Virtual In-Store Shopping May Become A Big Omnichannel Trend
Millennials are catalyst for marketers to make everything more personal
by Andria Cheng
Omnichannel retailers seeking to turn online browsers into buyers have a new weapon at their disposal: live interactive video help from in-store staff.
In a presentation at the Millennial 20/20 conference in New York on Thursday, an employee at shoe store Axel Arigato’s London flagship appeared live online via the click of a button in New York. He answered questions and walked to pick up the actual shoe that was displayed on the website to talk about what’s unique about it
“Millennials are bonded to the idea of wanting an experience”
While that was just a demo, the shoe retailer, which sells online to customers worldwide, has seen both increased rate of online shoppers converting to buyers and higher transaction amount online as a result, said André Hordagoda, co-founder of tech startup GoInStore, the provider of the technology, which counts among its customers hotel chain Marriott. What’s more, the sales employee at the store also would be able to see the online shopper’s purchasing history and make other recommendations as a result.
“This is in-store shopping online,” Hordagoda said, calling it “an interactive sales experience.”
With consumers, led by millennials, increasingly demanding two-way experience as part of their buying process, platforms like GoInStore are raising the bar on online customer service help beyond live text and video chats that are often done from a call center.
“Millennials are bonded to the idea of wanting an experience,” said marketing manager Emeric Harney at Harney & Sons Fine Teas brand at a separation presentation. He said the company has changed its strategy from traditional one-way online sales to adding things such as a referral program for customers, giving them discounts when they recommend their friends. Getting its customers to be loyal and interacting with them is key: while a typical shopper buys tea every 45 to 60 days, a loyal customer buys every 14 to 20 days and spends 60% more, Harney said.
The disruptive force of millennials, with Gen Z shoppers following close behind, has rewritten the retail playbook. Even beverage giant Coca-Cola, for instance, is also partnering with such startups as online snack and drink delivery service GoPuff, which promises delivery in half an hour, to learn about customers’ impulse purchasing behavior, Matthew Wemple, Coca-Cola’s eCommerce Business Development Manager, said at another presentation at the event.