Today officially marks the first of April. Longer days, bank holidays and profuse Easter chocolate consumption is on the horizon… and you know what? It feels good!
The first of April is notable for another reason (and no, it’s not April Fools Day. Sorry.).
For the fiscal calendar, April 1 marks the beginning of the second quarter of the year (Q2). It’s a time for businesses to reflect on their Q1 turnovers, assess whether they hit their targets, and rethink their current strategy. If you’re a retailer, Q1 of 2022 would have been an interesting time. It was, arguably, the first quarter in two years that wasn’t plagued by COVID uncertainty and new variants. In fact, after two years of unpredictable circumstances, Q1 was expected to see stabilized spending across the retail sector.
However, as they often do, our good friends "expectation" and "reality" failed to match up. Retail sales online fell to 27.8% in February 2022 – their lowest proportion since March of 2020. And in-person shopping hasn’t seen much luck either; the iconic Oxford Street in London has struggled to return to pre-pandemic levels, with footfall down a massive 46% on pre-COVID levels.
What does this tell us?
Retailers need to re-think their current strategy, and fast
Our day-to-day habits saw a complete overhaul during the pandemic, and it’s clear that a lot of these changes are here to stay. Our attachment to doing things from home has remained steadfast (say "I" if you’ve been personally victimized by having to go back into the office), and this is also represented in our shopping habits. In 2021, there were 2.14 billion online shoppers, and according to BigCommerce, US Ecommerce revenue could reach $707 billion.
The takeaway? Well, online traffic is growing, and in-person footfall is slowing.
But, as we know, whilst online traffic is traditionally high, conversion rates are low; with the average Ecommerce conversion rate sitting at a measly 2.86%. In comparison, in-person shopping results in conversion rates between 20-40%.
The discrepancy between the two is clear: one channel offers a personalized experience, and the other doesn’t. In-person shopping allows customers to receive human assistance, see products up close, and get to know their in-store advisor. Online shopping, whilst more convenient, is impersonal and often fails to keep the consumer engaged.
But what if we could combine the two, for the ultimate selling experience? Good news. You can – and many of the world’s top retailers already have, by utilizing live video shopping.
What is live video shopping?
Live video shopping delivers the in-store experience, online. It allows in-store sales associates and product experts to engage with customers either in one-to-one instances or one-to-many instances. Consumers are intelligently matched with specialists who have an in-depth understanding of customer needs and product specializations. Live video shopping has gained traction quickly, as retailers recognize the need to deliver an immersive experience that replicates the physical, whilst ameliorating the friction that is so often associated with it.
The truth is, when people go shopping, they’re not just looking for the latest clothing or electronics: they’re looking for an experience. Now, more than ever, consumers crave the feel-good factor when they shop, with over 86% of consumers attesting they’d pay more for a better customer experience. At Emplifi, we recognized this long before the pandemic. That’s why we developed a multitude of high-tech features and offerings; including appointment services, two-way video, and Emplifi Live Stream, our esteemed one-to-many feature.
We also recognized that not only was live video shopping here to stay, it also has a broader role to play in delivering the ultimate customer experience online. Consumer behavior has changed, with many increasingly engaging with their favorite brands via social channels. Social commerce has grown exponentially in the last few years, and to that end, we wanted to rapidly broaden our reach and function.
The results from live video shopping
Retailers and brands using the Go Instore solution (now an Emplifi company) have seen game-changing results. With a massive 20-50% conversion rate uplift, a 38% increase in Average Order Value, and a 94% customer satisfaction rate, live video shopping is not a need for retailers this quarter – it’s a must. If you want to learn a little more about our customer successes, check out this great case study.
Out with the old, in with the new
We’ve established that the monetary rewards from live video shopping are huge, the customer satisfaction rates are through the roof, and in-store staff is booked, busy and happy. What are you waiting for? Speak with an Emplifi expert today about our live video shopping solutions, part of our Social Commerce Cloud, to kickstart your retail strategy.
Editor's Note: This article was originally published on goinstore.com. Any statistics or statements included in this article were current at the time of original publication.