The annual eTail Asia 2016 conference saw 350 attendees gather in Singapore for three jam-packed days of industry discussions around the future of online and omni-channel retail. We took part in a panel, “Creating Compelling Customer Experiences,” exploring the rising trends and strategies in online retail. Here are our key takeaways from the event:
Customer experience is an end-to-end business
Great prices are one component of your retail strategy, but it won’t help if the overall customer experience is poor. Customers often follow a multi-step buying journey — a combination of online research and the actual store visit for a real life look and feel of a product before purchase. Each of these steps, across offline and online, is critical in influencing the customer’s purchasing decision. This is where video stands out as a powerful medium that can help retailers to engage with their customer base across every stage of the customer journey, from awareness, engagement, conversion, retention to advocacy.
Omni-channel retail is here to stay
Even though the world's "gone mobile," retailers need to embrace an omni-channel retail strategy that covers web, mobile, and offline. It was mentioned at the eTail Asia event that some retailers have opted to scale down their website presence based on the assumption that 50% of online purchases are made through mobile. This view, however, is myopic, because online research is just as important on the web as on the mobile web. According to a recent Brightcove market survey, multi-screen engagement is the future, with 39% of consumers expecting to do their shopping via mobile devices, PC, and their TVs by the year 2020.
Email is alive and well
Some marketers believe that email is dead, and that all consumers are living on social media. Even though Twitter and Facebook now offer a new method to mass-market products, management consultancy McKinsey has found that emails are still 40 times more likely to convert customers compared to a tweet or Facebook post. To make emails more effective, use video in email marketing campaigns. Video has been proven to increase email click-through rates by 55%. Just using the word ‘video’ in an email subject line increases open rates by 19% and reduces unsubscribes by 26%.
Persistence works - try shoppable video
While it may seem annoying or difficult to accomplish, being persistent in retaining customers does work. According to panelist, Patrick Steinbrenner from Zalora, one of Asia’s leading online fashion retailers, the company would deploy multiple ways to re-engage the customer after they abandon a shopping cart. Persistence is an ongoing effort, but this is where video content can play a convincing role. A recent Brightcove retail survey indicated that 77% of shoppers said video can sway their buying decisions. Shoppable video in fact, can be used by retailers as an effective acquisition, engagement and conversion strategy.
One good example is Michael Hill, a global jewelry brand, who uses shoppable video to drive engagement and conversion on its online store. Shoppable video allowed its customers to buy products directly from within the video by interacting with e-commerce calls-to-action. Three months after the initiative, Michael Hill experienced an 85% increase in site visits and 220% increase in conversion rates. The numbers simply prove how video is a highly effective conversion tactic and has transformed the way Michael Hill engages with their customers.
Test and try again
Where retailers are continuously testing email, social, and video to determine what is most effective to convert customers, video can help retailers win the battle. Sites with videos tend to have an additional 2 extra minutes dwell time than sites without video. And if by 2019, 80% of the world’s internet traffic will be video, then there is no doubt the Internet has become a video medium for consumers to visualize what they want to buy.
To learn how you can use the power of video in your online retail experience, download our free research report on “The Perfect Fit: How Video Marketing Can Boost Your Online Sales”.