Reports suggest that 2016 will bring a shift away from traditional transactional sales, towards a new generation of experiential e-commerce designed for the more informed, empowered and socially-enabled consumer.
According to global product marketing director of CoreMedia, Doug Heise, “retailers are starting to realise that something else is needed to help stand out in the crowded online ecosystem.”
Building on traditional in-store retail techniques, experiential e-commerce needs to be more immersive, encouraging retailers to understand the customer throughout their purchasing journey.
While 2015 continued to see significant growth in e-commerce volumes, there’s a growing recognition that low prices and rapid delivery times will only get retailers so far. Heise adds: “Until now it has been really hard for retailers to deliver the kind of content-based emotional shopping experiences that help organisations to succeed across multiple channels.
“Perhaps the key reason for this delay is that most major retailers still operate entirely separate teams and systems for managing their marketing content and their e-commerce systems. This can make it extremely difficult for today’s marketers to communicate their brand and product stories successfully through the deep personalisation and contextualisation of content and interactive digital experiences.
“We know that traditional web stores are all about price, product availability and speedy delivery – however, while they may be efficient, secure, and fast, they’re typically not very inspiring. An effective experiential e-commerce strategy helps address this imbalance by providing shoppers with more relevant, inspirational, entertaining, and informative content on the web store itself.”
The marrying of an emotional shopping experience with e-commerce has indeed already started, with the creation of websites such as LiketoKnow.it, which allows Instagram users to buy items by ‘liking’ an image. This sends an email to the user, detailing how they can then buy the item from the retailer.
When looking to improve e-commerce performance, one key factor is acknowledging the importance visuals play in purchasing online. Over 90% of shoppers suggest that visual factors are the most important aspect when purchasing a product, therefore website layouts need to be geared towards engaging content and fluid layouts.
For further information on maximising online engagement, visit our guest column by Warren Knight from our February issue here.