4 Online Interactive Retail Experiences That Are Standing Out — And Why
The world of retail has gone digital, and any organization that can't keep up risks being left behind. Today's shoppers demand an interactive online experience. You cannot provide them with that if your online store is entirely static.
Product photos and descriptions, while still extremely important, don't paint a complete picture of what it's like to actually use a product. They leave far too much up to the imagination, which ultimately damages customer confidence. To name just a few examples, without interactivity, your store cannot fully convey:
- What furniture will look like in a shopper's home.
- How the shopper will look with certain jewelry pieces.
- What the shopper can fit into a handbag or piece of luggage.
- Which of your products go well together.
Those details are all left entirely up to the shopper's imagination — such that they might as well simply go to a brick-and-mortar store instead.
Remember as well that all this is happening against a backdrop of changing consumer expectations. Per a recent Salesforce report, the experience provided by a company is just as important as its products or services for nearly 90 percent of shoppers. Those same people have largely adopted a digital-first mindset, with more than half preferring to engage through digital channels and purchase online.
Because of this, embracing innovation in retail is no longer about gaining a competitive advantage, but a matter of survival. Your store must not only be interactive, but also immersive, highly personalized and customer-centric. Should you fail to fulfill these expectations, most of your shoppers will very likely seek out a competitor that does.
But what exactly does it look like when a retailer aces interactivity? How can you tell if your own brand is doing digital retail the right way? We'll start by previewing a few retailers who've worked with Tangiblee to excel in interactive experiences — then, once you know what that involves, we'll walk you through how you can follow in their footsteps.
Retailers Killing The Game With Interactivity and Immersion
A high-end jewelry retailer with over 40 years of expertise, Noemie has always maintained a strong online presence. The company, which sells rings, necklaces, bracelets and earrings, generates the majority of its revenue via its online store. It's always prided itself on the aesthetics of its e-commerce site, which it maintains alongside three brick and mortar locations — two in New York and one in Aspen.
Noemie approached Tangiblee with the goal of elevating its shopping experience while maintaining the characteristics that made it unique as a brand. We worked with the retailer to implement several interactive features and technologies:
- Virtual Try On (VTO), which uses augmented reality to superimpose two-dimensional product images onto the shopper's body.
- Ring Stacking, allowing shoppers to 'try on' multiple pieces of jewelry simultaneously.
- Multi SKU Bundling enables shoppers to purchase multiple products from within the same VTO experience.
- A Skin Tone Slider for pre generated models.
- Compare To, which lets shoppers view a side-by-side comparison of different products including both appearance and specifications.
These features allowed Noemie to greatly improve both customer engagement and revenue, with a 118.7 percent increased conversion rate and 125.1 percent increased revenue per visitor.
Apt2B is an online furniture retailer established with a singular vision — to provide an e-commerce experience that reflects the need of modern, tech-savvy shoppers. Although it began as a small bootstrapped company, it's since become an internationally-recognized brand, with a product catalog consisting of over 3000 furniture and home decor SKUs. The one constant between then and now is that the brand relies heavily on technology integration partners in providing and maintaining a high-end customer experience.
It was only natural, then, that Apt2B sought out Tangiblee. The company's founders recognized that buyer confidence was a significant issue for their line of business. They needed better, more immersive visualization.
With that in mind, Apt2B deployed the following technologies:
- Virtual Room Design, allowing its customers to create a curated virtual space from products in Apt2B's catalog.
- Compare To for product size comparisons.
As a result of its efforts, the furniture retailer enjoyed a sevenfold increase in conversion rate and 11.8 percent increased average order value.
Abbreviated as WGACA, What Goes Around Come Around is a designer fashion brand that sells both vintage and pre-owned luxury items. WGACA's custom collection of high-end apparel, accessories and bags come from some of the biggest names in luxury fashion, including Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Chanel and Hermes. Originally established in 1993, the company currently operates two flagship brick-and-mortar outlets, one in Soho and the other in Beverly Hills.
It was only recently that, seeking to evolve alongside the retail sector, WGACA sought to elevate its online shopping experience. The brand saw the writing on the wall, and recognized that shoppers wanted more interactivity. It also knew that maintaining traditional product imagery would be an incredibly challenging undertaking given how frequently its inventory changes — never mind the fact that its product catalog spans over 14,000 SKUs.
With that in mind, WGACA connected with Tangiblee to deploy:
- What Fits Inside, which allows shoppers to visualize how well everyday items will fit inside a prospective purchase.
- Adjustable Silhouettes to provide shoppers with a customizable product model that they can adjust to reflect their own appearance.
- Compare To for product size comparisons.
This new level of interactivity and immersion increased WGACA's revenue per visitor by 221 percent and its conversion rate by 227 percent for its online store.
Victorinox is a world-renowned retailer of Swiss Army Knives, cutlery knives, travel gear and watches. With a history spanning over 130 years, the brand established a reputation for quality well before digital retail was even a thing. It could have easily continued focusing on brick-and-mortar retail and ignored the online space altogether — but instead, it set out to provide a peerless online shopping experience.
That meant finding a way to visually communicate product sizes to shoppers, which the company achieved by deploying the following technologies:
- Compare To for knives, cutlery and bags.
- Virtual Try On for watches.
Deploying these technologies increased Victorinox's conversion rate by an average of 106.8 percent and its revenue per visitor by 116.9 percent.
Why Immersive Shopping and Online Retail Must Go Hand In Hand
We've already discussed how consumer expectations are evolving. People now expect a superior level of service and customization at every stage of their online retail journey, from first contact through to final sale. And they're perfectly willing to leave behind brands that fail to provide them with that.
In a sense, the greatest benefit of online retail is also its greatest weakness. On the one hand, it gives retailers access to an infinitely larger market of potential shoppers than they would reach through physical outlets. On the other, those shoppers also have access to an infinitely larger selection of competitors.
In this hypercompetitive space, it's the companies that do the best job of creating memorable, tailored experiences that excel. They're the retailers that inspire customer loyalty and advocacy, the brands that keep people coming back time and again. Embracing immersive online shopping comes with another significant benefit, as well — it provides you with an opportunity to learn more about your audience than ever.
This is because you can collect information about a shopper at every single touchpoint in their journey. Every time they interact with your brand, you learn more about them and more about what they're looking for. Not only does this allow you to deliver more effective personalization, but you can also leverage analytics to identify bottlenecks and opportunities around your shopping experience.
Last but certainly not least, online retail done right can create an additional revenue stream for brick-and-mortar retailers, one which may potentially serve as an enormous competitive advantage.
How to Implement an Interactive Retail Experience for Your Brand
Now that we've gone over the benefits of interactive retail and given a few examples of it in action, let's talk about what you need to successfully implement that experience in your own shop.
Understand Your Audience
This is the golden rule of retail in its entirety. In order to deliver an effective interactive experience, you need to understand your target audience. That means not only identifying what they're looking for and why, but also knowing who they are.
Ideally, you want to be able to answer the following questions about your customers:
- Who are they?
- What do they value?
- How much are they willing to spend, on average?
- Why are they interested in my brand?
- What information do they need in order to be confident in a purchase from me?
- What are their preferred communication channels?
Choose the Right Interactive Technologies and Platforms
You wouldn't expect a mechanic to design a website, nor would you demand that a web developer write a novel. Everyone has their own areas of expertise. You may excel at retail, but that doesn't mean you have the technical skills required to build and implement your own immersive retail solutions.
Realistically, even if you did, why go to all the time and effort when you can simply reach out to a technology partner such as Tangiblee? Our immersive shopping and augmented reality solutions are lightweight, intuitive, and trusted by some of the world's top brands. They also require no maintenance and are fully compatible with almost every major e-commerce platform.
Bridge the Gap Between Technology and the User Experience
Finding the right technology for your website is only the first step. You also need to find a way to integrate that technology so that it enriches your shopping experience without overly taxing your backend. That's easier said than done, unfortunately — many interactive shopping solutions are either incredibly complex to configure or extremely resource intensive.
Tangiblee is neither. We do all the heavy lifting where integration is concerned, collecting existing 2D images and product content via an automated crawl of your catalog, product feeds, and emailed product lists. Not only that, we offer white-glove service from sign-up through to rollout, including ongoing support and maintenance.
The end result? Seamless, stress-free integration, a low total cost of ownership, and a time commitment of less than two hours a month managing our solutions.
Measure Your Success
Like most digital industries, online retail is data-driven. You need to be able to collect, organize and analyze everything about how customers interact with your store. Not just to identify potential bottlenecks, but also to measure your success.
Tangiblee makes doing both easier than ever, with powerful built-in analytics that allow you to measure everything from traffic to conversions.
Closing Thoughts: Interactive Experiences Are a Must-Have Today
Interactive online retail is the future. Of that, there can be no doubt. And augmented reality is only the start — virtual reality has evolved in leaps and bounds over the past several years, to the extent that full immersion might soon be a possibility.
But that's not happening for a while yet. For now, it's enough to know that if you want your company to remain competitive, you need to embrace innovation.
In the face of changing consumer expectations and a shifting industry landscape, the companies that successfully cater to the wants and needs of their shoppers will succeed. The rest will ultimately be left behind.
Are you looking to create an interactive experience for your customers? See how Tangiblee can help. Book a demo today to get started!