In Asia, people have long understood that online shopping is celebrated as an event. And that is what “shopping” should be: a special experience.
“Shopping” does not mean “procuring goods,” it’s about the entire process of browsing, being inspired, and at best and, at best, getting what you want. For many female consumers, this the way to the goal.
Every visit to a store signals a desire, or at least a will to buy. Unfortunately, many stationary retailers (and in particular), as well as many online retailers destroy the initial impulse and the existing willingness of their customers to buy a product, instead of affirming it.
Through great store design, a personal, friendly reception, pleasant scent, relaxed background music, inspiring background music, inspiring store equipment, good presentation of goods and advice, attractive offers, fast availability, an easy payment process, and a special merchandise packaging and issue/delivery and customer-engaging aftersales service, the desire to buy could certainly be increased even further.
But if all this is missing and potential customers are instead confronted with unkempt stores (meanwhile, unfortunately, even in the online trade increasingly), long lines at checkouts or a too complicated check-out process, a lack of payment options and non-existent or unfriendly service or unfriendly service, the desire quickly turns into great frustration.
There have never been so many possibilities offline and online for a motivating and sales-promoting address of the customers, as today. Yes, it’s true, due to the constant development of new technologies, the trade is subject to an enormous to adapt to the constant processes of change. But those who shut out the change completely, will lose.
Many of the innovations have an impact on customers’ shopping behaviour, their expectations and habits. What was dismissed yesterday as a trendy fringe phenomenon is already common practice tomorrow.
“Online first” affects B2C, as well as, at the latest now in and after Corona times, the actions of B2B traders and service providers. The worldwide pandemic pushed providers and brands into the digital, activating (real-time) communication. Even a pure business network like LinkedIn suddenly introduced “stories.”
All of this is already having an impact in the way content is created. Suddenly authenticity and real-time communication are now in demand.
The desire for individualization and a personal approach will certainly continue to increase. To achieve this in digital, non-direct face2face communication, smart data management and knowledge of customers are required, as well as secure, transparent and data-protection-compliant handling of these.
But those who put individual customer needs at the center of their actions, communicating personally with their community and ensuring an inspiring, at least positive shopping experience, you stand a good chance of being rewarded with customer loyalty.
Thanks to the technological possibilities, a digital presence can be scaled up more easily and the customer journey can be personalized virtually in real time. Stationary and space limited space retail is at a disadvantage: there is only one store for everyone – perhaps still segmented into male and female departments. Diversity? Not a chance. Even fast A/B testing is not possible here. The latter can be achieved in the stationary area only approximately with pop-up stores.
Even in pure e-commerce, however, the wheat is increasingly being separated from the chaff. Very few online retailers are able or willing to consolidate their data and analyze it in a useful way. Nevertheless, the pure stationary trade is threatening to fall further behind. It is losing two of its original unique selling propositions: the human-social component and its experience competence (…if it ever really had this).
Those who put individual customer needs at the center of their actions, stand a good chance of being rewarded with customer loyalty.
With the mass use of smartphones (shortly after the introduction of the IPhone in 2007) a new era of a new era of Internet communication. The introduction of social media networks one-to-many communication without a feedback channel (radio and television) suddenly became many-to-many communication with a wide range of possibilities for response and interaction (chats, emojis, likes, shares, comments, voice messages, etc.).
That social media channels are not only used for communication and as an advertising forum, but can also be but can also be used as a sales channel, only began around 2010, with the growing success of influencers. the growing success of influencers. The combination of mobile device with Internet capability, built-in photo and video camera, and a social network membership enabled users to present themselves to other users on their own, live and worldwide. live and worldwide. Suddenly, people preferred to follow Internet personalities and the media, people began to follow Internet personalities. And they quickly realized how much influence they have on their community and their followers. Influencing and social selling was born.
It was not until the Corona crisis that many companies realized that they too could act in this way and make a virtue out of necessity. and make a virtue out of necessity. And that the digital channels were now digital channels were now the only ones that could be used to reach people at all.
The success with their own live consulting via WhatsApp, Facetime or Zoom, the presentation of goods on Instagram and Facebook, the rapid creation of online stores (Facebook now even offers this) and social media communication, has once again given an enormous boost to digitization, e-commerce and especially social shopping. Even the many and in Corona distress comforting, funny private videos have made their contribution. Everything has become a bit more approachable and personal.
At the same time, it has exposed the weaknesses of the previous e-commerce of the last 20 years: There was a lack of personality, naturalness and thus authenticity, interpersonal relationship “glue” and entertainment. Technical perfection quickly kills emotion.
This means that even traditional e-commerce can learn a lot from social commerce and the from the Corona crisis. Goodbye boring online stores – the motto is “We love to entertain you. motto. Because entertainment and consumption are mutually beneficial. Anyone who has once been to a live auction, a bazaar in the Orient or the fish market in St. Pauli or watched a QVC teleshopping show at one in the morning.
The latter in particular is currently gaining enormous momentum and is already being operated with great success in Asia. the digitization of good old teleshopping in the form of live (stream) shopping. shopping.
By directly linking the mobile device of the sales promoter with the online shop of the online store of the acting company, the promoter can take the customer on his or her very personal shopping tour, interact with them, entertain them, present the product and brand USPs and boost sales. The whole thing is supported by time limits, shortages of merchandise and special offers (e.g. sale prices, service prices, service, additional functions, special editions, etc.). This new form of Entertain promotion not only boosts sales by up to 30 percent (and by far more with good promoters). more), but it is also a very good marketing tool, especially at the beginning of this trend, for present itself as an innovative and trendy brand.
The good news for digital as well as stationary multichannel companies is, that livestream shopping can enormously expand the appeal and reach of the brand store.
This means that the store can also be used profitably outside regular business hours. hours as well. Why not turn the store into a show stage and sell online from the store? from the store? The positive effect is to promote your own shop and make it more attractive. store. With a “Live@Store” sales show, perhaps even combined with attractive local or even international show acts, retailers can even compete with TV.
This would open up completely new fields of activity for retail design and visual merchandising. There There they are, the experience stores that have been demanded for so many years and in the truest sense of the word: Showrooms!
In order to be able to operate this form of digital commerce, apart from the online store itself, a solid foundation in the form of ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), or at least a solid merchandise management software, as well as an optimal and smooth logistics, fulfillment or complete supply chain organization.
And it needs good telegenic and motivated sales professionals and product experts. Because Apart from the need to get to grips with the new technologies of live shopping, not everyone can or not everyone can and wants to present live. Unlike purely testimonials with a purely promotional effect, apart from the person matching the brand, the component of sales pitching must also be mastered.
With the frequency of the use of new digital tools and things, as we have experienced in the last year, positive routine returns. So, as is often the case, “the proof of the pudding is in the eating.” Then the whole thing can bring real shopping joy again not only to customers, but also to salespeople! – Let’s do it!
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