When it comes to holiday shopping, everyone has a different perspective. For some people, it's an adventure, a scavenger hunt to find the perfect gifts or a great new holiday wardrobe. For others, it's a competitive sport, and on Black Friday, it can even turn into a contact sport.
For the busiest of us, holiday shopping can be just another inconvenience, and the best way to improve the shopping experience for this last group is to have someone else take care of it for them. This is where live product video marketing can be a game-changing technology. Combining the convenience of online shopping with the insights of your own personal consultant, a virtual shopping experience can make shopping this holiday season quick and easy. Here's how.
Adding the Human Element
More than ever before, today's upmarket businesses are looking to differentiate themselves from competitors by offering enhanced, omnichannel experiences for their customers. Using sophisticated communications technology, they're personalizing online interactions, bringing digital experiences in store, and closing the gap between the two.
Personal shopping is a prime example of this digital transformation. Although you can still make an appointment with a personal shopper at many high-end retailers, more and more customers are turning to online fashion services like Nordstrom's Trunk Club. These services let customers chat with personal stylists who curate new looks and send them items to try on from the convenience of their own homes.
Live video marketing technology lets retailers combine these two personal shopping models, enabling customers to have face-to-face consultations with a personal shopper without sacrificing the convenience of an online service. Retailers can use live video APIs to reach customer groups of any size with programmable, interactive videos that allow customers to convey their style interests and shopping needs, bringing the human element to the online shopping experience.
With their ability to combine the human element of an in-store experience with the ease of online shopping, live video APIs bridge the gap for these shoppers.
Keeping It Personal
During the busy holiday season, a personal shopping experience is not just a way for consumers to get high-end treatment. It's a way to avoid crowded stores, get personalized gift suggestions from an expert, and take care of their holiday shopping all at once and (here's the best part for retailers) at the same store.
Although personal shopping is often associated with fashion, consumers appreciate these services for other types of items as well. According to an HRC Retail Advisory survey, 52 percent of consumers said they value in-store personal shopping services, especially when buying technology products. With their ability to combine the human element of an in-store experience with the ease of online shopping, live video APIs bridge the gap for these shoppers, giving them the efficiency and care they want in their holiday shopping experience. Let's take a closer look at how exactly this works.
Video in Action: A Case Study
A business executive and mom — let's call her Stacey — needs gifts for her family, friends, and staff. She also needs a couple new dresses to wear at upcoming holiday parties. While scanning her favorite department store's website, she spots a link that says, "Need holiday gift ideas? Start a conversation with a personal shopper."
The department store uses a communications platform-as-a-service (CPaaS) solution with a live video API and other real-time communications features, so Stacey can reach out via whatever channel is most convenient for her, be it voice, video, chat, or SMS.
She starts an instant message conversation, but when she mentions needing a dress, the personal shopper suggests switching over to live video so that they can get an idea of Stacey's style and preferences. At the end of the conversation, Stacey schedules an appointment two days later to review the personal shopper's selections.
In preparation for the next video call, Stacey's personal shopper pulls dozens of gift ideas that her loved ones might like. Using the interactive video technology, the consultant can share product images and demonstrate how certain gifts work or even have someone model dresses for Stacey during the video call.
Stacey likes several items but wants more suggestions, so she provides feedback, and they schedule a follow-up video call or perhaps even an in-store visit. After all, the beauty of omnichannel experiences is that customers don't have to choose between in-store and online — they can have both.
After one more consultation, Stacey has checked off her list, relieved herself of the burden of gift hunting, and can have a holly, jolly, stress-free holiday.
Meanwhile, the store has secured the bulk of her holiday shopping budget and, thanks to that enhanced, high-end experience, won her customer loyalty — and that makes for a very happy new year.