what sort of accessories would go well with the product. This not only encourages shoppers to look at other items, but moves customers to actually purchase the item. Video offers a way for customers to fall in love with items before they purchase, without doing a ton of research.
One of the most important tools retailers can leverage to increase customer satisfaction and loyalty is a look book. What online shopper doesn’t want to be inspired by a complete outfit, decked out with accessories, and shoes? Shoppers want to be fashionable and are on the lookout for new fashion trends, but often don’t have the time to piece together outfit after outfit. An online look book is one way to showcase new items for customers, either via email or on the front page of their website. Each season, shoppers can be inspired to shop, because they will directly see the new products available, in what colors, and how to perfectly style an outfit from head-to-toe.
Millennials and Gen Z are glued to their phones, but as the generation with the largest purchasing power, retailers need to hone in on what they want and where to reach them – places like Twitter, Instagram or YouTube. Instagram, for example, offers endless opportunities for retailers. Shoppers are constantly scrolling through their posts, seeing what their favorite YouTubers are wearing, what their friends are sporting and what their preferred clothing brand is posting. A brand that understands the importance of social media can be very vocal with customer engagement, retweeting a customer success story, commenting on an Instagram featuring one of their dresses and working directly with YouTubers to showcase new items to target markets. In addition, all of these engagements are pieces of content that a brand could utilize for additional awareness campaigns. With a customer’s permission, a retailer could reuse an image from a customer featuring one of their items on their Instagram or Twitter. Just imagine how excited a consumer would be if their photo was featured on their favorite retailer’s social channel?
Brands need to engage their customers all the time with a unique, personalized experience across social channels, e-mails and their online stores to make customers feel important and to maintain customer loyalty. Carefully curated content is still one of the most important ways for brands to do this.
David Brewis is CMO of Amplience